reversal 209 for 8 (Imam-ul-Haq 90, t. Price 4-49) Trail Gloucestershire 343 (Harris 159, Charlesworth 56, O Price 52, Gregory 4-62) by 134 runs
After bowling out their opponents for 343 runs, at 320 for 6, the home side fell to 87 for 4 and looked in danger of failing to reach the follow-on mark of 194 against their arch-rivals .
But Imam, Pakistan’s Test opener, signed for the last four championship games as Somerset tried to avoid relegation from Division One, facing 162 balls and hitting nine fours to help save his team from that embarrassment. Of.
Thanks largely to the 26-year-old’s left-handed model technique, the home side reached 209 for 8 at the close of the rain-hit day, but still trailed 134.
The start of play was delayed until 11.15 a.m. after heavy rain overnight at the Cooper Associates County Ground. Momentum was with Somerset from the final session on day one and their bowlers wasted no time on it.
With only eight runs to be added, Tom Price was caught behind driving a wide delivery from Lewis Gregory, who caught David Payne at mid-on the next ball.
Jack Taylor added just five in his Overnight 15 when Josh Davey misjudged a drive and offered a return catch before Gregory ended the innings by pinning Ajit Dale leg.
Gregory took 4 wickets for 62 runs and Davy took 3 wickets for 80 runs. Gloucestershire’s last nine wickets fell for 92, but the fragile batting line-up of their opponents was soon exposed.
Tom Lamonby was dropped at second slip by Marcus Harris in the opening over, but then dismissed wicketkeeper James Bracey on the next ball, another Payne outswinger.
It was 17 for 2 when captain Tom Abell hit a back-foot shot to Ollie Price at second slip off Dale. George Bartlett helped Imam stabilize the ship, contributing 33 to a stand of 57 on either side of the lunch, before losing his off-stump, taking the weapon into Price’s hands.
With another 13 added, Lewis Goldsworthy eyed a leg-side delivery from Price to Bracey and Somerset were in a deep hole.
But by then the Imam had recovered. Like Gloucestershire’s Centurion Harris the previous day, he displayed his Test quality by combining solid defense with an unmistakable ability to punish anything.
Imam went on to a flawless half-century off 108 balls and found an equally solid partner in left-hander Reeve as the pair posted 135 for 4 by tea.
The 18-year-old wicketkeeper displayed an excellent flair in his opening Somerset performance and again appeared completely calm in pressure situations.
Rain looming around the Cooper Associates County Ground began at 4 p.m., with 11 runs added in the final session and the stand between Imam and Rav was 59.
Play resumed 40 minutes later and Price dealt a major blow to Gloucestershire when Imam pushed on the defensive to give Bracey his third catch.
Three balls later, Gregory fell for a catch at second slip and gave Tom Price his fourth wicket. Brother Ollie, who took the catch, then raves Payne out.
Casey Aldridge pulled a ball from Josh Shaw to his stump and scored 163 for seven, with Somerset 31 runs short to avoid the prospect of being asked to bat again.
Davey becomes another Bracey victim, removing Dale from the drive. But, with the floodlights on, Rave remained unfazed and looked for a boundary to third-man for 28, which meant the follow-on was averted.
Sajid Khan escaped giving Harris a chance at third slip as Tom Price was denied a fifth hunt and Somerset scored a precious batting point.