Somerset boosted their bid to win the County Championship for the first time in their history when they beat Kent by eight wickets at Taunton on Monday afternoon, writes Richard Walsh.

This result keeps the Cidermen well in contention in the blue riband event and after the first six rounds of the four day red ball competition, they occupy second place in the table behind Surrey after taking a maximum 24 points from the match.

Somerset were put into bat and after losing Dickson without a run on the board, Matt Renshaw and Tom Lammonby added 75 together before the Aussie opener was out for 40.

Lammonby continued with his good run of form and had helped the score on to 172 when he was out for 69.

Tom Banton and James Rew then joined forces and dominated proceedings for the next 42 overs before Banton went for 133, his career best after adding 205 together for the fifth wicket. Rew remained to see up the 400 before he was out for 114, his best of the season to date.

Lewis Gregory weighed in with 77 before the hosts were all out for 554 off 120.1 overs.

When Kent replied, the home bowlers made the most of the conditions to bowl them out for 178, Craig Overton taking three for 38 from 11 overs and Migael Pretorius three for 52 off 15, while the returning Jack Leach claimed two for 22 from seven overs.

Following on 376 in arrears, Kent openers Zak Crawley and Ben Compton added 141 for the first wicket before occasional off spinner Matt Renshaw accounted for the latter.

Crawley was joined by Daniel Bell-Drummond and the pair put on 184 together before the latter was leg before wicket to Leach for 62. Two further wickets fell before the end of the third day, including Crawley who batted for over six hours for his 238, which came off 267 balls and featured 31 fours and four sixes.

Resuming on 409 for five on the final morning, the remaining Kent batters continued until just before tea time before they were all out for 564, Denly being the last wicket to fall after scoring 67 from a three and a half hour stay at the crease.

Pretorius was the pick of the Somerset bowlers, ending with three for 110 from 25 overs.

Chasing a total of 189 for victory at four runs an over, the hosts lost Dickson for six and Lammonby for 30 before going into tea on 60 for two.

Andy Umeed joined Renshaw and together the pair brought up the 100 in the 27th over. The two remained together and batted sensibly as they eased their way closer to the winning target.

With 30 needed for victory, Umeed went to his 50 off 82 balls with five fours and at the same time brought up the century partnership between the two of them.

Eventually it was Umeed who ended things in style with a big six over long on to see Somerset to 194 for two with 10 overs to spare, Renshaw ending unbeaten on 82 while Umeed remained not out for 73, his Championship best for Somerset.

Somerset head coach Jason Kerr said: “I have told the players they will never have to work harder for 24 points. The two first innings centuries that put in such a good position seem an age ago.

“Taking 20 wickets on that pitch was always going to be tough and we knew that after bowling out Kent cheaply, their second innings would be much more of a challenge for us.

“Migael Pretorius has bowled well since joining us without getting his due rewards, so I am particularly pleased for him that he picked up wickets.

“But it was a great team effort over the four days. The spirit in the dressing room is fantastic and we can now go up to Durham looking to build on a really encouraging start.

“As always, we will have a full debrief before thinking about a team for that match. I don’t think we have fielded the same side in successive games all season.”