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Somerset struggle as title hopes fade

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(Reuters) – Somerset’s hopes of winning their first English County Championship title were looking grim as they ended day one of their winner-takes-all decider against Essex on 75 for four.

A rain-hit day was ended early with leaders Essex on top in Taunton where the hosts must win to take the title.

Somerset batted first on a pitch taking spin and aiding the seamers, presumably hoping to capitalise when Essex batted last.

But the move backfired as seamer Sam Cook removed openers Murali Vijay caught behind and Steve Davies lbw inside four overs. After a recovery, James Hildreth (32) was lbw to spinner Simon Harmer and Tom Banton fell in the same over.

Rain intervened soon afterwards and more showers are expected on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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