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Westwood ton defies Somerset

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Ian Westwood hit his first century for two years to lead Warwickshire to 334 for nine on the opening day of the LV= County Championship Division One match with Somerset at Taunton.

The opener made the most of being dropped on 24 to score 129 after his side had lost the toss on a green pitch. Rikki Clarke contributed 42 to a sixth-wicket stand of 67, while Richard Jones made 35.

Somerset's bowlers failed to make sufficient use of the new ball at the start of the day. Craig Overton was the pick, taking 3-59 from 19 overs.

It looked a good toss to win when Varun Chopra played forward to the fourth ball of the match from Alfonso Thomas and edged to Lewis Gregory at gully without a run on the board.

The start had been delayed for an hour by a wet outfield and the pitch looked likely to offer plenty of assistance to the seamers, but Somerset's attack failed to get enough balls in the right place.

Westwood was given a life when Gregory spilled a chance at third slip off Thomas and by lunch Warwickshire had progressed to 62 for one from 18 overs.

That became 64 for two when Will Porterfield played on to Gregory's second ball after the interval and 77 for three when Jonathan Trott was caught behind for nine in the best spell of the day from Overton.

Somerset celebrate after the impressive Craig Overton, who finished with figures of 3-59, dismisses Rikki Clarke for 42

Westwood reached his half-century off 74 balls, with nine fours, but Somerset looked to be taking a grip as Sam Hain, on seven, was held at second slip by Marcus Trescothick, flicking at a wide ball from Gregory.

Tim Ambrose was dropped early on by Peter Trego in the slips off the unlucky Thomas, but had added only 10 more runs when Trego made amends by having him caught behind driving.

At 144 for five, Clarke joined Westwood and the pair took the total to 177 off 52 overs at tea.

Clarke hit eight fours in an entertaining 58-ball innings before edging Overton to Trego at first slip.

Westwood continued without frills, moving to a valuable ton by pulling left-arm spinner George Dockrell for a single with the total on 224. He had faced 182 deliveries and extended his boundary count to 14.

It was the left-hander's first hundred since August 2012.Ian Westwood pulls George Dockrell to reach his first first-class century since 2012, rescuing his side's innings in the process

Jones helped add 53 for the seventh wicket before offering a third catch to wicketkeeper Alex Barrow, attempting a pull off Trego.

Westwood's resistance finally ended in the first over with the second new ball as he was caught at backward point by Tom Abell, making his first-class debut for Somerset, to give Gregory a third wicket.

Overton picked up his third when Jeetan Patel top-edged a drive all the way to James Hildreth at third man and departed for 20. But by then Warwickshire had secured three batting points and could feel satisfied with their efforts.

Westwood said after the close: "We know we have players down the order with the ability to score runs so I just tried to hold things together. There was a bit in the pitch for the bowlers, but it's Taunton and that means a fast outfield and short boundaries. We think we have a decent score."

Somerset bowler Overton said: "I was pleased with the way I bowled. The ball moved around a bit, but the pitch was slow and some of the edges didn't carry, which is frustrating.

"It's not easy to play shots either and our batsmen will need to be patient. I reckon if we take the last wicket early tomorrow Warwickshire's total will be about par."

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