Somerset 216 (Renshaw 112, Brooks 5-57) and 6 for 0 lead Yorkshire 96 (Groenewald 3-12, Gregory 3-30) by 126 runs
A century before lunch from Matt Renshaw led the way for Somerset as they took a strong grip on their County Championship game against Yorkshire, despite a five-wicket haul for Jack Brooks as 20 wickets fell in the day at Taunton.
In reply to Somerset’s 216, Yorkshire were bowled out for 96 and batting for a second time the hosts led by 126 with all second innings wickets in hand.
Renshaw’s innings was at odds with his usually cautious approach, as the Australia Test opener recorded his second hundred in as many matches for Somerset.
His has been quite a story. When Cameron Bancroft was suspended for his part in Australia’s ball-tampering affair, Renshaw became not just a replacement for Australia but also for Somerset. A visit to his grandmother in the UK turned into something more long lasting. To add further piquancy to the story, he was born in Middlesbrough, which historically at least is part of the North Riding of Yorkshire.
“It was a pretty different innings to what my normal game is like, but I think that having assessed the wicket this morning it was one where I didn’t feel comfortable just fending at it, I was better if I was playing full cricket shots,” he said. “A few of them were a bit rogue and farmer like, but it was a really good innings. I wasn’t expecting it, but it was nice to play a few shots.
“They were bowling really well and I felt that if I fended one and nicked off that way then it would really annoy me, whereas if I tried to take the game on and put pressure on their bowlers that I would try to come out on top and I guess it was just my lucky day.”
Somerset started the day by losing Marcus Trescothick, caught at gully by Harry Brook off Brooks for 4, before Renshaw was joined by George Bartlett. Renshaw was in sparkling form and lifted Ben Coad over midwicket early on, to signal his intentions. He then took two boundaries to square cover off Brooks in the tenth over before bringing up his 50 off 39 balls, all in boundaries with 10 fours and two sixes.
Renshaw saw the Somerset 100 up with a single off Matthew Waite from the first ball of the 19th over, while at the opposite end Bartlett played a sensible supporting role, looking to score runs whenever the opportunity arose. The second-wicket pair added 140 before Bartlett was out for 39, lbw to Coad.
Renshaw continued to plunder and went to his century with a hooked six off Brooks, his runs coming off 86 deliveries, which included 14 fours and four sixes. Somerset lost James Hildreth and Tom Abell before lunch by which time the hosts had moved onto 166 for 4.
If the morning belonged to Somerset, the afternoon session went to the visitors, starting in the second over after the break when Renshaw was out caught by wicketkeeper Andy Hodd off Brooks for 112. Brooks was in great form from the Somerset Pavilion End as he accounted for both Lewis Gregory and Dom Bess to finish with 5 for 57.
When they replied, Yorkshire lost a wicket without a run on the board as the quick-thinking Bartlett ran out Adam Lyth at non-striker’s end. Gregory claimed Cheteshwar Pujara lbw as Yorkshire reached 31 for 2 by tea.
After the break, wickets continued to tumble and both Gregory and Tim Groenewald claimed two in as many balls. At 64 for 8 the visitors were in danger of following on before Tim Bresnan hit Gregory to the boundary. Young opener Brook top-scored with 32 as Yorkshire were eventually all out for 96, Groenewald ending with 3 for 12 and Gregory 3 for 30.