Somerset's hopes recede as rain forces draw
Somerset 400 for 6 dec drew with Durham 37 for 0
Somerset's hopes of a first ever County Championship title subsided as their rain-ruined game with Durham at Taunton petered out into a draw.
The captains could not agree on a target for a contrived finish so the home side continued their first innings on 287 for 4 and did not declare until maximum batting bonus points had been achieved at 400 for 6.
Craig Kieswetter hit 75 and Zander de Bruyn 54 after a 2pm start following two days when not a ball was bowled. Durham were left with a possible 35 overs to bat in their first innings, but declared on 37 without loss after 15 to end the match.
Somerset took eight points and Durham five, which left Nottinghamshire stronger favourites than ever to win the First Division. Somerset and Yorkshire look set to contest the runners-up spot. At least Kieswetter was able to use the afternoon to play himself back into some batting form. The England one-day wicketkeeper's 101-ball innings was his highest score of the season and featured nine fours and two sixes.
The fifth-wicket partnership was worth 109 when Liam Plunkett tempted de Bruyn to pull in the air to Scott Borthwick at mid-wicket. The South African had faced 102 deliveries and hit eight fours. Kieswetter followed with the score on 381, looking crestfallen to be given out lbw to leg-spinner Borthwick's first ball of the day.
Peter Trego's first scoring shot was an upper-cut six over third-man off Plunkett and he brought up the 400 with a straight driven four off Borthwick. Trescothick immediately declared and tea was taken. The only remaining question was whether either side could gain any more bonus points.
Durham were more interested in an early departure, but Michael Di Venuto had the satisfaction of reaching 1,000 first class runs for the season before the players shook hands at 4.50pm. By then the weather was the best it had been in the entire match. But the loss of days two and three to torrential rain spoiled what might have been an absorbing contest.