Warwickshire 152 & 4-0
Somerset 295 & 178
Match drawn – Warwickshire 8pts, Somerset 10pts
The weather emphatically had the final say at Edgbaston where the fourth day of the Specsavers County Championship match between Warwickshire and Somerset went the same way as the third – a total washout.
The draw left both sides still waiting for their first win of the season with the visitors having set the home side a target of 322 to win.
The frustration was deep for Warwickshire and Somerset as the hopes of each pushing for a first Specsavers County Championship victory of the season suffered a third-day washout at Edgbaston.
Somerset are favourites, having set the home side a victory target of 322
With the match intriguingly poised after 30 wickets fell on the first two days, both sides are eager to strive for a victory, having drawn their first three matches of 2016.
But there was never a chance of play as heavy overnight rain was followed by steady drizzle throughout the morning and early afternoon, leading to a call-off for the day at 3.10pm.
The teams will hope for better luck with the weather on the final day, although the forecast is again unpromising.
Somerset are favourites, having set the home side a victory target of 322, which would be the biggest total of the match. But Warwickshire, who are four without loss, feel that, given a full day, they could have a serious dart at victory, especially if a pitch which has assisted the bowlers more than expected begins to flatten out.
Ian Bell is expected to bat, if required, for Warwickshire who are still awaiting the results of the scan that the England player has had on his sore hamstring.
An excellent collective effort from Somerset’s seam attack dismantled Warwickshire’s vaunted batting line-up to leave their side well-placed for their first Specsavers County Championship victory of the season.
In reply to 295, the home side scraped past the follow-on figure only with their last pair together before being bowled out for 152.
A lead of 143 was a significant advantage on a pitch which has offered bowlers more assistance than anybody envisaged, albeit not as much as the low scoring suggests.
Somerset’s five seamers all shared the wickets with most damage done by Jamie Overton
As wickets continued to tumble, Somerset were then 178 all out second time round, setting a victory target 322. Warwickshire reached the close on four without loss from two overs but Somerset would be devastated not to win from this position.
Warwickshire, also still pursuing their first win of the season, have a few concerns. They went into this round of matches with most batting points in Division One only to assist Somerset’s bowlers with some careless shots. Meanwhile, the Bears have a major injury worry with captain Ian Bell heading for a post-play scan on his injured hamstring.
Bell’s team will have to bat extremely well, far better than first time round, in the second innings to salvage this match.
After Warwickshire resumed overnight on 27 for two, the tone of accident-prone batting was set when Jonathan Trott pulled a long hop from Lewis Gregory straight to mid-wicket. In the ensuing clatter, only Varun Chopra (56, 117 balls, four fours, one six) and Chris Woakes (22, 76 balls, two fours) lasted more than 35 minutes.
Somerset’s five seamers all shared the wickets with most damage done by Jamie Overton (three for 24) and Lewis Gregory (three for 50). The move to keep Overton back until the 34th over worked a treat as he mowed down the lower order with three wickets in 11 balls.
Armed with a meaty lead, Somerset were no doubt not too unhappy to find batting still less than straightforward when they went back in. First innings centurion Tom Abell edged Keith Barker, Woakes removed Marcus Trescothick, caught at mid-on, and James Hildreth, bowled middle-stump, with successive balls and Boyd Rankin ousted Chris Rogers and Jim Allenby with lifters and Gregory with a full-length ball on his toe.
But Peter Trego, scorer of 94 in the first innings, batted assertively again for 51 (58 balls, six fours). His 145 runs, in this context of this match, appear decisive.
Tom Abell struck an accomplished century and Peter Trego a typically combative 94 but Somerset failed to exploit good batting conditions on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
An uneven batting effort from the visitors ended on 295 – far fewer than they had in mind when choosing to bat on a firm pitch.
Abell hit his second first-class hundred (104 from 180 balls, 12 fours and a six) and Trego supported him with 94 (154 balls, seven fours and a six) from number six.
But eight batsmen failed to reach 15 against an attack which, led by Keith Barker (three for 54) and Chris Woakes (three for 65) persevered to keep pressure on the batsmen all day.
Somerset’s bowlers then applied pressure of their own, reducing Warwickshire to 27 for two at the close of a captivating day’s cricket in front of a very good-sized crowd in Birmingham.
Warwickshire captain Ian Bell, who left the field in mid-afternoon with a hamstring twinge, is expected to be fine to bat today.
Having lost the toss, the home side were delighted to remove powerhouses Marcus Trescothick and Chris Rogers in the first hour. Between them the veterans had visited the crease 1,300 times before in first-class cricket but they were soon back in the hutch after Barker hit Trescothick’s off-stump and had Rogers caught-behind.
the opener’s departure soon afterwards triggered the loss of four wickets for 38 runs in ten overs.Brian Halford
Abell and James Hildreth steadied the innings with a partnership of 56 in 12 overs before the latter 38 (46 balls, eight fours) was superbly caught by Sam Hain at short-leg off Boyd Rankin.
When Jim Allenby slashed Barker to gully, Somerset were wobbling at 117 for four but Trego dug in to help add 110 for the sixth-wicket.
Abell became the first Somerset player ever to reach his century against Warwickshire with an all-run four in the last over before tea on a Sunday as Somerset recovered to 210 for four at the tea interval. But the opener’s departure soon afterwards triggered the loss of four wickets for 38 runs in ten overs.
The 22-year-old fell lbw to a good ball from Jonathan Trott, Lewis Gregory had his middle stump uprooted by Woakes, Ryan Davies edged Rankin to second slip and Craig Overton clipped Trott to short mid-wicket.
Trego sought to accelerate to his century but was trapped lbw by Woakes who had Jack Leach pouched at first slip next ball.
Somerset had come in below par with the bat but came out firing with the ball as Ian Westwood fell lbw to Gregory and nightwatchman Rankin was brilliantly caught by Hildreth at leg-gully off Craig Overton.