Career best for Abes helps Somerset claim sensational win


A career best 152 not out from Tom Abell helped Somerset claim a sensational victory on day four of this enthralling Vitality County Championship Division One match against Warwickshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Whilst the visitors held the upper hand for large portions of the game, Somerset were never out of it and an outstanding and mature batting display saw the hosts clinch their second highest ever successful run chase.

Warwickshire declared on their overnight score of 281 for eight, setting their hosts 410 to win, a total only successfully surpassed once in the Club’s 149 year history. For readers of a statistical persuasion, the match in question was 2009’s four-wicket triumph over Yorkshire. Indeed, the Taunton side have only ever chased down a total in excess of 400 on one other occasion, that being 2015’s win over Nottinghamshire.

But back to today, and so it was that the outcome of this match along with the record books were re-written.

Abell and Tom Banton were certainly the architects of this landmark victory, with their 138-run partnership for the fourth wicket breaking the back of the target total and breaking the spirit of the Warwickshire attack.

Under overcast skies, the Warwickshire declaration came as something of a surprise to those gathered at the ground.

Somerset started in positive fashion with Andy Umeed and Tom Kohler-Cadmore sharing an opening stand of 44 inside eight overs. However, the Scotland international edged Oliver Hannon-Dalby through to Michael Burgess when on 30.

Tom Lammonby and Kohler-Cadmore, who rather uncharacteristically seemed happy to play second fiddle, took the score to 77 before the former top edged Michael Booth to fine leg where Ed Barnard took an excellent diving catch.

Lammonby’s departure brought a third Tom to the crease as Abell joined Kohler-Cadmore, with the pair successfully navigating the rest of the session and taking Somerset through to lunch at 117 for two.

After the interval the pair brought up their 50 partnership from 92 balls. However, just when he seemed set for a big score, Kohler-Cadmore fell for 49, skying Hannon-Dalby to Barnard at 144 for three.

As one Tom left the fray, yet another entered as Banton joined Abell and the pair set about laying the foundations for the remarkable win.

Abell’s 50 came from 92 balls, followed by the 50 partnership from 97, with Banton’s half century arriving off 76 deliveries.

By tea, the pair had advanced the score to 230 meaning that 180 further runs were required.

The two remaining Toms took their partnership to three figures from 152 balls, and their stand was worth 138 when Banton eventually fell for 81, caught by Rob Yates off Barnard.

Banton has been in impressive red-ball form this summer and he left the field to a standing ovation from the Somerset Members and supporters who knew the significance of that innings. As he departed the scoreboard showed 282 for four.

Migael Pretorius came and went for 14 with Somerset on 299 for five and needing a further 111.

Abell continued to bat magnificently and went to his hundred from 171 balls and he was complimented perfectly by James Rew, the pair bringing up the 50 partnership for the sixth wicket from just 51 balls.

Rew yet again showed quality and maturity beyond his years, bringing up his half century from 49 balls and finishing on 57 not out, but it is Abell who will quite rightly take the majority of the plaudits.

The former skipper was simply outstanding and he finished the game off in style, scoring 20 runs off the first four balls of the 92nd over and putting the result beyond doubt with back to back sixes to see Somerset over the line. In doing so he also secured his highest First Class score for the Club on a day that will live long in the memory of anyone who has an affinity for Somerset. It is also a day that will go down in history.

The hosts took the win by five wickets and claimed 20 points from the match with Warwickshire having to settle for seven.