Somerset’s seamers were in a ruthless mood as they capitalised on bowler friendly conditions to dominate Northamptonshire’s batting line-up and enforce the follow-on on Day 2.
Matt Henry’s shrewd seam bowling, coupled with Craig Overton’s pace and bounce, proved a potent combination as 16 wickets fell on the second day, with the duo picking up six apiece overall.
Northamptonshire were dismissed for 180 in their first innings and inserted again despite Ricardo Vasconcelos hitting a season’s best 78, with Henry taking three for 36 and Overton four for 50.
The home side stumbled to 151 for six second time around before bad light brought play to a halt.
Henry was a handful straight away when Northamptonshire began their response to the visitors’ first-innings total of 351, making the ball move both ways and persuading Emilio Gay to nibble the fifth delivery of the morning into James Rew’s gloves.
Despite registering successive, confident boundaries off Henry, Justin Broad soon followed – forced to play at one that lifted and left him, edging to first slip to leave the home side in difficulty at 17 for two.
The left-hander looked far more comfortable against Somerset’s change bowlers, drilling a series of crisp boundaries through the off side – and the 10th of those, sweetly struck off Overton, brought up his half-century from 76 balls.
By then he had lost Sam Whiteman, playing on to Lewis Gregory and Henry returned for a pre-lunch spell to keep Somerset in the ascendancy by prising out Luke Procter, taken low at first slip.
Vasconcelos continued in similar vein after the interval, looking on course for a first century of the season until he was undone by a ball from Gregory that veered away to hit off stump – triggering a further surge of wickets.
Overton was the chief architect of Northamptonshire’s collapse during a fearsome second spell, having Rob Keogh caught in the slips and ripping out the off stump of Lewis McManus before Ben Sanderson feathered one behind.
Running out of partners, Saif Zaib did his best to propel the home side past the follow-on target with a lively knock of 38, including two colossal sixes off Kasey Aldridge, but fell short when he skied Overton and was taken by Shoaib Bashir, running back on the leg side.
Somerset had no hesitation in putting the hosts back in and Vasconcelos was soon on his way for the second time in the session. Vasconcelos can consider himself more than a little unlucky to have been adjudged caught behind, replays suggesting the ball was nowhere near back.
Emilio Gay also followed shortly after but will also look back at his dismissal with a raised eyebrow, given out LBW to a ball darting down the leg side.
With Broad also departing leg before to Gregory, Northamptonshire sank to 29 for three, but Procter and Zaib – back at the crease barely half an hour after his dismissal – displayed some grit to slow the Somerset charge.
However, neither Zaib nor Rob Keogh, another leg before victim for Henry, managed to build on promising starts and it was left to the skipper to tough it out with an undefeated 37 while Taylor went for his shots.
The all-rounder clubbed Overton for successive boundaries to reach a brisk 24 not out from 17 balls before darkening skies prompted the umpires to halt proceedings with 8.4 overs still remaining.