County Championship: Davies hits 89 as Somerset fight back at Warwickshire

Steven Davies has made 23 first-class centuries, but he has not reached three figures in the Championship since the penultimate game of the 2017 season
Steven Davies has made 23 first-class centuries, but he has not reached three figures in the Championship since the penultimate game of the 2017 season
County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day two):
Warwickshire 419: Yates 141, Rhodes 82, Burgess 52; C Overton 3-98, Brooks 3-104
Somerset 167-5: Davies 89*; Hannon Dalby 2-21
Somerset (2 pts) trail Warwickshire (5 pts) by 252 runs with five wickets remaining

Somerset opener Steven Davies made his highest score of the summer as County Championship title hopefuls Somerset battled back against Warwickshire on the second day at Edgbaston.

The former Worcestershire and Surrey wicketkeeper made an unbeaten 89 to help his side reach 167-5 at the close.

That was in response to an all-out total of 419 from the Bears.

Mid-summer signing Mike Burgess made 52 for Warwickshire, who may have expected a few more after resuming on 303-4.

But the Bears, struggling at the foot of the Division One table, still have a chance of making second-placed Somerset follow on. The visitors will resume on day three needing a further 103 to avoid that fate.

On a day marred by several short rain breaks, Rob Yates added just two to his overnight score to reach 141, before driving low to Roelof van der Merwe in the gully to become Jack Brooks' third victim.

That was one of three gully catches for van der Merwe, on top of the wicket of Sam Hain the previous evening, while Craig Overton and Brooks finished with three wickets each.

The Bears then claimed three wickets in 16 balls after Henry Brookes bowled visiting captain Tom Abell playing no stroke. Oliver Hannon-Dalby trapped James Hildreth lbw for six, then tempted Pakistan World Cup batsman Babar Azam, on his debut, to chip Brookes first ball to midwicket.

The hat-trick delivery was well defended by former Warwickshire academy batsman Tom Banton. Coming in lower down the order after nursing a hamstring injury the previous day, he made 23, putting on 63 with Davies before being caught behind off Will Rhodes.

Then, after putting on 59 with Davies, George Bartlett went in the penultimate over for 26, clean bowled by George Garrett to become the young Bears debutant's maiden first-class scalp.

Bears seamer George Garrett told BBC WM:

"It was nice to get out there on the field and show what I can do. To cap it off with a wicket this evening is an amazing feeling. I wasn't expecting Jeetan Patel to throw me the ball there. But he showed faith in me and to get a wicket repays that faith.

"I found out I was playing just before we started training on day one. Jeets pulled me aside and said you're going to play, which was a feeling I wasn't necessarily expecting. But it's an opportunity I'll take with both hands.

"It's always nice for any bowler to put your feet up, but I was made to wait when the rain kept coming. It wasn't doing my heart rate many favours as I just wanted to get out there.

"We've now got to win the first half-hour in the morning. If we get a couple then, then I really don't see why we can't knock them over and see where the game is."

Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry:

"First and foremost it's really important to focus on Steve Davies and the job he's done for us. He's not only kept magnificently for 120 overs, but gone out there and batted sublimely.

"We've got a lot of cricket to play over the next two days and it's important we scrap really hard, because it has been frustrating at times.

"There's been periods of the game when we bowled really nicely and there's been periods of play when we've lost control and they've got momentum.

"What I was pleased about this morning was we turned up, put the ball in good areas, asked questions, took an early wicket and started as we wanted. But it was tough. They fought hard and showed good resilience."

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