Jack White continued his strong form against Somerset as he picked up five wickets against them for the second time this season on day one of Northamptonshire’s LV= Insurance clash at Wantage Road.
The Northamptonshire seamer’s other five wicket-haul this season came when he returned 5-103 in the reverse fixture at Taunton in early May and he bettered that here with 5-77.
Despite this impressive effort spread over 25 overs, half centuries for Sean Dickson 70 and George Bartlett 55, plus a valuable 48 from skipper Lewis Gregory led Somerset to three batting points before they were bowled out on the stroke of stumps for 351, Craig Overton left stranded on 40 not out.
Dickson added 102 with Tom Abell, while Gregory and Overton heaved their way to an invaluable 81 for the eighth wicket.
White struck early after Northamptonshire skipper Luke Procter invited Somerset to bat first. White found bounce from just short of a length to square up Tom Lammonby who was given out caught behind.
It was the last scrap of joy White would enjoy for some time, his very next ball rapping Somerset skipper Tom Abell on the pad, but this time umpire Ian Blackwell kept the dreaded finger down. It would be 22 balls before Abell dropped a ball into the offside to get off the mark.
By then, opener Dickson, so pivotal to the Cidermen’s T20 Blast triumph on Saturday, had also survived a big shout for leg before in a first hour or so where sideways movement produced plenty of playing and missing.
Dickson regularly walked down the wicket to negate the seam movement, and he attacked when he could, clouting one ball from White over deep midwicket for six.
As White and Sanderson gave way Dickson picked up the pace and Abell sent Tom Taylor to the fence twice in one over. Dickson’s second Championship 50 of the season came up shortly before lunch, swiftly followed by the 100-partnership.
White was back in the game immediately after lunch, bowling Abell with a beauty which snuck between bat and pad to uproot the off-stump.
Dickson too was not to last much longer. Having played a lovely back foot punch to the cover fence, he poked at one from White he could perhaps have left alone, and Emilio Gay took a fine catch at second slip.
There should have been a fourth wicket when Sanderson brought one back into Bartlett which would have plucked out middle stump, but umpire Nigel Long remained unconvinced. To rub salt in the wound the next ball was despatched by the reprieved Bartlett to the mid-wicket boundary. Thereafter he played elegantly, driving well, especially off the back foot.
At the other end Tom Kohler-Cadmore chanced his arm with mixed results, twice hitting the ball back over the bowler’s head and inside edging another past his leg stump. His luck ran out with tea approaching when he hoisted Sanderson into the deep, only for substitute fielder George Weldon to produce a wonderful diving catch at deep square.
Bartlett moved to 50 before the interval but became White’s fourth victim the other side of tea, gloving one down the leg-side into the hands of a diving McManus and a second five-for of the season was secured soon afterwards when Kasey Aldridge was pinned in front.
Rew, failed to repeat his double century heroics of last week, falling 26 short of his 1000 runs for the season, edging through to McManus to give Justin Broad a maiden first-class wicket, meaning four wickets had fallen for 46 runs either side of tea.
There was though a final twist in the day, Gregory and Overton arresting the slump as the home bowlers tired in the evening sunshine.