Report: Warwickshire v Somerset, County Championship
Warwickshire and Somerset’s LV=Insurance County Championship relegation battle at Edgbaston ended in a hard-fought draw after neither side could find the firepower to force victory on a placid pitch.
After Somerset’s declaration at 340 for seven set a target of 364 in 82 overs, both sides scented victory at times as the pendulum swung in a tense last session before the home side closed on 256 for six.
The visitors’ decision to bat on 40 minutes into the final day enabled George Bartlett to reach his sixth first class century (111, 228 balls). Finding ten wickets on a flattening pitch was beyond their bowlers, however, as Sam Hain continued his excellent season with an unbeaten 52 (101 balls), supported by Alex Davies (58, 95) and Dom Sibley 54 (110).
The result only tightens up the relegation equation in Division One, setting up a three-way slugout between Somerset, Kent and Warwickshire over the last two games to avoid accompanying Gloucestershire down to Division Two.
Somerset resumed on the final morning on 277 for four, already 300 ahead, and added 63 in 12 overs before the declaration. Lewis Goldsworthy (44, 104 balls) was bowled by Henry Brookes in the first over but James Rew made a breezy 22 and Bartlett reached a patient 233-ball ton with a cut boundary off Jayant Yadav before missing a down-the-track attempt to carve Danny Briggs over the covers.
Warwickshire’s second innings started crisply against the seamers with 30 coming from six overs but was damaged as soon as Somerset turned to spin. Rob Yates played back to Sajid Khan’s sixth ball and fell lbw.
It was an isolated threat from Khan, however, as any turn was very slow and Sibley and Davies were little troubled in a stand of 95 in 29 overs until both perished to loose, lofted shots in successive overs from Kasey Aldridge. Sibley failed to control a pull and was caught on the mid-wicket boundary and Davies chipped to mid on.
Hain and Rhodes (44, 61 balls) kept the board ticking over with a stand of 88 in 20 overs to stir hopes of a Bears victory charge, but those hopes folded when Jack Brooks bowled Rhodes and trapped Michael Burgess lbw with successive balls,
It was Somerset sensing a late charge when Yadav was spectacularly run out by Khan’s direct hit from deep mid-wicket, but Hain and Danny Briggs (17 not out, 46 balls) stood firm through the last 12 overs.
Somerset plodded their way into total control against Warwickshire on the third day of their LV= Insurance County Championship Division One relegation battle at Edgbaston.
The visitors closed the third day on 277 for four – 300 ahead – to virtually insure themselves against defeat heading into the last day of this crucial game.
On a pitch which remained slow but lost its menace, Somerset, led by captain Tom Abell’s obdurate 87 from 173 balls, batted through the day for 264 runs in 101 overs. Supported by Tom Lammonby (40 in 170 minutes) and George Bartlett (91 not out, 209 balls), the skipper lifted his team into a position whereby they have it in their power to simply bat Warwickshire out of the game.
It was another tough day for the home side who took just two wickets in three sessions. They must now lift themselves to bat well enough on the final day to avoid a defeat which would severely damage their prospects of survival.
After resuming on 13 for two, Somerset settled straight into the slow lane, Lammonby and Abell adding 55 runs in 36 overs in the morning session. At one stage, one run arrived in seven overs while Lammonby went 11 overs without scoring.
It was gritty stuff, not easy on the eye but a totally understandable approach in the match situation. Warwickshire’s hopes of an early clatter induced by India internationals Mohammed Siraj or Jayant Yadav were thwarted as the pitch blunted the pace of the former and offered only very slow turn to the latter.
The second-wicket pair added 79 in 41 overs before Lammonby edged Olly Hannon-Dalby to Rob Yates at slip. Bartlett seamlessly took up the cudgels of caution and settled in alongside his captain while Warwickshire skipper Will Rhodes shuffled a bowling attack that plugged away nobly to ensure that runs at least never came quickly. The fourth-wicket stand was worth 72 in 25 overs when Abell’s 246-minute vigil ended when Danny Briggs turned a beauty on to his off stump.
Again, home hopes of one wicket bringing two were in vain as Lewis Goldsworthy added his application to the collectively diligence. Bartlett and Goldsworthy put up a century stand in 202 balls and were still there together to resume in the morning having so far added 121.
A superb post-tea burst by veteran Jack Brooks gave Somerset the edge over Warwickshire in an engrossing, high-pressure LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Edgbaston.
Defeat for either side from this game would leave them in serious jeopardy of relegation and that pressure has hung heavy on the batters on a slow pitch against some good bowling.
After two days it’s advantage Somerset, just, after they rallied from 82 for seven to reach 219 and then bowled the home side out for 196 as 38-year-old Brooks took four for 40 including a spell of four for seven in 27 balls. The visitors closed the second day on 13 for two in their second innings – 36 ahead.
Somerset were given something to bowl at by lower-order resistance led by Lewis Gregory (60, 97 balls) and Sajid Khan (53 not out, 64) despite Mohammed Siraj’s debut five-for (five for 82). At 141 for four in reply, Warwickshire were edging towards ascendancy but Brooks stepped up with a blistering spell. His blitz included the vital wicket of Sam Hain who passed 1,000 first class runs for the season on his way to 67 (166 balls). Hain defied valiantly but, as has often been the case this season, lacked support.
Somerset resumed on the second morning on 182 for eight and lost Gregory to the fourth ball when he edged Siraj behind but last pair Khan and Brooks added 37 to lift the total beyond 200. Khan completed his fourth first-class half-century before Brooks skied Henry Brookes to point.
Somerset then took their momentum into the field and reduced Warwickshire to 22 for three in the 14th over. Josh Davey struck third ball when Rob Yates nicked to wicketkeeper James Rew. The keeper accepted further catches when Alex Davies and Dominic Sibley edged Gregory.
Hain and Will Rhodes (38, 99 balls) steadied the innings with a stand of 73 in 29 overs before Rew’s gloves closed on another catch, tickled down the leg side by Rhodes off Kasey Aldridge. While Hain and Jayant Yadav were adding 46 either side of tea, the game remained evenly poised, but both fell in Brooks’ blistering burst. Jadav and Michael Burgess were bowled through gates, Hain was adjudged lbw and Brookes edged to slip.
After Danny Briggs and Olly Hannon-Dalby had their furniture rearranged by Aldridge and Davey respectively, Somerset had a lead of 23 with eight overs to bat in the day. Warwickshire needed to hit back and did, Siraj having Imam-ul-Haq caught at second slip and Yadav turning one into Aldridge’s stumps.
Somerset still have their noses in front but where this tense, intriguing, low-scoring, high-stakes contest goes next, who knows?
Mohammed Siraj took four wickets on debut, before Lewis Gregory’s defiant half-century underpinned Somerset’s dogged fightback on a weather-affected opening day at Edgbaston.
After choosing to bat on a slow, turning pitch, the visitors closed on 182 for eight with Gregory unbeaten on 60 (93 balls, four fours, four sixes) having supervised an impressive recovery from a parlous 82 for seven.
Somerset were in deep trouble after India fast bowler Siraj (four for 54) got among the wickets on his Warwickshire debut. But Gregory batted with great determination and nous to add 58 with Josh Davey for the eighth wicket and an unbroken 42 with Sajid Khan for the ninth.
His work meant that this crucial match between the two sides currently straddling the Division One relegation line ended a truncated first day (40 overs lost to rain and bad light) pretty much even.
The game opened with a compelling India v Pakistan tussle as Siraj bowled to Imam-ul-Haq and it went India’s way after the batter edged a waft to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess. Olly Hannon-Dalby then hit Tom Abell’s off stump with the second ball after a rain-enforced early lunch.
Tom Lammonby (24, 68 balls) and George Bartlett took Somerset to 46 for two before three wickets fell in six balls to leave them 46 for five. Lammonby’s ill-advised charge at debutant Jayant Nadav saw him comfortably stumped, then Bartlett gloved a pull at Siraj and James Rew fell lbw first ball.
After Siraj went off to graze with figures of 13-5-25-3, Henry Brookes maintained the pressure with two wickets in his first four overs as Lewis Goldsworthy and Kasey Aldridge were lbw to rapid inswingers.
Somerset were in deep trouble at 82 for seven but Gregory played with great vigilance, interspersed with one spectacular burst of aggression when he lifted Danny Briggs for three successive sixes just before tea.
In the final session, Gregory and Davey (21, 43 balls) added 58 in 14 overs before Siraj won another lbw decision to oust Davey. Warwickshire’s hopes of briskly lopping off the tail were foiled by Gregory’s continued doggedness with assertive support from Khan (31 not out, 33 balls).