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Warwickshire high and dry in dark and damp

Watch highlights of Warwickshire drawing with Somerset

Warwickshire's chances of retaining the LV= County Championship Division One title suffered a potentially decisive blow when rain and bad light halted their victory chase against Somerset at Edgbaston.

After being set a target of 189, they made a flying start with a stand of 101 by Varun Chopra and Ian Westwood.

Somerset hit back before the weather closed in with the home side stranded on 123 for three and needing 66 from 18 overs.

The floodlights were already on when Steve Kirby interrupted Warwickshire's charge by bowling Westwood, for 49, and Ateeq Javid at either end of the same over.

Although Somerset were a bowler short because of an injury to Peter Trego, they made another breakthrough when Alfonso Thomas had Laurie Evans caught behind for a duck, leaving Chopra unbeaten on 55 when the game was abandoned as a draw.

The fielding side's problems in picking up the flight of the red ball were a consideration in the decision by umpires Rob Bailey and Stephen Gale.

The result impacted on both ends of the table. The champions now trail leaders Yorkshire by 51 points, while relegation is a real concern for Somerset as they dropped into the bottom two following Derbyshire's win against Middlesex.

Warwickshire were entitled to feel aggrieved after taking control of the game. Despite their seam attack being weakened by international call-ups and injuries, they dismissed Somerset for 340 and 255 thanks to another impressive performance by Jeetan Patel.

The New Zealand off-spinner bowled 59 overs in the match, taking eight wickets, and a second-innings return of 5- 67 kept his team's run-chase down to a manageable level.

At the start of the last day, Somerset needed to build on the work of the Nick Compton in wiping out the first-innings deficit. Instead they lost three top-order wickets inside the first hour.

Compton added only two fours before he was given out, caught behind off Barker, but a high-quality innings of 91 pumped up his career aggregate on the ground to 510 runs in four matches.

Patel and Barker then made further inroads, successively rearranging leg and off stump, as James Hildreth and Craig Kieswetter shuffled off in the space of seven balls.

Nightwatchman George Dockrell stayed for almost an hour-and-a-half, but when he gloved a catch to the wicketkeeper - a first championship wicket for the pacy Recordo Gordon - Somerset were only 103 ahead.

It was another gritty innings by Alex Barrow that significantly delayed Warwickshire. With 82 runs in the match when edging Patel to slip, he more than justified his recall after consecutive hundreds for the second XI and two fifties for his club, Bath.

Trego, despite damaging his right hand early in his innings, and Piyush Chawla assisted Barrow in adding 78 runs before Patel - taking his last two wickets with the new ball - and Barker ended the West Country side's resistance.

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