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County Championship: Somerset beat Warwickshire by an innings and 82 runs

Somerset celebrate
Somerset lost their opening three matches before this crushing victory
LV= County Championship Division One, The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton (day three)
Somerset 458: Renshaw 129; Hannon-Dalby 5-89
Warwickshire 209 & 167 f/o: Hain 43; Brooks 4-44
Somerset (23 pts) beat Warwickshire (3 pts) by an innings and 82 runs

Somerset rounded off a resounding team display by defeating Warwickshire by an innings and 82 runs inside three days of their County Championship game at Taunton.

After starting with three successive defeats, Tom Abell’s side are well and truly up and running after they completely outplayed the champions.

They swiftly took Warwickshire’s last first-innings wicket in the morning to secure a first innings lead of 249, then bowled them out for 167 second time round.

Jack Brooks led the way with 4-44 but it was a hugely impressive collective effort, with all five bowlers used getting among the wickets and maintaining pressure on the batters.

Sam Hain (43) and Will Rhodes (29) added 68 in 30 overs but it was an isolated show of defiance in an innings in which two wickets fell within five balls on four occasions.

Warwickshire resumed on the third morning on 197-9 and secured their first batting point in the first over but did not get much further. Josh Davey teased a fatal nick from Olly Hannon-Dalby to finish with 3-30.

With the follow-on enforced, Somerset’s bowlers were soon back out there with their tails up and reduced Warwickshire’s second innings to 21-3 in the 16th over.

They were backed up by superb catching as Craig Overton took a blinder at third slip to remove Alex Davies off Davey and was then the happy bowler when Dom Sibley edged to Abell at fourth slip. When Rob Yates top-edged a pull at Brooks, Tom Lammonby judged the catch perfectly at mid on.

Hain and Rhodes applied themselves valiantly before perishing in successive overs in mid-afternoon. Rhodes offered no shot to a ball from Jack Leach which turned sharply into his stumps.

Five balls later, Hain lifted a leg-side delivery from Brooks straight to short fine leg where Overton had just been deployed for that very shot.

That plan having worked a treat, Somerset celebrated wildly as Brooks wheeled away to the mid-wicket boundary where he was joined by all his team-mates.

That got the crowd involved and, fuelled by their encouragement, Brooks added three more wickets in 17 balls. Michael Burgess and Danny Briggs edged to wicketkeeper Steven Davies and Nathan McAndrew sliced to Matt Renshaw at second slip.

The rout was rounded off shortly after tea by another two wickets in five balls. A superb grab at second slip by Renshaw disposed of Craig Miles off Overton then Lamb (40) missed a pull at Leach to end Somerset’s long wait for a championship victory.

Somerset captain Tom Abell:

“Results haven’t gone our way in the last two or three weeks so this win and the manner of the performance is incredibly pleasing.

“We scored 450 having been put in on a wicket conducive to seamers and then our bowling attack asked questions of their batsmen the whole time. They all executed their plans perfectly. Jack Brooks is one of those players who, when he gets on a roll, is impossible to stop.

“That was close to how we were playing our cricket a couple of years ago. I feel we are getting our identity back. We were fantastic last week without getting the result but we’re over the moon about this.

“The crowd really got involved. The connection between the crowd and the players was fantastic. It was amazing to be out there through that period. It was a very special session for us.”

Warwickshire first team coach Mark Robinson:

“We need to take this on the chin and move forward. There are no excuses. We were well beaten – outplayed for three days. But, poor as we were, Somerset were outstanding.

“Their bowling attack is really well-suited to a pitch like this, a good cricket wicket. There is always a bit in it with the ball and to be able to rotate five seamers against us was perfect.

“Olly Hannon-Dalby bowled really well but we just couldn’t back him up. We won a good toss but couldn’t bowl the right lengths. We let them get too many runs on what was probably a 320/280. Equally it wasn’t a 70-5 wicket.

“It wasn’t for lack of effort and not for a lack of work-rate or anything else, it’s just that sometimes our skills level is not where we need it to be at this present time.”

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.

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