DAY THREE CLOSE: Somerset 348-6
Marcus Trescothick became the second highest century maker in Somerset history when he passed three figures on day three of the Specsavers' County Championship game against Middlesex at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
The 40-year-old left hander reached three figures for the 48th time in Somerset colours, shortly after tea, as Somerset rescued what appeared to be a desperate situation at lunchtime.
With Middlesex having established a first innings lead of 145, thanks in the main to a ninth wicket partnership of 162 between James Fuller (93) and James Harris (78), Somerset collapsed to 59 for 3 in their second innings with Harry Podmore sending back Johann Myburgh (12) and Chris Rogers (0) and Ollie Rayner picking up the wicket of James Hildreth for 11.
At lunch, Somerset were 69 for 3, still trailing by 76. It called for a Trescothick masterclass. And the former England opening batsman duly obliged. On a wicket that was green in appearance, but far from troublesome, he added 67 for the fourth wicket, with captain Jim Allenby before joining forces with Peter Trego in what could be a match saving fifth wicket partnership of 181.
By the close of play, Somerset were 203 runs ahead, on 348 for 6. Trescothick's innings was one of sublime quality and patience to boot. With wickets falling around him, he kept his cool, avoided unnecessary risks and left Middlesex to wonder what might have been.
The visitors, who progressed their overnight total of 361 for 8 to 381 all out, used five bowlers in a bid to prise Tresothick away from the crease. Unfortunately for captain James Franklin, the left-hander was rarely in trouble as he reached 50 off 115 balls, with nine fours, and posted three figures, for the fourth time this season, off 184 deliveries with 18 fours. It was his 48th first class hundred for Somerset and the 62nd of a first-class career dating back to 1993. His latest landmark leaves him just one century behind the great Harold Gimblett.
At the other end, Trego, in his own inimitable way, punished anything wide and full and reached his half century off 61 balls with seven fours and one six. His second 50 came off 69 balls with another 10 boundaries. It was Trego at his best. When Trescothick finally departed, pushing forward to Harris, for 124 at 307 for 5, Middlesex sensed an opportunity to once again turn the screw. Craig Overton (2) edged Harris to wicket keeper John Simpson at 315 for 6, but Trego (115 not out) and Alex Barrow saw the host county through to the close.
DAY THREE TEA: Somerset 214-4
Marcus Trescothick prevented Somerset from collapsing between lunch and tea on day three of the Specsavers County Championship game against Middlesex at Taunton. Having lost three partners prior to the lunch interval, Trescothick saw fourth wicket partner Jim Allenby depart, for 38, at 126 for 4 in the 34th over. Thereafter, the veteran left hander led the way as Somerset recovered to 214 for 4 at tea, 69 runs ahead with six wickets in hand. Trescothick, who needs one more century to become the county's second highest centurion, passed 50 off 115 balls with nine fours. He and Peter Trego added an unbeaten 88 for the fifth wicket.
DAY THREE LUNCH: Somerset 69-3
Middlesex find themselves in a strong position at lunch on day three of their Specsavers County Championship game against Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
Having progressed their overnight total to 381 all out, they took three early Somerset wickets prior to lunch.
Having played the leading role in an unbeaten century stand for the ninth wicket on Monday, James Fuller, who struck sevens fours and two sixes in his 93, was the ninth Middlesex wicket to fall, after a delayed start, at 374 for 9.
James Harris followed, for 78, 15 balls later, with Tim Groenewald taking both wickets.
Trailing by 145 runs on first innings, Somerset found themselves 69 for 3 at lunch with Johann Myburgh and Chris Rogers departing, at 16 for 1 and 18 for 2 respectively, off the bowling of Harry Podmore.
Marcus Trescothick and James Hildreth added 41 for the third wicket before the latter was third out, at 59 for 3 in the 17th over.
At lunch, Somerset were still 76 runs behind.