Victory for Somerset on day three

Somerset needed just over two hours of the third day to wrap up a 49-run victory over Warwickshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground and consolidate their position at the top of the Specsavers County Championship.

Sam Hain ended unbeaten on 92 and featured in a last-wicket stand of 49 with Oliver Hannon-Dalby (13) before the visitors were bowled out for 189 in their second innings, Lewis Gregory claiming four for 48.

Somerset took 20 points from their third Championship victory in four games, while their opponents had to settle for three and remain anchored at the foot of the First Division table.

Warwickshire began the morning on 103 for six, needing a further 136 to win on a pitch that had assisted the seamers and, to a lesser degree the spinners, throughout the game.

The target never looked reachable as Henry Brookes was caught low down by wicketkeeper Steve Davies for two in the third over of the morning, bowled by Gregory from the River End. Jeetan Patel then joined Hain and got off the mark with a four to third-man.

A decent crowd took advantage of the free admission and they were treated to more of the unbroken sunshine that had blessed the first two days. However, their day looked certain to be a short one when Overton brought one back off the seam to remove Patel’s leg stump with his score on four in only the sixth over.

At 132 for eight, Somerset introduced the spin of Jack Leach from the River End, while seamer Tim Groenewald had replaced Overton.

Norwell cover drove Groenewald for four and then survived a tough caught and bowled chance in the same over. When the same batsman took a single to long-off from Leach the target dipped below 100.

However, in Groenewald’s next over Norwell edged one through to Steve Davies and departed for 13.

Lunch was delayed by half an hour but it was all over when Hannon-Dalby drove at a wide ball from Gregory and Overton took a sharp catch at gully, giving Somerset the quick victory they were seeking to offer more preparation time ahead of Saturday’s Royal London One-Day Cup final against Hampshire at Lord’s.

After a dramatic match Somerset Captain, Tom Abell said: “I was getting a little bit twitchy the closer they got, but we still had plenty of runs on the board and in the context of the game I think that 50 was quite a lot of runs. We have been there quite a few times in the last couple of years, so we felt we had the situation under control and we always back our bowlers in that situation.

“Sam Hain played really well to give his side a chance, but I’m really pleased that we got over the line and keep the momentum going into the weekend.

“Our bowlers gave very little away throughout the game and, while we were disappointed to let Warwickshire back into it having established a decent first innings lead, overall we are very pleased with the outcome.

“It was the perfect preparation for our Royal London One-Day Cup final on Saturday. We all knew there was a job to do in this game before we could start focusing on Lord’s and what is going to be a massive day for our Club.”

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