Warwickshire pulled off an unlikely escape act to salvage a draw as yesterday’s sole remaining County Championship fixture produced a thriller in Taunton.
Somerset had looked certain to claim their first win of the new season having reduced the visitors to 376 for 9 when Chris Wright was out lbw to Alfonso Thomas. But a stubborn rearguard action from Rikki Clarke and No 11 batsman Oliver Hannon-Dalby frustrated their bowling attack for 21 overs to claim a share of the spoils for the reigning champions.
Captain James Hildreth dropped Clarke off the bowling of Jamie Overton, and there was a moment of controversy when umpire Nick Cook failed to raise his finger after Hannon-Dalby looked to have edged one behind. He survived, scoring a stubborn 10 from 62 balls, and more importantly providing crucial support to former Surrey all-rounder Clarke, who finished unbeaten on 61 from 139 balls.
Left-arm spinner Jack Leach had ended Varun Chopra’s own vigil of 108 from 199 balls earlier before going on to claim another four wickets – including that of captain Jim Troughton, before Jamie Overton got in on the act.
He dismissed wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose for 65 and then accounted for Laurie Evans but in the end they had to settle for a draw to leave last season’s runners-up still without a win. Elsewhere, Joe Root enhanced his already-burgeoning reputation as his 182 helped Yorkshire record an unlikely victory over Durham on Saturday.
Opening the batting and chasing 336 to win, Root showed patience in an innings that lasted over six hours before he was bowled by Callum Thorp one run short of the target.
Forgotten man Adil Rashid eventually saw Yorkshire over the line as he brought up his own half-century to secure the victory.
There was also an encouraging performance from Stuart Broad as his eight wickets helped Nottinghamshire canter to a win against Derbyshire. Broad took four wickets in both innings before Australian opener Ed Cowan and Michael Lumb helped secure a nine-wicket victory.