Lewis Gregory celebrated his call up for the England one-day squad with his first six wicket haul at Taunton before Marcus Trescothick and James Hildreth scored half centuries to put Somerset into a winning position by the end of day three where Middlesex still required 371 for victory with all second innings wickets intact.
The visitors started the day on 306 for seven, but it wasn’t long before Gregory wrapped things up with two wickets in one over to end with six for 101.
Hildreth then hit 86 and Trescothick made 76 to see Somerset to 310 all out setting Middlesex a target of 402 for victory.
Afterwards Jamie Overton who claimed three for 45 in the Middlesex first innings said:
“It felt really easy bowling and everything just clicked into place for me. The pace was there and the ball swung for me at the end which was even better.
“Last summer I wasn’t playing to the best of my ability so I have had a hard winter in the gym and have worked up at Loughborough and I am back to where I was a couple of years ago so I am happy with where I am.
“Marcus and Hildy both batted well for us and we worked hard to get the total we have and 400 in the last innings is a tough challenge. Hopefully we can get a few wickets early in the morning and put them under pressure.
“It’s not going to be easy but we feel we have got enough runs on the board and can bowl them out in time.”
Talking about team mate Gregory’s selection Overton said:
“He has been bowling fantastically well, especially here at Taunton where it can be hard work at times but he has put the ball in the right areas and picked up the wickets. An England call up is a massive thing and I am very pleased for him.”
Finally regarding the injury that saw him limp off the field after bowling seven deliveries in the second innings Overton said: “ It’s a heel problem which we will look to assess in the morning and we will go from there.”
At the start of the day Gregory had James Franklin LBW for 46 with the second delivery of the 87th over before four balls later he accounted for Finn in the same way.
With Tim Murtagh absent injured the Middlesex innings closed on 317 for nine.
With a lead of 91 runs Trescothick and Tom Abell opened the innings and had taken the total onto 26 when Abell was bowled by James Harris for 13 in the 10th over.
New batsman Tom Cooper attacked from the start and in the 14th over off drove Harris to the boundary to bring up the Somerset 50 and by lunch Trescothick was on 31 and Cooper 29 and the total 77 for one.
Both batsmen continued to flourish after the break but with the score on 108, Cooper was bowled by Ollie Rayner trying to reverse sweep for 42.
Next over Trescothick took a single off Neil Dexter to bring up his 50 which came off 83 balls with seven fours and two 6s. The Somerset captain took his side onto 159 but on 76 he was bowled by Rayner.
Jim Allenby joined James Hildreth and the pair both looked well set, but on 28 Allenby was LBW to Harris.
The Middlesex bowler struck again not long after when he had Barrow caught by Rayner at second slip for 4, with the total on 206.
Hildreth was in free flowing mood and went to his 50 with a straight drive into the Ian Botham Stand boundary boards off Finn in the 67th over, his runs coming from 109 balls and including five 4s.
Trego and Hildreth saw Somerset onto 254 when the all rounder who had moved onto 25 was bowled by Finn.
Gregory had scored 12 when he was caught at long on from the bowling of Rayner which made Somerset 289 for seven.
New batsman Groenwald was run out for five by Nick Gubbins going for second run before Hildreth saw up the 300 with a sweetly timed four to mid wicket off Rayner.
First ball of the next over however Hildreth was caught at deep mid wicket by Adam Voges off Finn for 86.
Finn took the new ball which Overton duly dispatched over the mid wicket boundary and into the Somerset Stand before he was bowled next delivery and the hosts were all out 310 in 80.2 overs.
Requiring 402 runs to win Middlesex batted out the remaining seven overs of the day to reach 31 without loss.
Somerset will be hoping that Overton will be fit enough to bowl on a fascinating final day when left arm spinner Rehman is expected to play his part.