Everything to play for ahead of final day
There’s everything still to play for going into the final day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match between Somerset and Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
At the end of a third successive heavily weather-affected day, the visitors were 90 for two in their second innings, 32 ahead, after bowling the home side out for 273.
Josh Davey took three for 62 and Neil Wagner three for 67 but Ed Barnard’s 73 gave his side a handy first innings lead of 58. Barnard then took both wickets as Somerset ground their way in front.
125 overs have been lost since the start of this match due to rain and bad light but, with better weather forecast for tomorrow, a decisive result remains possible.
After Warwickshire resumed the third morning on 112 for three, Davey struck with the fourth ball of the day which Dan Mousley edged low to Andy Umeed at second slip. Alex Davies (44) fell lbw to Jack Brooks and when Michael Burgess edged Wagner behind, the home side was 147 for six, still 68 behind.
Barnard had set down roots, though, and received obdurate support from Danny Briggs. Confident after his 99 at Lord’s last week, the former Hampshire and Sussex player contributed 38 to a stand of 93 in 25 overs which moved Warwickshire in front.
Briggs scooped Wagner to long leg and Craig Miles gloved the New Zealand international behind before Barnard’s excellent innings was terminated by a skied attempt to hoist Davey straight.
The Worcestershire product had ensured Warwickshire a handy first innings lead, though, and Somerset faced an awkward 15 overs batting before tea. Openers Tom Lammonby and Sean Dickson added 39 from the first 14 before the former clipped Barnard to short mid-wicket in the final over of the session.
Barnard’s good day continued when Lewis Goldsworthy was adjudged to have feathered a pull to wicketkeeper Burgess. Still eight runs behind with two wickets down, Somerset needed ballast and Sean Dickson (36 not out) and Andy Umeed (20 not out) supplied it with an important unbroken stand of 40 in 12 overs. Dickson’s two-hours of resistance was exactly what his team needed in the circumstances.
At the end of the day, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “We were unlucky not to have them four or five down at the close yesterday and then the bowlers picked up where they left off this morning. They bowled really well and created opportunities and it got harder as the ball got older and softer, but I can’t fault them with the ball.
“Then we had to bat well. It was a precarious position, 50 or 60 behind, so we needed to start well and I thought Lammers and Dicko did that brilliantly. We are probably a little bit unfortunate to be two down, but that’s the nature of the game. The game is quite finely-poised and we are going to have to bat well in the first hour tomorrow.”