• Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Div One report: Somerset enjoy sturdy start against relegation rivals

    Somerset hit 203 runs for four wickets as Eddie Byrom top scored, edging the opening day against relegation rivals Warwickshire

    Only one game saw a sufficient amount of action in Division One, and it was at Edgbaston where the bottom two sides face off needing urgent points.

    Hampshire v Surrey 16/0 - play abandoned due to rain
    Lancashire v Essex - no play due to rain
    Yorkshire v Middlesex - no play due to rain
    Warwickshire v Somerset 203/4


    Somerset accumulated 203 for four against Warwickshire on a rain-affected first day of their Specsavers County Championship relegation dogfight at Edgbaston.

    These two teams occupy the Division One relegation places and began this match knowing that defeat would pretty much consign them to remaining there.

    On an opening day stripped of 40 overs by rain, and played largely beneath a canopy of glowering cloud, neither side played with sufficient conviction to dominate, although Somerset probably ended the day the more pleased with their position.

    Having endured numerous batting nightmares this season, the visitors showed some resilience on a used pitch which offered turn. At 131 for four, they looked vulnerable but Tom Abell (38 not out, 78 balls) and Steven Davies (39 not out, 97 balls) added an unbroken 72 to build a position from which their side will look to construct a total which imposes pressure on the equally brittle Warwickshire batting.

    After rain prevented play before lunch, Somerset got off to a flier as openers Marcus Trescothick and Edward Byrom passed 50 in the ninth over. But the next over brought the breakthrough when Trescothick (28, 32 balls) edged an attempted cut at Jeetan Patel to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.

    After another rain break, 19-year-old Championship debutant George Bartlett's first Championship runs arrived, curiously, from a reverse-swept four, he added only four more before being bowled by a good ball by Ryan Sidebottom.

    Byrom (43, 67 balls) saw his side to the brink of tea but then fell to an ill-judged reverse-sweep at Sunny Singh which ended in the hands of Jonathan Trott at slip.

    The top scorer of the day said: "On a pitch that was always going to turn we are in a really good position. That was a really good partnership in the last session between Steven Davies and Tom Abell.

    "It was hugely disappointing for me to get out in the 40s again, that's four times now, but it was a contribution nevertheless and I think we are in a good position," he added.

    A nicely-flighted ball from Singh dismissed James Hildreth (33, 55 balls) after tea but the Bears' two spinners were seen off by Davies and Abell under grey skies inside a stadium which, it would be fair to say, was not rocking in quite the same fashion as it was for NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day 72 hours earlier.  

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