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Tom and Steve put Somerset in a good position on day one

Somerset accumulated 203 for four against Warwickshire on a rain-affected first day of this Specsavers County Championship relegation dogfight at Edgbaston.

These two teams occupy the Division One relegation places and began this match knowing that defeat could well consign them to remaining there.

On an opening day stripped of 40 overs by rain, and played largely beneath a canopy of glowering cloud, neither side played with sufficient conviction to dominate – though Somerset probably ended the day the more pleased with their position.

The visitors showed some resilience on a used pitch which offered turn. At 131 for four, they looked vulnerable but Tom Abell (38 not out) and Steven Davies (39 not out) added an unbroken 72 to build a position from which their side will look to construct a total which imposes pressure on the Warwickshire batting.

After rain prevented play before lunch, Somerset got off to a flier as openers Marcus Trescothick and Eddie Byrom passed 50 in the ninth over. However, the next over brought the breakthrough when Trescothick (28) edged an attempted cut at Jeetan Patel to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.

After another rain break, 19-year-old championship debutant George Bartlett’s first Championship runs arrived from a reverse-swept four, he added only four more before being bowled by a good ball by Ryan Sidebottom.

Byrom (43) saw his side to the brink of tea but then fell to a reverse-sweep at Sunny Singh which ended in the hands of Jonathan Trott at slip.

A nicely-flighted ball from Singh dismissed James Hildreth (33) after tea but the Bears’ two spinners were seen off by Davies and Abell under grey skies.

At the close of play Eddie Byrom said: “On a pitch that was always going to turn we are in a really good position. That was a really good partnership in the last session between Steve Davies and Tom Abell.

“It is the pitch they played Finals Day on so we knew it was going to turn and their spinners were a bit unlucky. Sometimes it tuned too much and beat the edge but we batted positively and that was the key. On a turning wicket sometimes if you just try to sit in and defend you can be a bit of a sitting duck so it was important to take the game to them when we could.

“Similarly, early on there was not much assistance for the seamers so it was important to be positive against them.

“It was hugely disappointing for me to get out in the 40s again. That’s four times now, but it was a contribution nevertheless and I think we are in a good position.”

For the match scorecard please click here

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