The Finest of Margins

Bob Willis Trophy Central Group, Warwickshire v Somerset, Birmingham, August 15 – 18 2020, Day 4, Somerset 413-9 Dec (Davies 123*, J Overton 120, Abell 41), drew with Warwickshire 121 All Out (C Overton 3-17, T Abell 3-4) & 175-8 (Davey 3-21, Gregory 3-50)

It is just before 5pm on Tuesday afternoon and it has just stopped raining in Birmingham for almost an hour now. I’m sitting watching the Edgbaston super-sopper try to get the huge quantities of water off the outfield! Mind you the rain is probably going to start again any minute if the last five hours are anything to go by. Somerset are within touching distance and if Michael Lamb will excuse the pun it is toe-curlingly excruciating frustrating.

There are still 37 scheduled overs to play today and Somerset in effect need one more wicket to clinch victory, assuming the aforementioned Lamb’s cracked toe prevents him from batting. By the time the ground staff clear the water lying on the covers (and there is a lot of it) I suspect Somerset could have 5-10 overs, assuming no further interruptions, to wrap up victory.

The frustrations all Somerset fans are feeling are exacerbated by the fact that the majority of the other games have been playing most of the day and that Worcestershire have won and Essex look on course to chalk up their third victory needing two wickets and 77 runs respectively.

Somerset did get 15 overs in before lunch sandwiched between showers but the overnight pair of Thomson and Brooks held firm until the last ball of the morning session when Lewis Gregory picked up his third scalp. Brooks was bowled playing on attempting to leave a ball but succeeding only in bottom edging onto his stumps. 

That was it until 3pm but in the first over back Jamie Overton got the eighth with the help of his batting buddy of yesterday to remove Thomson. That sole Overton bowled was a tantalising glimpse of the hostility that would surely, given a couple of overs been too much for Miles & Hannon-Dalby. But only one more over was possible before another storm brought an early tea interval.

You have to hand it to the Warwickshire ground staff who did a sterling job mopping up throughout the day only to see the clouds undo all the good work. But it was all in vain and at just after then past five the umpires abandoned the match as a draw, in, ironically bright sunshine.

I’m off to lie down in a dark room and contemplate being a point behind Worcestershire in the group with no geographical identity.