Somerset v Warwickshire, 4th day, Taunton July 21, 2012

Rampant Kieswetter shocks leaders


Somerset 254 (Compton 73*, Suppiah 54, Patel 7-75) and 273 for 9 (Kieswetter 152, Compton 52, Barker 6-40) and beat Warwickshire 400 (Troughton 132, Woakes 107, Chopra 93) and 124 (Hussain 5-48) by 1 wicket

For Somerset, this was a triumph quite unimaginable after the advantage that Warwickshire, the championship leaders, had achieved with bat and ball earlier in this match.

For Craig Kieswetter, the highest praise that could be accorded his 152, full of muscular six hitting, was that it was in the finest West Country tradition. Needing 271 to win, he and Nick Compton brought about victory in their wholly differing styles.

Only just, mind, by one wicket after five in the lower order had gone for just 12 runs. An on driven four by Peter Trego off Jeetan Patel settled the issue.

What an ideal contrasting pair Compton and Kieswetter make: although both from South Africa, the application of the former, best known for his runs in the four-day game, is counter-pointed by the clean hitting of the latter, best known for his exploits in T20 cricket. By the time Compton had reached his half century, made off 143 balls with four fours, Kieswetter had already gone to his first century of the season - and in a most grand style.

Patel, who had returned career best figures of 7 for 75 in Somerset's first innings, was struck for three sixes in one over, all between square leg and midwicket. Twice the Warwickshire fielders in the deep had the ignominy of searching for the ball behind the bank of seats in front of the unappealing apartments that have been built here to ensure the club remained in good financial order.

As well as excelling with the pull, the shot often executed several yards down the pitch, Kieswetter was displaying the kind of quick-hands drive that scotches any spin and which has been patented, if not devised, by Kevin Pietersen. This was effective against Patel, who was still gaining some turn out of the rough created by Keith Barker, bowling left arm over the wicket and who almost had Kieswetter pouched at backward short leg off a glove.

At tea, Somerset needed 127 off 38 overs and with two strikers of the ball in Jos Buttler and Peter Trego still to come. Nothing seemed more likely than that Compton would reach 1,000 championship runs for the season - he required 65 in this innings - but, having made 52, he pushed forward at Chris Woakes and achieved only a thin edge to Tim Ambrose behind the wicket. His partnership with Kieswetter had amounted to 166 off 43 overs and had given Somerset a quite unexpected chance of victory given they had lost their first three wickets for 15.

Buttler, exuding talent and self-belief, drove dismissively through the off side in making 24 off 23 balls before too loose a drive at Barker, when he returned at the Pavilion End, resulted in a catch to first slip. Kieswetter, having swung Patel for a fourth six, this time over square leg, lifted Chris Wright onto the roof of the cowshed. Extraordinarily, there were seven fielders on the boundary in Wright's next over.

He then went to 150 by driving Barker for six over long off, only to hook the next ball straight to long leg. Only 12 were needed at this stage, but there was a further twist. Craig Meschede steered Barker to first slip and, next ball, Alfonso Thomas edged to second slip. Max Waller averted the hat trick but, in Barker's next over, was also taken at first slip: a sixth wicket and career-best figures for the former Blackburn Rovers footballer.

An on driven four by Trego off Patel settled the issue.

The target of 271 had come about not through a declaration, as was anticipated overnight, but through Warwickshire inexplicably losing seven wickets before lunch for the addition of just 58 runs. Gemaal Hussain, playing in only his second championship match of the season, and who has found wicket-taking rather harder here than at Bristol - indeed, he had yet to take a wicket - finished with 5 for 48.

It was tempting earlier this season to think that Gloucestershire had shed Hussain, Jon Lewis and Steve Kirby from their payroll at the ideal time, but there is bowling left in all three assuming they are not injured too often.

Hussain's steady medium pace ensured the match was nicely set up, for the chances were that Jim Troughton, Warwickshire's captain, would not have left Somerset a target under 300. Somerset are now just eight points behind Warwickshire, who have a match in hand.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sukwinder on July 24, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    What a nail biter!! One of the best games of the season so far!!

  • Martin on July 23, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    Is it too late for Craig to come home and play test cricket for his country? He would be the perfect replacement for Mark Boucher.

  • Mark on July 23, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @JG: Oh and I was going to go yesterday (I had tickets when it was in Bath, love going to the rec) but changed my tickets to next weekend instead to watch the game v the welsh dragons with some friends from Cardiff. At least we won't be finishing bottom anymore!

  • Mark on July 23, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Actually only 1 ball went into the balcony odf the flats, one was just short and one went into the river.

  • John on July 22, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    @Munkeymomo on (July 22 2012, 09:46 AM GMT) Yeah , you're right. I expect it on the national teams threads but for what few comms we get on the county threads are usually above that standard. Did you go today or are you going on Tuesday? What do you think re Tres? I'd say no to him playing on Tuesday and hope SS beat Essex and Tres finds some form in the meantime.

  • Samuel on July 22, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Funkyandy - I like to think we're even now, after you stole one from us up at Edgbaston :P Cracking game of cricket - how long before Woakes is batting at 6 or 7 for England I wonder? He HAS to be close. Magnificent stuff from Kieswetter too, great to see some young players performing so well, especially after the dispiriting one-sidedness of the Test!

  • Mark on July 22, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    @JG Lol, still biting? It's just people who have no real insight into the game, or knowledge of the players/English system. Of course, once again it is largely jealousy too.

    On topic, epic match, come on you zidermen!


  • B on July 22, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    I am pleased that we have such a diverse array of cultures playing cricket in England. However I think I speak on behalf of all England when I say that we would gladly banish all South African cricketers from our national and county game....if the rest of their fellow countrymen living in England promised to give up their jobs too! You can't have it both ways guys...

  • John on July 22, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    Amazing - we even get the SA comms (with no ref to the game) on the county threads. What exactly happens? Do these people see the name Kieswetter and their eyes light up , thinking "I could have a dig here" - with absolutely no interest in the game or even the county championship.

  • Baundule on July 22, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    England can field an all South African XI.

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