Somerset 403 (Bartlett 133, Abell 101, Broad 5-73) lead Nottinghamshire 263 (Nash 58, Wood 52; Gregory 6-68) and 25 for 2 by 115 runs
Early promise does not always translate into sustained excellence but in the case of George Bartlett, who made his second century in only his 13th first-class match for Somerset here to illuminate an overcast second day, you suspect it will.
The young batsman turned 21 only last month but plays with the maturity of a much older player, with an ability to appear calm and unruffled under pressure and a sound judgment of when and when not to attack. His 133 was an innings of high quality, with rarely a mistake you could recall until the very obvious one that brought it to an end.
He and Tom Abell shared a partnership of 223 that gave Somerset control of the game and a first-innings lead of 140 as they seek a seventh consecutive win over Nottinghamshire, who closed in some peril on 25 for 2 after Jack Brooks removed both Ben Duckett and Chris Nash in his opening three overs.
Bartlett's score bettered the 110 he made against Lancashire at Old Trafford last year as his personal best. That one came against an attack led by Jimmy Anderson, this against one spearheaded by Stuart Broad, which is not a bad addendum to the stats. As a distinguished former Under-19 international, he is on the England pathway, as they now like to call it. A Lions call-up may not be far away.
This innings followed the half-century he made against Kent last week, which was so important in helping the West Country side open with a win.
He was not in the original 13 selected then, but Somerset had an 11th-hour change of heart and decided to leave out spinner Jack Leach in favour of an extra batsmen. Leach is back in the side here but after Bartlett calmly anchored two vital lower-order stands to give his side a defendable second-innings lead, he could hardly be dropped. Eddie Byrom was the one to miss out.
Bartlett took his opportunity superbly. Somerset, remember, were 36 for 3 when he made his way to the middle last night, Broad having blown away both openers and looking hungry to make an impact, as he invariably does when wearing a Nottinghamshire shirt.
There seemed to be something in the pitch when the bowler put the ball in the right place, as Lewis Gregory had demonstrated so impressively earlier. For Bartlett and Abell to have steered a safe route to the close felt like it warranted some applause. The first session of day two, they anticipated, might be crucial.
In the event, it belonged to them. By lunch they had added exactly 100 runs to the overnight score, with no losses, confidence growing that there were no more surprises in the pitch. Samit Patel, absent in the morning for the perfectly reasonable excuse that his partner had given birth to their second child in the early hours, came into the attack immediately after lunch to provide the variation of spin for the first time in the match, but without producing the results he might have hoped for.
Indeed, Bartlett went down the pitch to him disdainfully to add to his boundary count and his partnership with Abell soon passed 200. His century came up with a strong drive to the short offside boundary off Luke Wood, the left-armer, bringing him a 15th four, prompting a hug from his captain and an ovation from the Somerset balcony. The pair were embracing again soon afterwards as Abell completed his own hundred.
They were parted finally in the 75th over, Abell edging Wood to be caught behind for 101. Bartlett continued, knocked off his feet by Broad with the new ball but picking himself up and seeing it through to tea.
He was not able to add a lot more, dismissed in the end by an error of judgment, made out of weariness, perhaps, bowled by Luke Fletcher shouldering arms for 133.
There were still Somerset runs to come, 50 of them from Lewis Gregory to go with his six first-innings wickets, ensuring maximum batting points. But then Broad hit back for the home side, enthusiasm undimmed even after the toils he had endured earlier.
Bowling with pace at the tail, he dismissed the last three batsmen in the space of seven deliveries to give his side the full complement of bowling points and complete his first five-wicket haul for his county since his 7 for 84 against Yorkshire in Leeds in June 2015.