County Championship: Rob Yates century for Warwickshire becalms title-chasing Somerset

After making his first-class debut against Hampshire in May, Rob Yates has now registered a career-best six times this summer
After making his first-class debut against Hampshire in May, Rob Yates has now registered a career-best six times this summer
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day one):
Warwickshire 303-4: Yates 139*, Rhodes 82
Somerset: Yet to bat
Warwickshire 3 pts, Somerset 1 pt

Teenage batsman Rob Yates batted almost all day to make an excellent maiden first-class century as Warwickshire successfully stifled second-placed Somerset at Edgbaston.

Following the loss of England contender Dom Sibley for a fourth-ball duck, Yates came in to hit an unbeaten 139 as the Bears totalled 303-4 in 96 overs.

Yates put on 153 for the second wicket with Will Rhodes, who made 82.

Paceman Craig Overton took two of the four Bears wickets to fall on day one.

The first of them for the faltering early season Division One leaders was Rhodes, caught behind by wicket-keeper Steve Davies after hitting 13 fours and a six.

While Rhodes went past 50 for the fifth time in 19 County Championship innings this season, 19-year-old left-hander Yates had only once before reached his half-century - his 91 against Hampshire two games ago. But he moved on serenely past that, facing 286 balls on the day, of which 22 went to the rope.

Somerset ended the day with a slight injury concern over young batsman Tom Banton, who was not on the field for the second half of the day with a tight hamstring.

Warwickshire have given a first-class debut in this game to another of their crop of promising young Bears, fast bowler George Garrett - their third debutant this season after Yates and Dan Mousley.

The 19-year-old from Harpenden in Hertfordshire, who was at Shrewsbury School, has taken 22 wickets in nine Second XI matches, as well as impressing for Shrewsbury in the Birmingham League and Shropshire in the Unicorns Championship.

Bears batsman Rob Yates told BBC WM:

"It was a great feeling. It was something I was conscious about and I really wanted to get past that mark. Once I got into the 90s it was in the back of my mind, but I wasn't too focussed on that. I was just in my little bubble.

"It was great fun. I've been telling myself throughout the whole tournament just play the ball and not the occasion. It's been a good day altogether for the team so I'm really happy.

"Hopefully we can keep piling on the runs, putting on a big total and putting them under pressure. That'll be really pleasing, especially as we can only control what we do."

Somerset head coach Jason Kerr:

"You have to give the young lad Yates credit. He played superbly, really applied himself, played what he had to and demonstrated how you need to play on this surface.

"But we stuck to the task pretty well. Four days, there's a lot of cricket left and come close of play we'll have a clearer picture.

"Tom Banton is being assessed. I don't think it's anything significant. He's got a slight pain in his hamstring. He's had it for a number of weeks and the medical team they seem to think it's more neural than anything. As a precaution he's spent some time icing it with a little bit of massage."

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