Warwickshire CCC concluded their pre-season preparations with a three-day friendly at Taunton.
With the LV= Insurance County Championship getting underway on Thursday, First Team Coach Mark Robinson will be excited by his side’s look ahead of the Bears opener against Surrey at Edgbaston.
Dom Sibley (49 and 58*) and Sam Hain (66*) both looked in mid-summer form, whilst Michael Burgess was at his destructive best striking 86* from 16 boundaries (49 balls, nine fours, seven sixes).
With the ball, Dan Mousley and Jake Lintott both took two wickets with Olly Hannon-Dalby and Ryan Sidebottom taking one.
Unlike the Worcestershire friendly at Edgbaston, this fixture wasn’t played in a traditional four-day Championship format. After reaching 232 for eight after 75 overs, the Bears declared with the hosts adding 241 for 4 dec from 77 overs.
In the second innings, Warwickshire made 277/8 dec with Somerset adding 97 for four.
Preview: Somerset v Warwickshire, Friendly
Warwickshire head into their final pre-season warm up game, against Somerset at Taunton, with places in the team for next week’s championship opener still very much there to be claimed.
The three-dayer in the westcountry from Friday April 1-Sunday April 3 will conclude what has so far been a sun-blessed and very satisfactory pre-season for the Bears.
The match practice, free from interference from the weather, has enabled players to find some fluency and form ahead of the title defence launch, at home to Surrey, next Thursday.
Players have seized the chance to state their case for inclusion in the XI against Surrey. Now, against one of the teams likely to be challenging hard for the Bears’ crown this year, those players have one last opportunity to shine, says captain Will Rhodes.
“The Somerset game is one more chance for players to stake their claim. We have played three games against good opposition and got in some excellent preparation and now a game against Somerset, one of the best teams in the country, at their place, is the perfect way to round off pre-season.
“There are one or two names inked in to the team sheet next week. Dom Sibley will be pretty much first name down. He has had a really good winter’s work and adapted it brilliantly from the Indoor Centre to out on the grass.
“Danny Briggs is bowling better and better each time he plays. Michael Burgess has done really well. Several times in the last couple of weeks he has come in to face the new ball and played like he was facing the second new ball.
“But there are places in the team still up for grabs and it’s great that we have so many guys competing for them. When we pick the team to play Surrey there will be people who are disappointed but that is the way of it it is when you are champions and have a strong squad with players like Alex Davies coming in and like Dom coming back in.
“For the guys left out next week I’ll just remind them that it is a six-month season and their chance will come, so just be ready to take it. Everyone has a role to play in the months ahead.”
Among the bowlers in the squad for the Somerset game is young paceman Che Simmons who has enjoyed a strong pre-season.
“Che has impressed us all, both with his bowling and the way he has been around the group,” said Rhodes. “It is always exciting to see a young fast bowler coming through and showing what he can do. Che reminds me of Henry Brookes when he burst on to the scene aged 18 a few years ago.”
Will Rhodes (C) Chris Benjamin Danny Briggs Michael Burgess (WK) Alex Davies Olly Hannon-Dalby Dom Sibley Sam Hain Matt Lamb Dan Mousley Liam Norwell Ryan Sidebottom Che Simmonds
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