County Championship
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Edgbaston, Birmingham

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Report: Warwickshire v Somerset, LV= Insurance County Championship

Warwickshire clinched the LV= Insurance County Championship for only the eighth time in their history after defeating Somerset by 118 runs on a raucous ‘I was there’ afternoon for their fans at Edgbaston. 

The Bears began the final day knowing that victory would secure their first title since 2012…and their plans came together perfectly.  

First they added 115 runs in 62 minutes to race to 294 for three with Rob Yates  scoring a brilliant 132 not out (168 balls), with enterprising support from Will Rhodes (62, 44) and Matt Lamb (27 not out, 20). 

That enabled a bold declaration from Rhodes who set Somerset 273 in 79 overs and then watched with delight as his team bowled and caught superbly to rattle Somerset out for 154 on a good batting pitch. 

It was the third home game this season which Warwickshire had won after tea on the final day. That is testament to their fighting spirit as well as their skill, and those attributes were needed on the final afternoon when they had to prise ten wickets from a batter-friendly surface. 

Spinner Danny Briggs struck an important blow just before lunch when Tom Lammonby edged to Tim Bresnan at slip. After the interval, the visitors moved to 35 for one then lost three wickets for four runs in 39 balls. 

Ben Green tickled a leg-side catch to the keeper off Bresnan before Chris Woakes added the big wicket of Azhar Ali, caught by Sam Hain at second slip. With limited time at their disposal, the Bears needed to be flawless in the field and they were. Hain made no mistake and neither did Yates at third slip when Tom Abell (nought from 21 balls) and Lewis Goldsworthy (31, 44) edged Craig Miles. 

Liam Norwell removed Steven Davies with a yorker that hit middle and off before Woakes took wickets either side of tea. An unplayable delivery sent Craig Overton’s off stump flying then the England star’s first ball of the final session rearranged the furniture of Jack Leach. 

Luke Gregory (31, 56 balls) nicked Miles to Michael Burgess to leave Warwickshire with 171 balls to take one wicket to seize the title.

They needed just 15 before Brooks edged Norwell to Rhodes in the cordon and the catcher joined Frank Foster, Tom Dollery, Alan Smith, Dermot Reeve, Nick Knight and Jim Troughton on the esteemed list of captains to have brought county cricket’s most prestigious prize to Edgbaston.

Day Three

Warwickshire are one powerful day’s cricket away from lifting the LV=Insurance County Championship title after a strong fightback against Somerset on the third day at Edgbaston.  

Lancashire’s amazing win over Hampshire at Liverpool has left the Bears with a very simple equation. Victory (but nothing less) over Somerset will bring the title to Edgbaston for the eighth time in the club’s history.  

The equation is simple, but forcing victory will be a far from simple business for Will Rhodes’ side on an excellent batting pitch. They closed the third day on 179 for one  – 157 ahead, so need to press on briskly with the bat tomorrow to give themselves time to try to take ten wickets on a batter-friendly surface. 

If Warwickshire can pull that off against a Somerset side which, to its great credit, has scrapped every inch of the way, they will deserve to be champions.  

The title-chasers spent the first two sessions of the third day in the dirt as Somerset, replying to 367, gritted onward from their overnight 239 for five to reach 389. 

The visitors’ head coach Jason Kerr stated the previous evening that “whoever wins the title is going to have to earn it” and his players showed a degree of resolve which matched his words.  

Steven Davies (52, 90 balls, eight fours) fell in the second over of the day when he edged Tim Bresnan to Michael Burgess. Bresnan then struck again when he trapped Craig Overton lbw, though Overton’s two-run stay had eaten up 43 minutes.  

Somerset’s batting has not over-achieved of late but this time they delivered some important partnerships. After Davies and Lewis Gregory (68, 139 balls) added 60, Gregory and Jack Leach (49, 140 balls) put on 54 and Leach and Josh Davey added 56.  

On an unforgiving pitch, there was little the depleted Warwickshire attack (without the injured Olly Stone, Olly Hannon-Dalby and Henry Brookes) could do but persevere. The indefatigable Bresnan was the pick, finishing with three for 35, supported by Danny Briggs (three for 77) and Chris Woakes (three for 100).  

Trailing by 22, Warwickshire had a session to regain the initiative and fully seized the opportunity. Rob Yates (72 not out, 119 balls) and Dom Sibley (50, 69 balls) batted enterprisingly to add 119 in 28 overs and Will Rhodes added late impetus with 42 in 29 balls Together the trio supplied their side with a springboard to a potential victory – and championship title – tomorrow. 

Day Two

Warwickshire are hunting their first LV=Insurance County Championship title since 2012 after bringing the equation into their own hands against Somerset at Edgbaston. 

In reply to the Bears’ 367, the visitors closed the second day on 239 for five after another compelling day much enjoyed by the excellent crowd in the Birmingham sunshine. 

The morning session was a belter. After the Bears resumed on 283 for four, Craig Overton sent them into collapse with five for 88 before a thrilling cameo from Danny Briggs (53 not out, 31 balls) lifted his side to 350 and the fourth batting point they needed to take control of their destiny. If they take full bowling points and go on to win, they will be champions. 

Warwickshire then faced the hard yards of taking 20 wickets on a good batting pitch. They prised out five but Somerset resisted resolutely, led by from Tom Lammonby (59, 88 balls), Azhar Ali (60, 124) and Steven Davies (48 not out, 79). 

It was a fascinating day with two sessions of absorbing cricket following an extraordinary morning in which the Bears faltered, floundered, then rallied in an exuberant fashion that brought their fans to their feet. 

The Bears resumed needing 67 from 14 overs to reach 350 in time to bag that crucial batting point but lost five wickets for 35 runs in 50 balls in the face of Overton’s excellence.  

Michael Burgess edged the seamer’s third ball of the day to the keeper and, after Sam Hain was bowled by Jack Brooks still on his overnight 83, Overton induced catches from Chris Woakes, Tim Bresnan and Liam Norwell. 

That left last pair Briggs and Craig Miles needing to find 28 from 23 balls. They reduced that to 11 from six, bowled by Brooks and, to huge cheers from the crowd, Briggs struck the next three balls for four, four and six to round off a truly amazing hour. Edgbaston has delivered some wonderful cricket in all formats this year but nothing more spectacular than that. 

Then came those hard yards. Woakes knocked out Ben Green’s off stump but Lammonby and Ali added 68 before Briggs, who received his first team cap before play, took a low return catch to remove Lammonby. 

Tom Abell nicked Norwell, Ali edged Bresnan to slip and Lewis Goldworthy skied Briggs to mid on but Davies batted fluently to show that Warwickshire still have plenty of work to do.

Day One

Somerset showed why the LV=Insurance County Championship is such a difficult tournament to win as they made title-chasing Warwickshire work for every run on the opening day at Edgbaston. 

The visitors arrived bottom of Division One and with their title ambitions long buried but bowled wholeheartedly all day as the Bears reached 283 for four. 

Will Rhodes (60, 133 balls) and Dominic Sibley (56, 165) laid a platform for a solid Warwickshire total and Sam Hain (83 not out, 198) and Matt Lamb (44, 92) built on it, but the Bears have work to do in the morning to take the initiative in the title race. 

If they reach 350 in 110 overs (for which they need another 67 in 14 overs), then go on to acquire full bowling points and win, they will be champions unless Lancashire (25 for three overnight) total 400 and beat Hampshire at Aigburth. On the first hour tomorrow, could the whole title equation hinge! 

After putting the Bears in, Somerset bowled well, assisted by some lateral movement and swing, so it was testing work for the batsmen. Rob Yates departed, caught at second slip off Josh Davey, in the fourth over but Sibley and Rhodes concentrated hard to take their side to 80 for one at lunch.  

The captain advanced to a compact half-century in 102 balls in the afternoon session and the second-wicket pair added 121 in 41 overs before Rhodes edged Tom Lammonby to wicketkeeper Steven Davies. 

Sibley played the shot of the day, a gorgeous down-the-track straight drive off Jack Leach, on the way to passing fifty for the 43rd time in first-class cricket. All day, the ball nipped around though and in the 55th over he copped a perfect outswinger from Jack Brooks which took a nick through to Davies.  

That was 139 for three, with the balance of play finely poised, but Hain and Lamb ensured there was no further damage up to tea, at which Warwickshire were 161 for three from 64 overs.  

As wickets tumbled at Liverpool, the rising question was how many batting points Warwickshire might need. Hain and Lamb batted watchfully at first, then began to accelerate after tea and added 121 in 41 overs before Brooks trapped Lamb in front. 

Michael Burgess, who received his first team cap before play, and Hain batted with freedom to reach the close unbeaten with power to add tomorrow. 

2024 Membership: Together, we are Bears

Make Edgbaston your home this summer. Membership is the best value way to access all home Warwickshire domestic cricket in 2024, plus exclusive benefits including free guest passes.

White-ball only and Junior Bears Memberships for under 16s are also available. Find out more and join the Club today.

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Preview: Warwickshire v Somerset, LV= Insurance County Championship

Mark Robinson believes a “great opportunity” awaits Warwickshire’s players when they start their LV= Insurance County Championship game at home to Somerset knowing they could end it as champions.

A thrilling conclusion to the title race beckons and the Bears are in the thick of it. They sit in second place, 3.5 points behind Hampshire, 0.5 ahead of Lancashire and three in front of Nottinghamshire. Into the last round, the championship trophy could still end up at any of four locations – Southampton, Birmingham, Manchester or Nottingham.

With such a tight equation, bonus points will be vital and the balance of power is sure to shift by the hour after the games – Warwickshire v Somerset, Lancashire v Hampshire and Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire – start at 10.30am tomorrow.

For the Bears, for whom Chris Woakes is available, the incentive is to bring English cricket’s blue riband trophy to Edgbaston for only the eighth time in the club’s history. It could be a very special few days for the Bears fans, who have offered their team such great support this year, and the players for whom all the years of hard graft in training is dedicated to setting up weeks like this.

“It is a very exciting prospect for everyone connected to the Bears,” said first-team coach Robinson, “and I am really pleased that the players have this opportunity which they have earned by some excellent cricket this season.

“Chances to win trophies don’t come around too often in a player’s career. Sometimes you can be really lucky and have a little golden spell where you get to finals and win trophies, other players might hardly ever reach those heights, so for this group and the 11 that will play against Somerset, it’s a great opportunity.

Mark Robinson

“Each player will treat the occasion slightly differently as individuals, but when they get on the field it will be a case of doing the familiar things as well as possible. There will be extra scrutiny and media attention on the game but it’s all about doing the simple things right and doing the basics better than Somerset do.

“It’s great to have Woakesy available again. ECB have been brilliant around the availability of centrally contracted players and we’ve maintained excellent communication with England management over the course of the season.”

The Bears will aim to continue the momentum from last week’s brilliant win over Yorkshire at Headingley. To bounce back so impressively from the home defeat to Hampshire showed exactly the depths of resilience and resolve that Robinson has sought to imbue in his squad since arriving at the club last winter.

His first season has brought many positives, alongside areas where there is room for improvement. To crown it with the championship, or a top-two finish, would be a superb achievement.

“We have had a fair season,” Robinson said. “Now if we can carry it off in the last game and win a trophy or, at the very least are heading off to Lord’s for a place in the Bob Willis Trophy final, that’s the goal.

“We will try to win our match and hope that’s good enough to win the whole thing or, at the very least, takes us to Lord’s.”


Rhodes (c), Benjamin, Bethell, Bresnan, Briggs, Burgess (wk), Hain, Holder, Lamb, Miles, Norwell, Sibley, Woakes, Yates.

How to follow

Warwickshire Members and supporters will be able to follow all the action from Edgbaston via the Match Centre on and through the Edgbaston app (available on iOS and Android).

Supporters can also keep up to date with the scores and in-play clips through the Match Centre on

2024 Membership: Together, we are Bears

Make Edgbaston your home this summer. Membership is the best value way to access all home Warwickshire domestic cricket in 2024, plus exclusive benefits including free guest passes.

White-ball only and Junior Bears Memberships for under 16s are also available. Find out more and join the Club today.

Buy Membership More Info

Bears urged to show spirit of 1911 and 1995 in Championship finale

Frank Foster and Dermot Reeve are arguably Warwickshire’s two most inspiring and dynamic captains.

Almost a century apart they led the Bears into the final game of the season knowing that victory would secure the Championship title and at Northampton in 1911 and Canterbury in 1995, the Bears delivered.

In five of the seven years in which Warwickshire have won the county championship, they clinched it with at least one match to spare.

In 1951, powered by the brilliance of leg-spinner Eric Hollies, Tom Dollery’s side clinched it with three games to spare. In 1972, Alan Smith’s side breakfasted on kippers and champagne on the morning of the first day of their last fixture, at Trent Bridge, the title already having been secured.

In ’94, the treble-chasers won it in the penultimate match. In 2004, Nick Knight’s men were declared championship ahead of their last game in quiet fashion – they were not actually playing but others missed out on crucial bonus points elsewhere. In 2012, Jim Troughton’s buccaneering unit rolled Worcestershire over at New Road to ensure that they could travel up to Nottingham for their final game with the pressure off.

In 1911 and 1995, however, Warwickshire had work still to do going into the final fixture. The situation was not quite the same as that facing Will Rhodes’s side this week when the Bears must win and hope that is enough to keep them ahead of the rest. In ’11 and ’95, victory would secure the prize for sure but there was still pressure – and Foster and Reeve showed their genius for leadership to ensure that the prize was landed.

The Bears’ 1911 triumph remains perhaps the most sensational championship campaign ever recorded by any county. They started the season as a rabble and were stuffed by Surrey at The Oval by an innings in two days. The committee decided that urgent action was required.

Brilliant all-rounder Frank Foster did not play at The Oval. A true maverick, although only 22, he had announced his retirement the previous winter. But when the committee, which included his father, went to him after the shambolic defeat at Surrey and begged him not only to return, but as captain, he agreed.

The transformation was immediate and spectacular. Foster’s men won the next game, against Lancashire at Old Trafford, and unfurled victory after victory until they went into the last match, away to Northamptonshire, knowing that victory would bring the title to Edgbaston for the first time.

The brilliant bowling of Foster and Frank Field had underpinned the title charge and they soon made short work of the home batsmen, rattling them all out for 73. An aggressive century from Crowther Charlesworth then lifted the Bears to 281 and the brink of the title. Northamptonshire closed the second day on 137 for seven second time round…and then it rained!

With more poor weather forecast, and his side on the threshold of history, Foster thought outside the box (to be fair, he pretty much lived outside the box!). On Monday night, he kept his team up late into the night in  the bar, playing snooker and cards to relax them. They needed to stay relaxed, all night it rained.  

It rained into the next morning but relented just after lunchtime and play began at 3pm. The Bears polished off the last three wickets and that first title was theirs.   

When the Bears travelled to Canterbury for the last game of 1995, Reeve did not keep them up in the bar all night during the game. He did think outside the box in one crucial way, however, though Warwickshire’s side that year was such a juggernaut that, by that stage, all he had to do was let it roll on.

The Bears batted first and piled up 468 for six as Nick Knight scored 174, his first championship century for the county, and Roger Twose 109 in his last game as a Bear. Kent were soon 20 for four in reply as Allan Donald (two for 48) and Reeve (five for 30) got among them.

In the second innings came Reeve’s creative thinking. He threw the new ball to spinner Ashley Giles…who rapidly dismissed Kent top three Mark Benson, Trevor Ward and Nigel Llong as Kent lurched to 41 for four. Just after 5pm on the third day, Min Patel edged Donald to Neil Smith at slip and the Bears were champions.

Just like Foster all those years before him, Reeve had shown his genius for leadership.  It remains to be seen whether Will Rhodes will keep the 2021 Bears up all night playing cards and snooker on Monday evening.

2024 Membership: Together, we are Bears

Make Edgbaston your home this summer. Membership is the best value way to access all home Warwickshire domestic cricket in 2024, plus exclusive benefits including free guest passes.

White-ball only and Junior Bears Memberships for under 16s are also available. Find out more and join the Club today.

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Championship Rewind: Warwickshire v Somerset, 2014

When Somerset visited Edgbaston in the county championship in 2014, they faced a young Warwickshire batsman called Sam Hain for the first time.

The game was heavily rain-affected and petered out into a draw but the 18-year-old, in only his second first class match, showed his class with a diligent 32 in a stand of 87 with Will Porterfield.

When Somerset arrived at Edgbaston the following year, Hain, though still only two days past his 20th birthday, was playing his 18th first class match. Redolent of Gladstone Small in a previous era, he was filling a key role in the team which usually fell upon players of far greater experience.

He could handle it. The westcountrymen found out just how well he could handle it.

Somerset chose to bat but totalled only 265 against a high class attack led by Jeetan Patel (five for 89), Chris Woakes (three for 48) and Rikki Clarke (two for 21). The pitch was a good cricket wicket, offering something to all bowlers, so required skilful batting…and that is what Hain offered when the Bears replied.

After Ian Westwood (66) and Jonathan Trott (87) laid a solid platform, Hain held together the middle and lower orders which struggled against Alfonso Thomas and Craig Overton,

While the potentially power-laden six, seven, eight, nine of Tim Ambrose, Clarke, Woakes and Keith Barker made just 14 between them, Hain dug in until support arrived. When it did, in the form of a merry 41 from Patel, the young batsman advanced to an accomplished century, ending with an unbeaten 103 in just over four hours from 169 balls with 12 fours.

Hain’s craftsmanship lifted Warwickshire to 365 all out, a lead of 100, and that bowling attack then delivered again. Patel (nine for 136 in the match) and Clarke took four wickets apiece and though Tom Abell, playing only his 13th championship match, batted through the innings for 88, Somerset totalled only 170.

Needing 71 to win, the Bears wobbled to 36 for three before Hain arrived to fittingly see them home. The young batsman had put in a thoroughly senior player’s performance. Reports from Arbroath indicated that here was a guy who would win many games for the Bears.

Those reports were spot on…Hain will face Somerset this week still only 25 years old but already with 201 games for the Bears in senior cricket, 8,562 runs and countless match-winning performances in his locker. A class act.

2024 Membership: Together, we are Bears

Make Edgbaston your home this summer. Membership is the best value way to access all home Warwickshire domestic cricket in 2024, plus exclusive benefits including free guest passes.

White-ball only and Junior Bears Memberships for under 16s are also available. Find out more and join the Club today.

Buy Membership More Info
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