Ricardo Vasconcelos made the best of a bad situation to register a notable half century and make Northamptonshire the happier of the sides on the first day against Somerset.

Somerset won the toss and elected to bowl on a pitch offering little definition from the lush green outside either side of it. Northamptonshire fought hard in tough conditions however, reaching 137-4 before the elements closed in, only 37.4 overs possible.

Just as well then that Vasconcelos was on hand to illuminate a gloomy day, the 25-year-old making light of conditions and regular weather interruptions to top-score with 70 before becoming the first of two victims claimed by Somerset seamer Lewis Gregory.

Vasconcelos rocked up in the West Country with a point to prove. By the time he was finished, he had helped stage Northamptonshire’s highest opening stand of the season and raised his first 50 of the year.

He helped himself to 13 boundaries in an innings spanning 103 balls and dominated partnerships of 65 and 51 with Hassan Azad and stand-in captain Sam Whiteman for the first and second wickets respectively before Somerset launched a fightback after lunch.

With England bowler Overton restored to the starting line-up after injury, Somerset skipper Tom Abell had no hesitation in inserting the opposition. But the hosts were guilty of wasting the new ball, too many deliveries fading down leg side when the minimum requirement was to make the batsmen play.

As such, there was a sense of relief in home ranks when the breakthrough finally arrived 30 minutes prior to the lunch interval. Straightened up by an in-swinging delivery from Kasey Aldridge, Azad succeeded in fending low to third slip where Overton needed a couple of grabs to take the catch.

Azad contributed 20 in an opening stand of 65 in 19.3 overs and his dismissal gave the hosts renewed hope. But any sense of optimism was tempered as Vasconcelos went to 50 from 73 balls with 10 fours and, together with Whiteman, ushered Northamptonshire to 108-1 at lunch.

Although storm clouds were gathering to the south, there was still time in a truncated afternoon session for Kohler-Cadmore to atone for an earlier fumble, first slip making no mistake to snaffle Whiteman after Overton located his outside edge. Nevertheless, Whiteman still remained at large for long enough to stage a progressive alliance of 51 in 10.5 overs with Vasconcelos for the second wicket, and Northamptonshire were no doubt still satisfied with their lot when bad light forced the players from the field at 2pm with the score on 117-2.

Their mood darkened somewhat when, upon resuming following a short break, Vasconcelos, his concentration compromised, pushed forward at a ball from Gregory and nicked off to Overton at second slip. 

Saif Zaib may be somewhat aggrieved following his first innings of the season. Four clear shadows suggesting the floodlights were now doing more than their fair share of the work when he played on to Gregory. The umpires deciding the light was no longer fit for play two balls later.