Recent Match Report – Somerset vs Warwickshire 2023

Recent Match Report - Somerset vs Hampshire Group 2 2021

Somerset 269 for 8 (Gregory 65*, Barnard 3-54) vs Warwickshire

Skipper Lewis Gregory led an enterprising Somerset fightback on the second day of the rain-affected LV= County Championship match with Warwickshire at Taunton.

The visitors’ new-look seam attack looked to have taken control when reducing their hosts to 136 for seven shortly after tea, Ed Barnard (three for 54), Hasan Ali (two for 62) and Chris Rushworth (one for 51) all taking wickets on debut.

But Gregory and Josh Davey had other ideas. Somerset’s eighth-wicket pair added 105 in 25.1 overs with some attractive counter-attacking cricket to help their side to 268 for eight at the close.

Gregory contributed an unbeaten 65, off 105 balls, with 9 fours, while Davey lost nothing by comparison, hitting seven boundaries in his 42 before falling lbw to Oliver Hannon-Dalby (two for 65) with the second new ball.

After no play on the first day due to a saturated outfield, umpires Alex Wharf and Rob Bailey made a 10.30am inspection and ruled that the game could start at noon, with lunch at 1.30pm and 88 overs to be bowled in the three sessions.

Gregory, acting Somerset captain while Tom Abell completes recovery from a rib injury, won the toss and backed his side’s new top order, including debutants Sean Dickson, Cameron Bancroft and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, by electing to bat first under clear blue skies.

Rushworth impressed during an initial five-over spell from the River End and was unlucky not to claim a wicket when former Durham team-mate Dickson, on five, was dropped by wicketkeeper Michael Burgess, diving in front of first slip.

The error did not prove expensive as, without addition to his score, Dickson connected sweetly with a drive off Hannon-Dalby, but directed the ball straight to Barnard, who pouched a sharp chance at point.

Bancroft walked out at 13 for one in the fifth over. The Australian was soon making good use of the quick single, but both he and Tom Lammonby survived several close shaves as Warwickshire’s seamers went past the bat and had some confident lbw shouts rejected.

The pair took the score past 50 before Lammonby, who had shown commendable patience, was caught behind for 22, victim of Barnard’s first ball having switched to around the wicket, a perfectly-pitched delivery that moved away off the seam.

The umpires immediately signalled lunch with Somerset 52 for two in the 23rd over, Bancroft unbeaten on 24.

Kohler-Cadmore was beaten by Barnard in the first over after the interval, but quickly responded with three boundaries through the off-side off the same bowler.

Bancroft looked to have plenty of time to play his shots and appeared well set on 44 when chasing a short, wide ball from Rushworth and edging to Rob Yates at first slip. He had faced 104 deliveries and hit 5 fours.

From 98 for three, George Bartlett helped add 22 for the fourth wicket before departing on 13 to a similarly poor shot, edging Barnard to Yates, who took another routine catch.

Three balls later Kohler-Cadmore, who had just struck his seventh boundary to move to 34, became the third Somerset player to be pouched at first slip, Yates this time taking an excellent low catch to give Hasan his first Warwickshire wicket.

By tea, the hosts were reeling at 128 for five and would have been in worse trouble had Burgess not spilled a regulation catch behind offered by James Rew on two.

Again the wicketkeeper’s mistake was not costly. Rew had moved onto six when bowled by Hasan between bat and pad in the fourth over of the final session to make the score 135 for six.

With only a single added, Barnard bowled Craig Overton with an in-ducker. It was an all too familiar tale for Somerset supporters, whose team struggled to post meaningful first innings totals last season.

But their spirits were lifted by Gregory and Davey, who capitalised on a tiring attack with a flurry of positive shots all around the wicket to give Somerset serious momentum going into day three.

Gregory moved to an entertaining half-century off 85 balls before Davey departed and Jack Leach came in to help Somerset to a first batting point with successive fours off Hasan.

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