Sports Editor Oscar Frost reports on Warwickshire’s draw with Somerset in their first LV= County Championship match of the season

Written by Oscar Frost
Hi! I'm Oscar, and I'm one of your deputy editors for the coming year. I was also a sports editor for two years, and a writer for a year before that.

A defiant Tom Lammonby stand secured a draw between Warwickshire and Somerset in Taunton after a scare courtesy of the Warks seam attack. Warwickshire walked away with 11 points, narrowly out scoring Somerset’s nine-point haul. 

Sean Dickson and Cameron Bancroft both fell for ducks at the start of the second inning, with Somerset needing 108 runs to match Warwickshire’s monstrous 392 first innings score. However, the rest of the batting lineup from the home side, led by Lammonby (66*) were able to secure the draw.

It was always going to be difficult to get a result in this game after the first day was lost due to a washout at the Cooper Associates County Ground, despite the hosts being reduced to 127-6 on the final day. 

“We feel we bossed the match, winning or at least drawing each session,” commented Warwickshire coach Mark Robinson.

On the batting side, it was Alex Davies (118) and Sam Hain (119) that put the away team in a position to challenge for a result in this one. It was a disappointing first game back for Warwickshire stalwart Rob Yates, who was caught behind early on for just two runs. 

We feel we bossed the match, winning or at least drawing each session

After a tough season last year for Davies, this was a welcome century to start his 2023 campaign. 

Aside from the batting brilliance of Davies and Hain, the Warwickshire team will be satisfied with the wicket-taking ability of the seamers. The quartet of Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Chris Rushworth, Hasan Ali and Ed Barnard is a force to be reckoned with on paper.

In the first Somerset first innings, Hannon-Dalby and Barnard took three wickets each, with Rushworth and Ali also taking two wickets, both on debut. The share of the wickets was reasonably even, which is a testament to the well-rounded nature of the bowling attack. 

Hannon-Dalby also took three wickets in the second innings from just 11 overs. 

On a more technical note, Ali could prove to be more of an asset than initially recognised as a result of his bowling tending to skid onto the stumps. This contrasted with the pace and bounce offered by the other Warwickshire bowlers, meaning Ali can bleep the batters on their toes whenever he enters the field. 

One aspect that could perhaps be worrying for the Warwickshire bowling attack is the fact that the spinners were unable to take any wickets in the match. Jacob Bethell would be expected to take wickets, especially on a March pitch. Rob Yates was also brought on in the second innings, but to no avail. 

Overall, it was a solid opener for Warwickshire in a match that was always going to be an uphill battle with only three days to settle a result. There were brilliant performances across the side, although the data on the batting lineup is still limited with only one innings in the books.

Warwickshire will face Kent at home next, which will kick off on April 13th. Kent are coming off of a seven wicket victory over Northants, where Ben Compton (114*) was imperious.

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