County Championship - day four

Somerset 282 & 265-4d beat Warwickshire 146 & 232 by 169 runs

SOMERSET breathed fresh life into their fight for survival by completing an emphatic 169-run win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Tim Groenewald ended with 5-58 as the visitors wrapped up the match quickly on day four, which they needed to do with rain around, to drag both Middlesex and Yorkshire back into the relegation dogfight.

After a delayed start due to the weather, play got underway at 12.30pm following an early lunch with 21 overs lost.

The forecast was uncertain for the remainder of the afternoon and Somerset knew they needed quick breakthroughs, and Craig Overton was the man to provide the first of those as he trapped Tim Ambrose (21) lbw.

Jeetan Patel was playing his shots at one end, but Tim Groenewald took the new ball and clean bowled Chris Wright for 13 to leave Warwickshire 219-8.

Groenewald then completed an excellent five-wicket haul as Patel paid the price for one loose drive too many, picking out Dom Bess at point to leave Somerset just one wicket away.

Bess was then the man who took the final wicket, bowling Sukhjit Singh as Warwickshire were dismissed for 232 to hand Somerset a crucial 169-run victory.

Warwickshire now look doomed at the foot of the table, leaving two of Somerset, Yorkshire and Middlesex to try and avoid finishing in the other relegation spot - the ongoing clash between the latter two looks set to end in a rain-affected draw.

The win also secured Tom Abell's first success as captain, with Lewis Gregory having been in charge for the victory at Scarborough in July.

Somerset will now look to continue their momentum into next week's clash with Lancashire at Taunton, which begins on Tuesday.


SPEAKING after the victory, Matthew Maynard told the ECB reporters' network: "It was a very good team performance.

"I was delighted  to get 280 in the first innings, led by Hildreth and Abell, and then similarly the way the seamers came into the match as the game wore on. 

"Craig Overton's intensity with the ball in the first innings was high class.

"It set a really good tone for the whole of that innings and put the Warwickshire players under a lot of pressure.

"Our seamers bowled really well and gave the batsmen no easy leaves and, if there was anything in the wicket, they found it and made life very uncomfortable.

"Now it's Lancashire at home, then Surrey away and Middlesex at home, so it's two out of three at home and our spinners are bowling well and getting into a good rhythm.

"I'm sure it will turn at The Oval too so we've given ourselves a chance, and that's what we wanted to do."