Somerset on top after day two
Somerset seized control against Warwickshire on the second day of this Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston.
The visitors dominated a Warwickshire team whose own prospects of remaining in Division One hang by the slenderest of threads after yet another batting collapse.
After Tom Abell’s excellent 82 lifted Somerset to 282, despite 21-year-old spinner Sunny Singh’s five for 72, Warwickshire folded all out for 146 against Jack Leach (five for 50) and Craig Overton (four for 33).
Prolonged resistance for the brittle Bears came only from Keith Barker whose 52 took him past 500 Championship runs this season.
At the close, Somerset were 75 for two – 211 ahead overall – and well-placed to press for a victory which would keep them very much alive, while condemning Warwickshire to the drop.
After Somerset resumed on the second morning on 203 for four, Abell and Steve Davies took their partnership to 85 before Davies (46) bat-padded Jeetan Patel to silly point.
Patel then had Peter Trego caught at leg-slip and Leach taken at slip while Singh bowled Overton and had Dominic Bess caught behind before rounding off the innings by bowling Abell.
Overton then had Warwickshire openers Andy Umeed and Dominic Sibley caught in the slips either side of lunch before Leach took wickets in three successive overs.
Ian Bell edged a good ball to slip, but Jonathan Trott and Tim Ambrose perished loosely, lifting catches to cover and point respectively, and Matt Lamb departed in similar fashion albeit after helping Barker add 53 in 16 overs.
Patel was bowled through the gate by Bess and though Barker and Chris Wright added 49 in 22 overs, after Barker fell lbw to Overton the last three wickets fell for just one run in 18 balls.
Somerset’s second innings encountered a jolt at 17 when brisk, straight offerings from Ryan Sidebottom dismissed Eddie Byrom and George Bartlett with successive balls. However, Marcus Trescothick and James Hildreth added an unbroken 58 up to stumps to leave Somerset in a strong position.
After a great day for his side Jack Leach said: “Any day when you take five wickets has to be pretty pleasing. When conditions are this helpful to spin there are expectations on you and perhaps I felt them in the first couple of overs but a wicket always relaxes you. It’s just a question of bowling your best ball and letting the pitch do its work.
“Bessy backed me up really well and Craig Overton was brilliant on a wicket not offering much help to the seamers. I thought his bowling was world-class. Then towards the end Marcus and James batted really well to put us in a strong position.
“The wicket is turning more as the match goes on. They played T20 Finals Day on it so it’s getting quite old and worn now so hopefully it will continue to break up for us to work with in the fourth innings.”
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