Injuries prove no obstacle for Warks
Warwickshire’s injury-hit attack dismissed Somerset for 147 at Edgbaston despite the absence of the leading wicket-takers that took them to the brink of last season’s LV= County Championship Division One title.
With Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin ruled out for the first month of the new campaign, Chris Wright and Keith Barker rolled over Somerset’s powerful top order in a rain-shortened morning session.
The new-ball pair consistently found seam and swing movement. Left-armer Barker removed Marcus Trescothick and James Hildreth in successive balls and Wright, the former Essex player beginning his first full season at Edgbaston, had taken 3-29 by lunch.
Prolonged showers interrupted Warwickshire’s reply for an hour and they, too, had their problems in reaching 111 for three from 38 overs at the close.
The impressive Vernon Philander, Somerset’s top-scorer with 38 from 47 balls, quickly accounted for Ian Westwood, and Adam Dibble, in only his third championship match, removed Will Porterfield and Jim Troughton for a return of 2-24.
Fortunately for the home side, Varun Chopra had the resolve, and some good fortune, to make an unbeaten 40 after being awarded his county cap.
It was also a good day for Darren Maddy, who claimed three catches, an important wicket and hit 24 not out in putting on 53 with Chopra.
Somerset captain Trescothick was given reason to rue his decision to bat first; his struggle to make nine from 35 balls was a sign of trouble ahead as the ball nibbled around on a typical early-season surface.
Equally important was the way Warwickshire backed up their seamers in taking every chance that came their way.
Six catches were held in the slips, the first two going to the dependable Rikki Clarke. Arul Suppiah went to Wright’s fourth ball and Trescothick, after getting off the mark with a risky steer wide of gully, was beaten by Barker in the ninth over.
Hildreth lost his off stump driving drove at Barker’s next delivery and, although Craig Kieswetter began with three fours, Somerset had lost half of their side for 44 when Wright struck in consecutive overs.
Nick Compton was trapped leg before, having faced 44 balls, and Kieswetter’s fluent 20 ended with the first of Maddy’s catches at third slip.
After the first break for rain, Somerset almost doubled their score before Clarke accounted for Jos Buttler and Peter Trego, who made 18 and 27 respectively, in a spell of 2-13.
With Dibble run out for a single, it was Philander who came to Somerset’s rescue. After taking seven wickets in the opening win against Middlesex, the South African revealed a no-frills batting style in a partnership of 47 with George Dockrell, who made 13 not out.
Philander hit two sixes before edging Maddy to Chopra at first slip. In the next over, Maddy held another catch from Steve Kirby to give Wright a final return of 4-47.