Another absorbing day at Edgbaston


Five wickets for Craig Overton, and 50s for Tom Lammonby and Azhar Ali were the Somerset highlights on a compelling second day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Warwickshire are hunting their first County Championship title since 2012 and brought the equation into their own hands.

In reply to the Bears’ 367, the visitors closed the second day on 239 for five after another fascinating day under the Birmingham sunshine.

The morning session was a belter. After the Bears resumed on 283 for four, 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), Azhar Ali (60) and Steven Davies (48 not out).

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.

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 Goldsworthy skied Briggs to mid on but Davies batted fluently to show that Warwickshire still have plenty of work to do.

At the close of play, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “We knew we had to take early wickets after a tough day yesterday when Warwickshire played really well. We stuck to our task well and got our rewards and took the six wickets this morning.

“Then we showed good resolve with the bat. We haven’t played particularly well recently but we established some partnerships. Tom Lammonby and Azhar Ali played superbly up front and it was good for Steve Davies and Lewis to take us through to close of play.

“We are incredibly disappointed that we have not got an opportunity to win the championship this year and that’s on us. It’s all about trying to salvage some pride and set a benchmark for how we’re going to play our cricket next year. Whoever wins the title is going to have to earn it, that’s for sure.”

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