Somerset stumble under weight of Yorkshire's runs

Harry Brook's piled up more runs for Yorkshire Getty Images

Somerset 76 for 4 trail Yorkshire 520 (Ballance 111, Kohler-Cadmore 102, Brook 101, Maharaj 72, Bess 4-130) by 444 runs

If this proves to be the day that Somerset's Championship challenge first showed signs of weakening at least they can console themselves that not everybody will have noticed. But the diehards will know, those with their mind set more on Headingley than England's presence in a World Cup final, and what they witnessed was a contender for Somerset's worst day of the season.

Somerset have a 15-point buffer over Essex, in second place, but that would be wiped out if they lose against Yorkshire at Headingley while Essex overcome Warwickshire at Chelmsford. They are in quite a pickle - 76 for 4 was no sort of response at all to Yorkshire's 520, a total that owed much to Gary Ballance's settling hundred on the opening day, a mood extended on the second day because of hundreds for Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Harry Brook, only the second of his Championship career, and a maverick and highly-effective 72 from 81 balls from Keshav Maharaj.

Yorkshire had not made 500 in a Championship innings at Headingley for three years when Adam Lyth, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Plunkett hit hundreds against Hampshire. Two of that trio were playing in a World Cup final; Lyth spent the latter part of the day at slip wondering what the score was.

Somerset started their reply immediately after tea and were soon under significantly more pressure at 49 for 4 in the 19th over with all four batsmen failing to reach double figures.

Matt Fisher swung the ball to have Somerset's captain Tom Abell caught at third slip by Brook before Duanne Olivier, denied the new ball for the third innings in succession, rid Yorkshire of Azhar Ali at second slip and then had George Bartlett caught at mid-on, pulling. Sandwiched in between Olivier's wickets, fellow South African Maharaj struck with only his fourth ball when he had Tom Banton caught behind.

Brook is playing only his second game back in Yorkshire's team having been dropped for four games following a poor start to the summer at the top of their order in the Championship. He indicated that he preferred to bat in the middle order, but found himself in the 2nd XI as Yorkshire drafted in Will Fraine rather than promote Kohler-Cadmore to the top of the order, a decision that has been vindicated by Fraine's promising start to his career.

Here, on a good batting pitch, he came in at No. 6 behind the nightwatchman Josh Shaw and reached his century off 127 balls with 11 fours shortly before being last man out on the cusp of tea as he holed out to long-off against Abell's medium pacers.

He played the subordinate role in an eighth-wicket stand of 105 in 20 overs with Maharaj. Then with only the last man, Olivier, for company, he spent nearly 10 overs shunning singles before he finally worked Abell through point for his hundred.

Somerset 3rd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st89Azhar AliTB Abell
2nd5JC HildrethTB Abell
3rd7TB AbellT Banton
4th47GA BartlettT Banton
5th19TD GroenewaldT Banton
6th21SM DaviesT Banton
7th4SM DaviesDM Bess
8th19SM DaviesC Overton
9th28C OvertonJ Overton
10th12JA BrooksC Overton