County Championship Division One, Taunton
Close, day two: Somerset 406 & 46-1, Warwickshire 158
Somerset 8pts, Warwickshire 3pts
County champions Warwickshire were made to struggle against Somerset as they collapsed to 158 all out at Taunton.
The visitors recovered from a first-day battering to bowl out Somerset, 358-6 overnight, for 406, Jos Buttler finishing unbeaten on 119, while Bears all-rounder Rikki Clarke took 4-70.
Somerset paceman Alfonso Thomas took his tally of Championship wickets to 11 for the season
But Alfonso Thomas then led the way with 3-29, backed by two wickets each for Jack Leach and Jamie Overton.
Somerset opted not to force the follow-on, closing on 46-1, already 294 ahead.
England hopeful Clarke, who took three of the four morning wickets to fall (finishing the innings on a hat-trick), then also produced the goods with the bat, top scoring with 31 before being run out by a direct hit from Marcus Trescothick
The Bears did at least prise out the Somerset skipper for 37, lbw to Jeetan Patel just before the close.
BBC WM’s Mike Taylor:
“Somerset’s disciplined bowling performance has established a very strong position in this match between two of the likely title contenders.
“Apparently guarding against the possibility of being caught chasing a small total on a wearing pitch on Sunday, they chose not to make Warwickshire follow on.
“Warwickshire’s first innings of 158 was inadequate, a rare batting malfunction for a team that has had so much success from making big totals, but Rikki Clarke looked in superb form again until being needlessly run out.
“Alfonso Thomas undermined them with a splendid spell after lunch. For once, there was no lower-order rescue and they’ll now expect to be left to bat for four sessions for a draw.”