Buttler responds after Panesar's five
Sussex 245 and 94 for 4 vSomerset 286
Jos Buttler struck a superb 109-ball century to rescue Somerset on the second day of their County Championship match against Sussex at Taunton. Buttler smashed four sixes and 11 fours to transform the match after title-chasing Somerset had slumped to 93 for 7 in reply to Sussex's 245, Monty Panesar claiming five wickets in the morning session for the visitors.
Buttler made exactly 100 and shared an eighth-wicket stand of 142 with Alfonso Thomas, who battled away for nearly three hours to make 42. Murali Kartik also added 34 at number 10 before Somerset were bowled out for 286 to earn a first innings advantage of 41.
By the close Sussex had made 94 for 4 in their second innings to lead by just 53, losing the cream of their batting in Chris Nash, Luke Wells, Ed Joyce and Murray Goodwin. For them it was a day of missed opportunity.
Somerset began it on 36 for 1 and progressed to 51 before night-watchman Steve Kirby was caught at second slip off a turning delivery from Panesar. Opener Arul Suppiah quickly followed, also caught in the slips off Wayne Parnell for 14, and Panesar sent back Chris Jones and James Hildreth for ducks as Somerset slid to 54 for 5.
That brought Buttler to the crease. He and Nick Compton added 39 before Compton top-edged an attempted sweep off Panesar and fell for 16 to a simple catch by Goodwin at mid-wicket. Peter Trego went first ball to a bat and pad catch at short leg and Panesar had figures of 5 for 26 from 11 overs. Sussex appeared to be exerting a vice-like grip and even when Somerset got to lunch on 124 for 7 they were in deep trouble.
Buttler had already deposited a delivery from Panesar into the River Tone and lifted him over mid-wicket for another maximum, and in the afternoon session he grew further in confidence.
While Buttler attacked, Thomas dug in to give the youngster valuable support and they helped take the score up to 235 before Buttler played on to a ball from James Anyon, the centurion departing to a standing ovation and sporting pats on the back from several Sussex players.
Thomas had faced 154 balls and struck six boundaries and a six when he was caught by Nash at short-leg off bat and pad to give Ollie Rayner his second wicket. By then Somerset had secured a second batting point, something which seemed inconceivable before lunch.
The home side's bowlers then maintained the momentum, Kartik striking twice and Kirby and Thomas once each as Sussex went from 69 for 1 to 87 for 4.