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Barnard keeps Warwickshire hopes of victory over Somerset alive

Influence with bat and ball shines through on another weather-affected day

Ed Barnard was in the runs for Warwickshire  •  Getty Images

Ed Barnard was in the runs for Warwickshire  •  Getty Images

Somerset 215 (Wagner 72, Davey 46, Rushworth 5-47) and 90 for 2 (Dickson 36*, Umeed 20*, Barnard 2-27) lead Warwickshire 273 (Barnard 73, Davies 44, Rhodes 42) by 32 runs
Ed Barnard's effectiveness with bat and ball maintained Warwickshire's hopes of victory over Somerset as this end-of-season, mid-table LV=Insurance County Championship clash meandered along under leaden skies at Edgbaston.
At the end of a third successive heavily weather-affected day, Somerset were 90 for 2 in their second innings, 32 ahead, after bowling the home side out for 273. Josh Davey took 3 for 62 and Neil Wagner 3 for 67 but Barnard's skilful and patient 73 (144 balls) maintained his excellent late-season form and gave his side a handy first-innings lead of 58. Barnard then took both wickets as Somerset ground their way in front.
Rain and bad light have chopped 125 overs from days one to three but, with better weather forecast for the fourth, a decisive result remains possible. Quick wickets could herald a Warwickshire victory bid, or the captains could simply agree a target overnight.
After Warwickshire resumed the third morning on 112 for 3, Davey struck with the fourth ball which Dan Mousley edged low to Andy Umeed at second slip. Alex Davies fell lbw to Jack Brooks and when Michael Burgess edged Wagner behind, the home side was 147 for 6, still 68 behind. Somerset sensed a lead.
Barnard had set down roots, though, and received obdurate support from the in-form Danny Briggs. Confident after his 99 at Lord's last week, the former Hampshire and Sussex player contributed 38 off 68 balls to a stand of 93 in 25 overs which moved Warwickshire in front.
Briggs scooped Wagner to long leg and Craig Miles gloved the New Zealand international behind before Barnard's excellent innings was terminated by a skied attempt to hoist Davey straight.
The Worcestershire product had ensured Warwickshire a handy first-innings lead, though, and Somerset faced an awkward 15 overs batting before tea. Openers Tom Lammonby and Sean Dickson made 39 from the first 14 before the former clipped Barnard to short mid-wicket in the final over of the session.
Barnard's happy day continued when Lewis Goldsworthy feathered a pull to wicketkeeper Burgess. Still eight runs behind with two wickets down, Somerset needed ballast and Sean Dickson (36 not out) and Umeed (20 not out) supplied it with an important unbroken stand of 40 in 12 overs. Dickson's two hours of resistance, in which he struck just three of 84 balls faced to the boundary, was exactly what his team needed in the circumstances.

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