Three for Brooksie on day one
Jack Brooks finished the day with three wickets, including one in his first over of the match, but Liam Dawson overtook his best LV=Insurance County Championship runs tally since 2015 with an unbeaten 109 as Hampshire fought back on the opening day of this match at the Ageas Bowl.
Lewis Gregory also claimed two wickets as the Somerset attack refused to allow their hosts to score at above three runs per over. They closed on 282 for seven.
Hampshire chose to bat, but before play started the two teams stood for a minute of silence in memory of Heath Streak, who died aged 49 earlier on Sunday.
Fletcha Middleton fell to his third delivery, as Brooks found some away movement and the outside edge to second slip.
On his first Championship outing for Hampshire, Toby Albert made 26 during a 50-run stand with Nick Gubbins before tamely chipping Ben Green to Sean Dickson at point.
James Vince’s 34 in 49 was a rare attacking spell in the day, alongside out-the-blue sixes from Albert and Gubbins. Vince overtook the plodding Gubbins in 17 overs before lunch but was given out caught behind off an inside edge off Gregory before Tom Prest was leg before to Brooks for a six-ball duck.
Gubbins, who has a strike-rate of under 40 in Division One this season, was particularly turgid between lunch and his dismissal. In those 100ish minutes, he scored 20 runs before falling a run shy of his seventh half-century before Shoaib Bashir’s quicker ball crashed into the stumps. He was replaced by Ben Brown who slowed things even more, with four off 42 deliveries in 54 minutes before Gregory had him caught behind.
Dawson reached 50 from 111 balls. The only question mark on his innings was a caught and bowled appeal off Brooks. Brooks claimed the catch, Dawson insisted it was a bump ball, and the umpires sided with the batter. Replays were inconclusive.
James Fuller accompanied him in a 54-run stand before Brooks struck him on the pads with the new ball, but Dawson marched towards the 13th three-figure score of his career and past 9,000 First Class runs.
Dawson and Keith Barker accelerated towards close, putting on 56 together, to cash out the dividends earned from the earlier graft in the day. Typically though, the final over of the day was a maiden, the 24th no run over of the day.
At the close of play, Brooks said: “Seeing as we lost the toss we knew it was going to be hard work when there is no pace in the pitch, plus there weren’t many that misbehaved. We stuck at it really well for the first two and a half sessions before we naturally got a bit tired and bowled a few more loose deliveries.
“Those are my best figures of the season but I’m not sure if that’s a reflection of how my season has gone. I think I’ve bowled okay for most the season but I know I’m down the pecking order and do a job when called upon.
“I probably don’t have as much zip as I used to have but I know I can still put the ball in the right areas and get wickets.
“The umpires had a bit of doubt about the caught and bowled and if there is doubt they aren’t going to give it. He’s played well since then so it was a big moment.”