Overton restricts Northants
Craig Overton claimed three wickets as Northamptonshire battled to 135 for four to trail Somerset by 179 runs at the end of a rain-curtailed second day of the LV= County Championship Division One match at Taunton.
Resuming on 39 without loss in reply to 314 after a delayed start at 11.30am, the visitors progressed to 112 for one in the 19 overs possible before the weather intervened, Overton removing James Kettleborough for 49.
Skipper Stephen Peters was unbeaten on 46 when lunch was taken early at 12.45pm. The rain became persistent during the afternoon and was followed by poor light, forcing umpires Alex Wharf and Stephen Gale to delay a restart until 5.55pm.
The 10 remaining overs saw Overton bowl Peters without adding to his score and then remove Kyle Coetzer for 10, while Alfonso Thomas removed Neil Wagner as Somerset fought their way back into the game.
Overton had been the one bowler to regularly threaten in the morning session on a still green pitch under heavily overcast skies.
The tall seamer went past the bat on numerous occasions in claiming one for 20 from his first five overs, sent down from the Old Pavilion End.
Opening bowlers Thomas and Lewis Gregory had failed to put enough deliveries on the right line and length, while Peter Trego erred similarly when replacing Gregory at the River End.
That enabled Peters and Kettleborough to bring up their century stand in the 28th over of the innings, by which time Marcus Trescothick had turned to the left-arm spin of Jack Leach.
Kettleborough hit seven fours in his 87-ball knock before edging Overton to Trescothick at second slip, while Peters had equalled that figure in facing 85 deliveries when the players were forced off.
The Northants skipper must have regretted the late resumption. The third ball after the restart saw his off stump uprooted by Overton to the delight of the sprinkling crowd.
Now Overton was gaining reward for his accuracy. Coetzer fended at a good-length ball and edged through to wicketkeeper Alex Barrow to make it 121 for three and give the 20-year-old three for 27 from eight overs.
Thomas got in on the act with a quick delivery that forced night-watchman Wagner onto the back-foot as he nicked another catch to Barrow. Overton then beat Adam Rossington twice in the penultimate over and could easily have added to his wicket tally.
It was an impressive effort by the England Lions player, whose extra height may have been a factor in extracting more life and movement than his colleagues.