Kieswetter stars in thrilling victory
Craig Kieswetter’s sparkling 152 helped Somerset to an incredible one-wicket victory over Warwickshire that was set up by Gemaal Hussain’s five-wicket haul.
Heading into the final day of the LV= County Championship clash, Division One leaders Warwickshire appeared the only likely victors; they were 66 for three second time around having sealed a 146-run first-innings lead.
Yet Hussain had other ideas, following up his wicket yesterday evening with another four to seal figures of 5-48 and help dismiss Warwickshire for 123.
That left the hosts needing 271 to win – a figure that looked beyond their reach when they slipped to 15 for three.
But Kieswetter, helped by Nick Compton’s 52, remarkably struck 14 fours and seven sixes in an astonishing 170-ball innings.
The drama was not done, however, as England’s one-day international wicketkeeper’s departure sparked an astonishing finish.
Having removed Kieswetter, Keith Barker claimed a further three quick wickets to seal career-best figures of 6-40 and leave Somerset nine down.
But Peter Trego, who struck 14 not out, held his nerve, hitting Jeetan Patel for four to secure victory.
Wickets started tumbling immediately after Warwickshire resumed, with Hussain trapping Varun Chopra in front before Max Waller brilliantly caught Tim Ambrose at midwicket off Alfonso Thomas.
Hussain then struck twice quickly, having Rikki Clarke caught at midwicket and trapping Chris Woakes in front before Barker edged Thomas behind.
Patel chipped in with a brisk 21, but that did not stop the visitors being dismissed for a disappointing total, with Hussain finishing the job by having Chris Wright leg before.
Somerset got off to the worst possible start; Woakes had Alex Barrow and James Hildreth caught behind the wicket either side of Barker bowling Arul Suppiah.
Kieswetter joined Compton to steady the situation, with the former wasting little time in showing his intent, epitomised by him greeting Clarke’s introduction with a straight six.
He reached a 52-ball half-century soon after and, despite skipper Jim Troughton’s best efforts, bat continued to dominate.
Even better was to come from Kieswetter, who reached three figures via three successive sixes off Patel, while his perfect foil, Compton, then moved to a less spectacular fifty.
Woakes enticed an edge from the number three soon after, however. But Jos Buttler kept things ticking over with a run-a-ball 24.
He played a loose drive at Barker to be caught at slip – not that Kieswetter was deterred, illustrated by him reaching 150.
Yet there was to be a twist in the tale; Barker had the centurion caught at long-leg - a wicket he followed up by having Craig Meschede caught by Chopra.
Thomas was next to go, edging to Clarke and, amid mounting tension, Waller was caught at slip as Barker continued to thrive.
However, Trego proved the perfect man for the situation, hitting Patel through long-on to end a thrilling encounter.