Notts boost title hopes
Nottinghamshire enhanced their title credentials by collecting their fourth LV= County Championship win of the season, defeating Somerset by seven wickets at Trent Bridge.
The home side had begun the final day requiring only a further 44 runs and needed only a further 40 minutes to race to 111 for three to complete their victory.
Phil Jaques, who had made 113 in the first innings, ended on 42 not out, with Ajmal Shahzad closing on an unbeaten 23.
Craig Overton had delayed the inevitable on the third evening by making early inroads into the Nottinghamshire top order but he could not inflict any further damage and finished with figures of three for 48.
Beginning the final day on 66 for three Jaques and Shahzad, who had been sent in the previous evening as nightwatchman, had a complete misunderstanding from the final ball of the opening over.
Shahzad pushed Craig Meschede into the off side, set off for a run that was never on and stood helplessly in the middle of the strip as George Dockrell's shy from 12 yards narrowly missed the unprotected stumps.
There were no further alarms as an air of air of inevitability swept over proceedings.
Shahzad played positively, pulling Craig Overton for an impressive four that clipped the edge of the covered Test-match wicket and completely wrong-footed the unlucky Alviro Petersen on its way to the midwicket fence.
Jaques, who had made scores of 65 and 150 not out when the sides met at Taunton last month took his total to 370 in four innings against Somerset this season by finishing on an unbeaten 42 from 65 deliveries, with six fours.
Nottinghamshire collected a full haul of 24 points from the contest, taking them level on points with Yorkshire at the top of the table, although they remain second on number of matches lost this season.
Somerset's first defeat of the campaign brought them only three bonus points and leaves them 26 points behind the leaders but with a game in hand.
Notts' win was their fourth in just over a week, having finished off their Championship success against Middlesex last Tuesday and added NatWest T20 Blast wins against Leicestershire and Derbyshire.
Director of cricket Mick Newell said: "We've been very, very good recently.
"We knew June was going to be a challenge for us in four-day cricket, playing against the best sides, but we've risen to that challenge and also put together some good wins in the T20 Blast competition, so all in all it's been perhaps the best 10 days of my career in terms of running this team."
Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick admitted the damage was done early in the game.
"It's always tough to rebound against a good team after being shot out for 150 or so in the first innings," he said. You can't win a game on the first day but you can certainly lose it.
"Winning the toss and batting was clearly a big mistake but it's our first loss and we've got to take it on the chin and move on."
There was some encouragement in a second-innings 402, built around Peter Trego's unbeaten 107 and featuring half-centuries for Trescothick's opening partner Chris Jones, Craig Kieswetter and last man Jamie Overton.
"We take something from the way we batted in our second innings," Trescothick said. "Chris Jones played well, it was a gritty knock against a good side with some good bowlers.
"It's always a challenge to have Peter Siddle and Harry Gurney running in at you. They are a very good side but I thought Chris did well, Jamie Overton played nicely and Peter Trego capped it off with his hundred."