Bob Willis Trophy: Somerset two wickets away from beating Warwickshire

Edgbaston rain
The covers remained on for most of the final day at Edgbaston
Bob Willis Trophy, Edgbaston (day four):
Warwickshire 121 & 140-8: Rhodes 41; Davey 3-21
Somerset 413-9 dec: Davies 123*, J Overton 120
Warwickshire (11 pts) drew with Somerset (16 pts)

Somerset were left frustrated as rain prevented them from closing out victory against Warwickshire in the Bob Willis Trophy at Edgbaston.

Needing 292 to avoid an innings defeat, Warwickshire resumed on the final day on 104-6 and after being second best for the duration of the match they finished on 140-8 to secure a highly unlikely draw.

Only 15.4 overs were possible on the final day and infuriatingly for Somerset the entire post-tea session, in which there was scope for 37 overs, was washed out before the call-off finally arrived at 17:15 BST.

The groundstaff battled manfully to shift standing water from the outfield and get the ground playable, but it was not to be.

With only two Bob Willis Trophy final places up for grabs, one of the three group winners will miss out, so the victory points that disappeared could cost Somerset a place in the Lord's showpiece.

Warwickshire began the final day in need of either some remarkable batting or some serious rain. It was the latter that bailed them out, though some credit must go to seventh-wicket pair Alex Thomson and Henry Brookes who dug in during the brief morning's play to consume some time.

The morning brought three sessions of play in which the home side scored 11 without loss in four overs, one without loss in 0.4 overs and 22 for one in 9.2 overs.

The latter burst brought Somerset's only success of the morning when Brookes, having impressively reined in his attacking instincts, tried to leave a ball from Lewis Gregory but deflected it on to his stumps for 12.

Much to Brookes' frustration, before another ball could be bowled, the rain returned to expedite an early lunch, at which Warwickshire were 138-7.

Further heavy showers kept Somerset waiting until 15:00 BST for a resumption but they made another breakthrough straight away.

Craig Overton's third ball rose off a length and Thomson edged to wicketkeeper Steven Davies.

Somerset sensed the kill but again were sent from the field by rain before they could deliver it and they were not afforded the chance to return to the field.

Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton told BBC Radio WM:

"Looking at the fixtures, we knew this was a benchmark game for us, that Somerset are a strong side and it would be a real test. We are under no illusions that we have been totally outskilled. It was a poor four days for us. We were outplayed.

"The attitude that Somerset brought onto the game was far superior to ours. In our previous two games we were in good positions and didn't press them home. In this game, Somerset showed us how it should be done.

"They buried us in the third innings and we have been very lucky to escape with a draw. We elongated play for as long as we could with the bat. Alex Thomson batted for a long time, and the weather helped us out."

Somerset coach Jason Kerr:

"We all know you can't control the weather. It has been difficult to predict, with showers blowing in. When you are in a group format it is tempting to look at tables and other results but we can only control what we do and I was very pleased with everything we did

"We have completely dominated this game and played some excellent cricket and the players can take a lot of pride in that.

"We have got two games left now, against Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, and we go into them in a very good place. We are bowling really well as a unit and finding some form with the bat."

Match report supplied by PA Media.

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