Warwickshire v Somerset, Taunton, 4th day August 18, 2014

Warwickshire retain hopes of glorious treble


Warwickshire 367 (Westwood 129) and 322 for 7 dec (Chopra 117*, Clarke 83) beat Somerset 286 (Abell 95, Jones 4-81, Patel 4-81) and 188 (Gordon 4-53, Patel 4-64) by 215 runs

Twenty years ago, Warwickshire won a historic treble. It is just possible that 2014 could yet rival 1994 as the finest year in Warwickshire's history.

A place in the quarterfinals of the Royal London One-Day Cup is virtually assured. On Saturday, the Edgbaston crowd will attempt to cheer Warwickshire onto glory in T20 Finals Day. And, after this victory at Taunton, Warwickshire have moved into third place in Division One of the Championship.

Few expected it on the first morning. Warwickshire's side on the scorecards sold at Taunton had a formidable look, but the names of Keith Barker, Boyd Rankin and Chris Wright all had to be rapidly scribbled out. Add in Chris Woakes being detained by England and it meant a particular onus on Jeetan Patel.

While he brings rather less razzmatazz than Brian Lara 20 years ago, Patel has unobtrusively developed into the model overseas pro for the 21st Century. His first-class record for Warwickshire is extraordinary: 173 wickets at 26.94, in addition to 1340 runs at 28.51. Though he lacks the mystery of Saeed Ajmal, Patel again bowled with wonderful control and skill.

The duel with Marcus Trescothick felt defining: Warwickshire's best bowler against Somerset's talismanic captain. Three of Somerset's four wins in this season's Championship have been underpinned by a Trescothick century, including a blazing fourth innings hundred at Taunton against Durham here in May.

Trescothick set off in rather more circumspect mood in this innings. It seems unimaginable that he can ever have begun an innings slower: his first run did not come until his 39th ball, when he cut Patel's first delivery of the day away for four.

"Last night I had two overs at him and it was disappointing not to get him - I really wanted that wicket," Patel said while nursing a well-deserved beer after play. Patel imagined that he might snare Trescothick running down the wicket, but had to settle for trapping him on the crease lbw, playing back.

Thereafter, Patel scarcely bowled a loose ball - he yielded only two runs an over - while extracting considerably more rip from the surface than George Dockrell had managed.

In a vain upset to disturb his immaculate rhythm, Somerset's batsmen attempted to use their feet. It did not work. After a foray down the wicket, James Hildreth was caught at mid-on to the third ball after lunch.

Alex Barrow did play Patel with considerable poise, playing decisively forward to negate the spin, but was eventually enticed into an injudicious drive, while an abhorrent swipe from Alfonso Thomas handed Patel his fourth wicket of the inning. Match figure of 8 for 145 took his Championship haul for 2014 to 47 wickets.

But victory would not have been without some sterling work from Warwickshire's stand-in pace attack. Oliver Hannon-Dalby has a slightly awkward action - his left arm falling away in his delivery stride - but he took two new ball wickets in both innings.

Having played superbly in the first innings - "a real joy to see," in Trescothick's words - Tom Abell appeared flustered in his second first-class innings. After Myburgh had flashed loosely against Hannon-Dalby, Abell survived a tight lbw shout first ball. To the next delivery, he made an egregious error of judgement, leaving a ball that shaped and sent his offstump cartwheeling.

Yet perhaps it was fitting that the win was sealed with a catch from Jonathan Trott off Recordo Gordon. Trott failed twice with the bat. He did not bowl. But he contributed perhaps the most memorable moment of the game.

A few minutes after being hit on the helmet by a Gordon bouncer - he was hit on the back of his helmet, turning away from the ball - Nick Compton thought he had hooked a six. But Trott, at square leg, caught the ball as he was running back into the boundary rope. He parried it up and returned from beyond the boundary to complete a magnificent catch. It could yet come to seem a pivotal moment in the title race.

Harassing the tail from around the wicket, Gordon took a career best 4 for 54, giving further notice of the depth of Warwickshire's bowling stocks. "You want your extended squad to be helping out because it comes to this time of year and guys are injured or sore or niggly or just tired," Patel said. "We play so much cricket in the season that it does become very tiring. We've played great cricket for three weeks."

Warwickshire will be grateful for the depth of their squad during the season's final dash. But what of Warwickshire's chances of matching the class of '94? "That's a long way away. That would be quite possibly the most amazing thing ever."

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  • Chris on August 19, 2014, 23:28 GMT

    I don't think anyone is saying that Myburgh was responsible for the defeat but going by the season so far he's not proved to be the greatest signing, that's all. The idea that he's a better spinner than Dockerell is ludicrous although I accept that Dockerell hasn't developed as a match winner as we'd have hoped but he still has great ability and even greater potential. Dockerell has won us games and will win us games in the future. Myburgh, as a spinner wont. I suppose in a way he's a replacement for Suppiah, batsmen, part timer spinner but he's not in the same class as Suppiah. We should be bringing in better players not second rate journeymen. As for Trego, it was pretty much his bowling that kept us up last year. To say he always bowls terribly is a tad harsh, a little inaccurate and dismissive. I think most Somerset fans would consider Trego to be one of our most influential and valuable players.Anyway lets just hope we win today and Myburgh makes a century..and takes 5 for 12

  • Matthew on August 19, 2014, 12:50 GMT

    Myburgh is certainly not to blame for this defeat some of our English players have to carry the blame for this. Trego bowled absolutely pathetically as he always does & his shot when we really need him to score runs in the first innings was brainless and that is not to mention the two crucial catches that he dropped. Hildreth has been poor all season he unlike Myburgh is not facing the new ball& his average in still 4 lower than him this season and his shot yesterday was an absolute disgrace. Another one to blame is Dockrell he bowled pathetically he didn't beat the bat once Myburgh who is a part time spinner looked far more threatening than him & got 1 wicked which would have been 2 if Dockrell could catch. Dockrell cost us a win at home to Lancs failing to bowl them out on a dusty turning wicket& Patel got turn and bounce yesterday that Dockrell never once has got in the last two home games. I think that Myburgh has been a good find he is a solid batsman a decent part time bowler.

  • Chris on August 19, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    Thanks Paul. Was aware of the Nosworthy/Mybs connection and was aware that at best Myburgh is a bit of a journeyman and not a particuarly exciting signing. And was aware that he wasn't going to ignite or even lightly scold our season. But I was just saying, even with those low expectations of what his contribution to the team would be, I'm still incredibly disappointed. Bring back Durston...

  • Stephen on August 19, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    Warks certainly have the easies run in of the top 3. Last 3 matches against 3 of the bottom 4, though they still have a fair gap to try and close up. Relys on Yorkshire losing 2 of the last 3 realistically and Notts to lose 1 of the last 3 (preferably not the Yorkshire game) it's certainly out of their hands. A poor start to the season always put them on the back foot.

  • John on August 19, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    Disappointing as a Somerset fan but well done Warwicks.

    I still believe we lost huge momentum when not being able to beat Lancs twice. For me that was the turning point of the season. Still we've done ok with the squad we have and the emergence of Gregory in this format has been a huge plus. Maybe next year we can get a quality overseas signing for the whole season.

    You can see why Yorks and Notts have been so good this season in their games which finished yesterday. Both were in big trouble in 1st inns and managed to turn it all around.

  • Paul on August 19, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    @Cottard. The explanation for the Myburgh signing is that he had been released by Durham in 2012 and had been out of work ever since, apart from playing club cricket for Sutton CC. At the time of his signing in December Nosworthy told the Somerset CCC website that he had worked with "Mybs" before.

  • kieran on August 19, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    Somerset need to do a lot better. Considering Taunton is such a flat pitch to be bowled out for such a pitiful score is embarassing. Seriously need to up their game especially the top order batsmen. Used to be a batting order other teams feared rather than laughed at. Extra nets in order I think.

  • Paul on August 18, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    Every criticism you've read concerning India's spineless surrender at the Oval applies equally to Somerset's half-hearted and muddle-headed effort today.

    Oh, for a proper Director of Cricket again to enforce some sense of direction. Instead Somerset CCC is forcing us to endure a further year and a half of Nosworthy before his contract finally expires.

  • Dummy4 on August 18, 2014, 21:34 GMT

    "That would be quite possibly the most amazing thing ever." Well said Jeets. Keep it up you Bears!!

  • Chris on August 18, 2014, 21:15 GMT

    Not so sure about Warwickshire's treble, more concerned with Somerset's potential glorious double but as Trescothick's mercurial team lost so comprehensively can just about see why the article concentrated on Warwickshire's prospects a little more. Apart from Gregory's performance with bat and ball and Tom Abells' brilliant debut (despite the duck in the 2nd inns it's still a brilliant debut) not much to shout about from a Somerset point of view. Can't blame injuries as Warks were far more affected by absences and were playing with a second string attack. Need more from the top order, can't always rely on Trego/Overton/Gregory to dig us out of a hole and as someone said previously Myburgh doesn't seem to be giving us much. Oh well maybe have to wait till next year for the glorious double.

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