Somerset v Warwickshire: Nick Compton puts Bears to sword
|County Championship Division One, Taunton|
|Close, day three: Somerset 406 & 266-4 dec, Warwickshire 158 & 144-3|
|Somerset 8pts, Warwickshire 3pts|
An unbeaten century from England opener Nick Compton helped Somerset seize control going into the final day against county champions Warwickshire.
Compton (105 no), aided by Alviro Petterson (43) and Craig Kieswetter (59) ramped up the runs before they declared on 266-4, a lead of 514.
In reply, Warwickshire openers Varun Chopra (81no) and Will Porterfield (36) then compiled a 108-run partnership.
But Jack Leach took three late wickets to leave the Bears 371 behind on 144-3.
Porterfield and Ateeq Javid were both caught by Jos Buttler off the bowling of left-arm spinner Leach, who also had Jim Troughton lbw.
Somerset, who resumed the day on 46-1, lost nightwatchman Leach early on, but Compton and Petersen added 65 before the latter was caught lbw by Chris Woakes.
Compton, however, ahead of a Test series against New Zealand was assured, and together with Keiswetter build up Somerset a healthy lead before smashing a six down the ground to reach his ton, following which Marcus Trescothick immediately declared.
And, despite sterling work from Chopra and Porterfield, that quick burst of wickets from slow left-armer Leach (3-26) sent the Bears into the final day facing an uphill struggle.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Somerset's Stephen Lamb:
"In theory all results are still possible on the final day of an engrossing encounter, but Warwickshire's slim chances of achieving an historic win were reduced further in the final hour's play.
"Set a mountainous victory target of 515, their openers managed a brisk partnership of 108 before Will Porterfield was dismissed by Jack Leach. The ensuing loss of captain Jim Troughton and Ateeq Javid - to successive deliveries from the same bowler - surely makes Somerset firm favourites to achieve their first Championship win of the summer.
"Their England opener Nick Compton warmed up nicely for the Test series against New Zealand by adding an unbeaten century to his first innings 52, while Craig Kieswetter again demonstrated the power of his strokeplay, lifting one delivery from Jeetan Patel into St. James's Churchyard."
BBC WM's Mike Taylor:
"Three wickets to left-arm spinner Jack Leach in the final hour undermined Warwickshire's hopes of batting through for a draw.
"Leach ended an opening stand of 108 when William Porterfield was adjudged caught at short leg, and then won an lbw decision from round the wicket when Jim Troughton offered no stroke, before Ateeq Javid prodded his first ball to silly point.
"Varun Chopra remained intact to the end and played with authority for 81. Survival through the final day is not out of the question on a pitch that is still giving the batsmen a fair chance, but it will require all Warwickshire's reserves of concentration and discipline to achieve it."