Somerset stay on top at rainy Edgbaston

Somerset stay on top at rainy Edgbaston

After a day when rain and bad light delayed the start and brought an early end to proceedings, Somerset built what looks like a valuable lead of 93 on first innings over Warwickshire with four wickets still in hand. It looks as Somerset are the only possible winners of this game unless Zeus, the Greek god of rain, thunder and lighting claims the honours.

Although Somerset would undoubtedly have liked a full day’s cricket, they did manage to advance their overnight score of 80-2 by 134 in the 35 overs that were possible. 

Heavy overnight rain meant some hard morning work for the ground staff. Play eventually began after an early lunch.

Tim Bresnan claimed a wicket with no addition to the overnight score. James Hildreth hit a pull shot straight to mid-wicket where Alex Thomson took the catch.

Tom Banton was for several years part of the Warwickshire academy, but slipped through their grasp when he went to King’s College Taunton to complete his education. Although Warwickshire’s loss is definitely Somerset’s gain, Banton is still struggling to come to terms with red ball cricket. Having helped Tom Abell to put up the 100, he tried to play a straight ball from Olly Hannon-Dalby to leg and missed.

After a further rain delay, Craig Miles was lucky to get Tom Abell. As Ian Bell did yesterday, Abell edged a loose leg side delivery. He got enough bat on the ball to cause Michael Burgess to pull off an excellent catch. Somerset were 130-5 and still only 9 ahead.

Either side of tea, Steven Davies and Craig Overton put together what may well prove to be the key stand of the match. They added 61 before Bresnan pinned Overton lbw with a ball that kept ominously low.

As the light slowly deteriorated, Davies reached a fluent half century and at the same time brought up the Somerset 200.  

Umpires Tom Lungley and Russell Warren finally came up with a light meter reading that matched, or was worse than, the benchmark that was set yesterday – or maybe they called a halt because it was too dark to read the meter. Certainly, the players departed in truly Stygian gloom.

At 214-6, Somerset lead by 93. Steven Davies’s excellent 56 has occupied 85 balls and has included ten fours.

Whilst never quite matching the sustained accuracy and hostility of Craig Overton’s bowling on the first day, both Tim Bresnan and Olly Hannon-Dalby constantly achieved movement and troubled the batsmen. The support bowling from Craig Miles and Will Rhodes was less threatening, and we saw only one over of Alex Thomson’s spin.

On a pitch that is offering so much help to the quicker bowlers, Somerset are in a very strong position. Weather permitting, they will almost certainly look to add to the one bonus point achieved so far before letting loose their bowlers on the fragile Warwickshire batting line-up.

Thundery showers are forecast for tomorrow and then some light rain on Tuesday, so Somerset will just have to hope that they can get enough time out in the middle to force a win.

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