County Championship - day three (close)

Warwickshire 146 & 172-6 v Somerset 282 & 265-4d

SOMERSET are on the brink of what would be a vital win in their battle to avoid relegation from Division One of the County Championship after closing day three in a dominant position against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Marcus Trescothick's superb unbeaten 119 was backed up by James Hildreth (68) and Tom Abell (51) as Somerset declared on 265-4, and the visitors then reduced their beleaguered hosts to 172-6 by the close with Tim Groenewald (3-34) and Dom Bess (2-52) among the wickets.

Somerset resumed on 75-2 with the vastly experience pair of Trescothick and Hildreth at the crease, and both moved past half-centuries as the lead moved past 300.

Hildreth was 22 runs away from his second century of the season when he launched an expansive drive that was well taken by Andy Umeed at slip, but there was no let up for the hosts as Tom Abell continued on from where he had left off in the first innings.

While he had to dig in for his 82 on that occasion, Abell had licence to attack second time around and struck seven boundaries on his way to his second half-century of the match, which came from 46 balls.

At the other end, Trescothick was treating spectators to some vintage drives and reached his first century since May's reverse fixture against Warwickshire with a boundary off Jeetan Patel.

The 41-year-old had reached 119, an innings which included 15 fours, and added exactly 100 with his skipper before Abell was clean bowled by Ryan Sidebottom for 51.

That proved to be the final action of Somerset's innings, as Abell decided to declare upon his departure with his side 401 runs ahead.

In recent matches it has been Craig Overton to have provided the early breakthroughs, but this time it was Tim Groenewald's time to shine as he showed his old club what they were missing.

The seamer had Dominic Sibley (6) caught behind down the leg side and, when Umeed hung his bat out and edged to Hildreth at first slip, Warwickshire were 21-2.

Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott took the score to 51 before the former was clean bowled by a superb Jack Leach delivery and had to depart for 24.

Trott, a batsman tailor-made for a rearguard action, dug in alongside Matthew Lamb to guide Warwickshire past 100, but Groenewald broke their resistance as Lamb nicked behind on 23.

Dom Bess then took centre stage with two huge late wickets, trapping key man Trott lbw for 74 and removing Keith Barker for a duck within one golden over as Warwickshire slipped to 163-6.

Tim Ambrose (17*) and Jeetan Patel (8*) ensured there was no further damage as the hosts ended the day on 172-6 - with some rain forecast tomorrow, Somerset will be looking to take the final four wickets as quickly as possible.