Essex 159 & 284-7 lead Somerset 164 by 279 runs
An enterprising 67 from 89 balls this morning from Ryan ten Doeschate helped Essex race towards a declaration total against Somerset at Chelmsford.
When the captain was out to the last ball before lunch, pushing forward to Jack Leach to give Marcus Trescothick the catch at slip, Essex were 279 ahead with two sessions of the match remaining.
With Adam Wheater, ten Doeschate put on 77 for the fifth wicket in 20 overs, followed by 50 from nine with James Foster, as Essex compiled the highest total of a low-scoring match between teams at opposite ends of the Division One table.
Wheater, who also shared a match-changing stand of 118 with Nick Browne yesterday, finally went for a season’s best Championship score of 88, garnered from 188 balls.
Ten Doeschate set about the Somerset attack from the start with a flurry of boundaries. He did survive an early caught-and-bowled chance that gave Tim Groenewald a painful rap on the knuckle. The good fortune was celebrated with a flick off Jack Leach for four followed by a firm straight-drive off Groenewald for another.
Wheater played second fiddle in a stand that went past fifty in 13 overs. However, after a sharp pull through midwicket off Paul van Meekeren for the 11th boundary in an attractive innings, he chased an outswinger from Craig Overton and was caught behind.
A wristy late cut off van Meekeren gave ten Doeschate his fourth four, and a scampered two into the covers next ball carried him to a 76-ball fifty.
Successive fours off Groenewald by ten Doeschate, one past gully and another through the covers, took the rapid sixth-wicket stand with Foster to fifty. The wicketkeeper landed some lusty blows before he went lbw to Groenewald for 22 from 34 balls. Ten Doeschate departed with no addition to the score.