Eddie Byrom posted a fine century as Somerset took control of the Bob Willis Trophy final on the second day at Lord’s.

Byrom has only scored two first-class centuries before – one in his native Zimbabwe and the other against Cardiff University – and touched new heights as he moved to three figures in the first over after lunch.

The season decider resumed on Thursday with Somerset 119 for four, with the match firmly in the balance, but Essex laboured in conceding 114 for the addition of just one wicket in the morning session.

Byrom scored 46 of those to take lunch on 97, getting over the line from the fifth ball of the afternoon with a punch on-driven four. Craig Overton added a sparking half-century of his own as the momentum shifted emphatically to leave Somerset 239 for five.

Wicketkeeper Steve Davies was the man to fall, nicking Sam Cook behind for 27 as the seamer claimed his third scalp of the match.

At 139 for five Essex would have been eyeing a swift conclusion to the innings, but Byrom’s resolve did not waver and Overton proved a willing accomplice.

While Jamie Porter and Cook kept things reliably tight, the supporting cast was found lacking with Aaron Beard wayward and spinner Simon Harmer unable to exert his usual control.

Beard’s 11 overs cost 68, while Harmer – the tournament’s leading wicket-taker – drifted towards the legs and allowed Somerset to build towards a strong total.

Overton reached his 50 before the break but Byrom was three short of a memorable ton after playing out Harmer just before lunch. He got there with his 10th boundary, timing Cook well past mid-on, toasted noisily by the Somerset balcony as he twirled his bat in celebration.