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County Championship: Warwickshire facing follow-on at Somerset

Josh Davey
Josh Davey took two early wickets for Somerset
LV= County Championship Division One, The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton (day two)
Somerset 458: Renshaw 129; Hannon-Dalby 5-89
Warwickshire 197-9: Hain 54; Overton 2-12
Warwickshire (2 pts) trail Somerset (7 pts) by 261 runs

Somerset can finally see light at the end of the tunnel after their bowlers put them in control on the second day of their County Championship match against Warwickshire.

Josh Davey, Craig Overton and Lewis Gregory each claimed two wickets, while Jack Brooks, Tom Abell and Jack Leach all weighed in with one apiece as Warwickshire, replying to the home side’s first-innings 458, reached the close on 197-9 – still 261 behind and requiring a further 111 to avoid the follow-on.

Sam Hain bucked the trend with a battling innings of 54 and Nathan McAndrew made a bullish 47, these two adding 76 for the seventh wicket to frustrate the home side at the Cooper Associates Ground in Taunton.

Somerset, who were beaten in their last seven red ball outings, added a further 107 runs to their tally in the morning session, Tom Banton registering a half century and Davey, Leach and Brooks making useful lower-order runs, while Oliver Hannon-Dalby – the pick of Warwickshire’s bowlers – finished with 5-89 from 31.4 overs.

Somerset’s seam bowlers were given license to express themselves and attacking fields were a constant feature of an afternoon session in which Warwickshire slumped to 92-6.

Brooks set the tone in the eighth over, persuading Alex Davies to push hard at a ball outside off stump and edge to fourth slip where Craig Overton stooped to conquer.

England batsman Dom Sibley departed soon afterwards, playing across the line and missing a ball that rapped him on the pads.

Despondency in the visitors’ camp took a firm hold when Davey removed Rob Yates, an inside edge looping up to Overton at fourth slip, while Gregory got in on the act, inducing Will Rhodes to scoop to mid-on, where Tom Lammonby took a fine catch on the run.

Gregory made further in-roads, Matthew Lamb groping outside off stump and nicking to Matt Renshaw at second slip as the Bears subsided to 70-5 and – in the final over before tea – Michael Burgess pushed tentatively at a length ball from Overton and was caught at the wicket.

Somerset skipper Abell called on the slow left arm of Leach in the final session and the England spinner pinned Danny Briggs (13) lbw.

Hain was initially alone in offering stout resistance and he reached fifty from 112 balls – including seven fours – and remained Warwickshire’s best hope of avoiding the follow-on.

Hain found support from McAndrew but, crucially for the home side, both succumbed shortly before the close as Hain nicked a catch behind off Abell and McAndrew edged Overton to third slip.

Resuming their first innings on 351-4, Somerset surpassed 400 for the first time this season.

Things began well enough, with Banton violently pulling a short delivery from Hannon-Dalby to the boundary for his 10th four, in the process realising a 104-ball fifty.

But – having helped advance the fifth-wicket partnership to 41 – Steve Davies pushed a ball from McAndrew into the off-side, being comprehensively run out by Craig Miles’ lightning-quick pick-up and throw from point.

That heralded a collapse in which a further three wickets fell in the space of four balls. Banton elected to shoulder arms to one that nipped back and hit off stump and Overton went next ball, bowled through the gait to leave Miles on a hat-trick.

Davey survived the hat-trick ball, but only after Gregory had been bowled between bat and pad by Hannon-Dalby in the previous over.

Somerset had to settle for four bonus points, only for spirits to again be lifted thereafter with Leach and Davey serving up a sting in the tail in the form of a boundary-laden ninth-wicket alliance of 44.

Davey had scored 18 and was seeking a fourth boundary when he miss-timed a pull shot and skied a catch behind off the bowling of Danny Briggs.

Warwickshire took the extra half hour, only for last man Brooks to time the ball sweetly to collect a brace of sixes and four fours in an innings of 32 from 36 balls.

By the time Brooks carved Hannon-Dalby to Sibley at point, Leach had made an unbeaten 34 and the last-wicket pair had added a valuable 41 runs.

Of the bowlers, only Hannon-Dalby emerged with any real credit, the 32-year-old Yorkshireman maintaining a persistent line and length to keep his side in the hunt.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.

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