The wet outfield and slow Warwickshire batting eventually allowed Somerset to escape with a draw from their County Championship season opener.
Sam Hain’s 119 and further wickets for Bears spearheads Ollie Hannon-Dalby (OHD) and Chris Rushworth were not enough for the away side to win the match they dominated.
Warwickshire batted too slowly to get the 400 and fourth batting point their two-ton batting line-up really should have earned them. Somerset are now perhaps grateful that for the first day (plus an hour of day two) the outfield was too wet to play so they had less time to absorb for the draw today.
Second ball of the day Michael Burgess set his stall out with a cracking back foot punch through the covers for four as Pete Siddle finished off his over that was halted for bad light last night. Thinking this was the sign of aggressive boundary strikes to come….it was not.
Sam Hain, a quality combination of Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott – his idols and mentors coming through the Warwickshire ranks last decade, did not show much intent at all (bar one bizarre shuffle down the wicket against Siddle that got nowhere near the ball).
11 runs in first seven overs, 13 in 10, saw pressure being built with time for earning bonus points elapsing. Burgess buckled second, did not heed my bracketed sentence above, took that same chance, ran down the wicket as recklessly as Hain did. Bowled by Siddle for 46.
Hain did play the best shot of the morning, skipping down and timing Leach’s fourth ball from the River End past mid on for four. But still did not accelerate towards his 100 or Warwickshire’s 400.
34 half-centuries to 15 centuries is a great conversion rate but would the away side rue his lack of urgency?
Jacob Bethell looked good for 19 with some thumping drives, but was unlucky to be bowled off his thigh by Davey.
Captain Gregory brought himself on in time to take two wickets in what he fairly well knew would be the last over of the innings – the 110th.
Hasan Ali (15) tried to tee off but only found TKC needing 10 off five balls for the 400 and fifth batting point. OHD remarkably tried to scoop his first ball, and was dropped second ball pulling to deep square leg where Sean Dickson shelled the catch that should have wrapped up the innings.
Fortunately for the new signing it did not cost a valuable point for Somerset as next ball Rushworth chipped to Overton at long on. A lead of 108, but more significantly a lot of overs spent getting that lead, means surely not enough time or runs for the away side to push for victory.
Three overs before lunch, and definitely no Somerset lunch-watchman/hawk.
The best stop of the week, from Bethell at midwicket, deprived Dickson of four and next ball he gave Yates a fifth slip catch of the match. Somerset 0-1, 1-1 at lunchtime.
Bad to worse for Somerset first over after lunch. Sheffield Shield top runscorer Cam Bancroft lbw to OHD also for 0, 2-2.
TKC boomed an off drive first ball, but was lucky to survive a massive caught behind shout later in the over, Burgess impressively standing up to both Warwickshire openers.
A third consecutive poor dismissal for Somerset saw TKC hard-handedly edge to runscorer Hain at second slip for 15.
The ball after an impressive pull for four, Bartlett fell over a straight one, his middle stump uprooted by Ali for 20, 62-4.
Somerset did eventually draw level at 15.21, 108-5 became 112-5 at tea, Lammonby 46* as Yates bowled the last over before the interval.
First over after tea saw Gregory take Ali for 12 with three crisp fours (though the first of which OHD should have stopped…maybe too many Easter Eggs at tea?)
But he was bowled by OHD for 26 just before Lammonby reached his fifth first-class 50 (plus five 100s).
Overton was dropped by OHD, an easy catch really backpedalling at mid-on, with his height he did not really need to jump.
But it did not prove too costly in the end, as at 5.15 the players shook hands. Overton (26*) and Lammonby (66*) batting for long enough to secure the draw.
Extras and sundries (notes from throughout day 4):
Very docile pitch, two sizeable rough patches for Jack Leach to lick his lips more than the inexperienced Bears spinner Jacob Bethell – could be crucial? Bears wish they had a frontline spinner? (Briggs injured).
The shadow of the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion causing problems down below the livestream commentary box disallowing grass to grow as well with less sunlight.
A rudimentary, Roman road rock hard bed, hardcore that trucks tractors and diggers travelled along mean water puddles in front of Colin Atkinson Pavilion. This area has had work ongoing to be removing the hardcore over there.
How often do Somerset see Craig Overton go wicketless, in 25 overs? It was not for the want of trying, he even resorted to swapping the bails at his end over again, but no divine intervention came to help him on Easter Sunday.