Warwickshire 334-9 (IJ Westwood 129, R Clarke 42, RA Jones 35, C Overton 3-59, L Gregory 3-97, PD Trego 2-68).
Somerset 3 points, Warwickshire 3 points
A tough day of first class cricket at Taunton ended with Warwickshire slightly ahead after Ian Westwood reached a fine century, despite being dropped early on during his innings.
The momentum see-sawed between both teams throughout the day, befitting a clash between the third and fourth placed sides in the championship.
Somerset made key inroads into the Warwickshire innings throughout the day. Craig Overton was particularly hostile and Lewis Gregory bowled an excellent spell after lunch which proved very difficult to score off and brought him two wickets in nine overs.
However, five missed chances cost Somerset dear and the visitors were able to recover from 144-5 to piece together a number of middle and lower order partnerships to frustrate their hosts.
Somerset will feel they should have been batting at the close of play, not the tenth wicket pair of Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Recordo Gordon, who have already added 29.
After a delay due to a wet outfield, Marcus Trescothick won the toss and inserted Warwickshire on a green top. His decision was instantly vindicated when Alfonso Thomas had Varun Chopra caught at gully by Lewis Gregory in the first over of the day before a run had been scored.
Westwood and William Porterfield set about rebuilding and by lunch, at the end of a shortened morning session, had taken Warwickshire to 62-1 off 18 overs. During that time Westwood was dropped at gully on 24* by Gregory who made good ground running and diving to get to the ball. He failed to hold on and collided with Nick Compton in the process.
After lunch, Gregory immediately made up for that missed chance by picking up Porterfield off the second ball of the afternoon session, playing onto his leg stump for 17.
That was the first wicket in a passage of play, which saw Warwickshire lose four wickets for 82 runs in 22.4 overs.
Gregory and Overton were extremely economical bowling in tandem, the former producing a post-lunch spell of 9-3-31-2.
This was Craig Overton’s first game back for Somerset after England Lions duty and it seems the experience has only benefitted him as he continued his excellent form with the ball, bowling particularly quickly and really testing the Warwickshire batsmen.
The next over after Porterfield’s dismissal, Overton bowled a superb lifting delivery which Jonathan Trott played at and was caught behind by Alex Barrow. There was clearly a loud noise, but Trott seemed to indicate it was off pad not bat as he left the field. His brief innings had included consecutive fours off the first two balls he faced from Gregory and Somerset will have been glad to get him cheaply. Warwickshire were 77-3 at this stage.
Gregory’s second wicket came with the score on 110, Trescothick pouching an excellent catch at second slip as Sam Hain flashed at one outside off.
Tim Ambrose joined Westwood and they took the score onto 144 before the Warwickshire keeper was caught by his Somerset opposite number Barrow after edging a full length ball from Trego which swung and left him.
Ambrose made 18, but had received a let off earlier in his innings when a top edge brushed the outstretched finger tips of the diving Pete Trego at slip.
Warwickshire went into tea on 177-5 off 52 overs, with Westwood 88* and Rikki Clarke 14* and Somerset will have had hopes of finishing them off cheaply in the evening session with several of the visitors’ regular lower order away on international duty or injured.
Westwood and Clarke though extended their partnership to 67, before Clarke – who’d earlier survived a missed chance by Overton at slip – eventually perished to a fierce delivery from Overton which he edged to Trego at first slip. Warwickshire were now 211-6.
Joined by Richard Jones, Westwood brought up his century with a two off Dockrell. He had faced 182 balls and hit 14 fours. In addition to that missed chance on 24, he also offered a very hard, low chance to Trego at slip on 98*.
Jones took the attack to Somerset, hitting four fours and two sixes – both off Dockrell – in a 50-ball stay at the crease. Like many of his teammates he too received a let-off in the field when Trescothick put him down at slip on 24.
Jones eventually went, going after a short ball from Trego which he nicked behind to give Barrow his third catch of the innings. Jones had put on 51 runs with Westwood in 15 overs and scored 35 of them.
Jeetan Patel joined Westwood and also played some attacking cricket, hitting four boundaries as Warwickshire moved past 300 in the 81st over.
Later that over though, Westwood’s long vigil finally ended when he drove Gregory – bowling with the new ball – to Tom Abell, making his first-team debut for Somerset, at backward point. He had made an excellent 129 in more than five and a half hours at the crease, facing 234 balls in total and hitting 19 boundaries.
Next over Patel became the second man to fall to the new ball when he top edged an attempted drive off Overton to James Hildreth at third man for 20 and Warwickshire were nine down.
If Somerset thought their work was almost finished though, Hannon-Dalby and Gordon had other ideas.
(Somerset bowling figures to date: AC Thomas 21-7-61-1, L Gregory 22-6-97-3, PD Trego 17-2-68-2, C Overton 19-1-59-3, GH Dockrell 9-1-29-0).
Afterwards BBC Radio WM 95.6’s Mike Taylor told the BBC Sport website: “This was a compelling day’s cricket and a typically modest Ian Westwood should be thrilled after an innings of high quality, in which his timing of attacking strokes was a feature.
“Making the most of an early dropped chance, he glued together Warwickshire’s innings, and they prospered later in the day.
“A number of lower-order regulars are missing for the Bears but they showed they still had batting strength, even down to the last pair who played well to add important runs.
“There was plenty of good bowling to enjoy too, mostly in the first two sessions, with Craig Overton particularly catching the eye. The pitch started green, but made for good cricket, and the dust visible as the ball pitched in the third session will interest the spinners.”
Somerset: ME Trescothick*, JG Myburgh, NRD Compton, TB Abell, JC Hildreth, AWR Barrow†, PD Trego, L Gregory, C Overton, AC Thomas, GH Dockrell
Warwickshire: V Chopra*, IJ Westwood, WTS Porterfield, IJL Trott, SR Hain, TR Ambrose†, R Clarke, RA Jones, JS Patel, OJ Hannon-Dalby , RO Gordon