Calm Westwood guides Warwickshire home
Warwickshire 132 for 5 (Westwood 35*) beat Somerset 131 (Woakes 4-21) by five wickets
Ian Westwood salvaged an exciting tie for Warwickshire last night, but he went one better today with a calm 35 to guide his side to their first win of this year's Twenty20 Cup, beating Somerset by five wickets.
Set a perfectly gettable 132, Warwickshire's batsmen suffered the same difficulties as Somerset in their innings - namely, struggling with their timing and panicking unnecessarily. Neil Carter hammered 31 from 20 balls, and Jim Troughton 33 at better than a run-a-ball, but wickets continued to fall to raise Somerset hopes. In the end, however, Westwood held his nerve, aided by Ant Botha who clumped Ian Blackwell for four in the final over, to see Warwickshire home.
It was Chris Woakes, the nineteen-year-old medium-pacer, who starred for the visitors with the ball, but not before Justin Langer and Marcus Trescothick got Somerset off to a rollicking start. Trescothick was in excellent touch, lofting Chris Martin over the top with casual elegance before bunting the same bowler over midwicket. And though Langer was less authoritative initially, he gradually expanded his strokeplay to pepper the boundary. A four was swung over midwicket before he nailed a six over long-on, and the most delicate of back-cuts brought up Somerset's fifty in the seventh over.
The run-rate began to spiral and Warwickshire's bowlers lacked discipline, but Somerset's Twenty20 difficulties came flooding into view when they collapsed like a pack of soggy cards. Ant Botha had Langer trapped in front, before clinging onto a remarkable caught-and-bowled to dismiss James Hildreth, before two excellent yorkers removed Somerset's big two - in all senses of the word - Trescothick and Blackwell in the space of five balls. From 78 for 0, Somerset had slipped to 92 for 4.
Enter Woakes, who earlier ought to have had Trescothick caught at midwicket. Bowling full and straight - such basics that often disappear from bowlers' minds in Twenty20 - he rattled through Somerset's middle-lower-order, twice hitting the stumps, to finish with Man-of-the-Match figures of 4 for 21. Craig Kieswetter gave another glimpse of his burgeoning talent with 19 from 12, but it was too little, too late.
Or was it? Trescothick gave them a lift with an outstanding one-handed catch, running in from short midwicket, to cling onto Jonathan Trott's leading edge, while Carter, who laced five fours and a huge six in his 31, was bowled by Mark Turner. When Tony Frost was bowled by the energetic Alfonso Thomas, a sizeable crowd sensed an upset with Warwickshire slipping to 57 for 3.
Westwood to the rescue, once again - aided by Troughton's 33 - who dealt mainly in singles, nudging through the leg-side and running well between the wickets. The pair's partnership had extended to 53 when Troughton was bowled, attempting a needlessly bold inside-out stroke over the covers.
Fortunately for Warwickshire, Westwood's decision-making was far sounder, and a four through midwicket off Blackwell sealed their first win of the summer.
Will Luke is a staff writer at Cricinfo