County Championship - Division One

Somerset 308 & 258-5 beat Warwickshire 319 & 146 by 5 wkts

SOMERSET closed the gap on leaders Essex to just two points after their young guns helped them pull off a superb final day run chase against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

An unbroken stand of 88 between George Bartlett (54*) and Dom Bess (38*) saw the visitors to a five-wicket win after Tom Banton's vital 66, while Babar Azam chipped in with 40 as Somerset kept their title dream very much alive.

The result looked in some jeopardy when Somerset lost three quick wickets to fall to 49-3 but the rebuilding was started by Banton and Babar in a 90-run stand.

Bartlett and Bess nervelessly saw Somerset home with a maturity beyond their years to complete a superb last two days of this match.

From 252 behind with five wickets remaining at the end of day two, Somerset have staged a remarkable recovery which marks this down as one of their best County Championship wins this season.

Somerset captain Tom Abell said: “When we saved the follow-on I felt all three results were possible.

“Of course, it was going to take a great effort from us to get ourselves ahead of the game and we managed to do that yesterday.

“I thought we bowled really well and those lower order partnerships, which helped us avoid the follow-on, I think were a big momentum shift in the game.

“The last two, or even three days we’ve done really well as after day one we were really up against it at 300 for four.

“To come back like we have done is something we talk about a lot when we’re in those positions and we managed to do that in this game.

“It was always going to be tricky chasing on the final day.

“Obviously, there’s pressures associated as well but that partnership between Babar Azam and Tom Banton in tough circumstances was brilliant.

“I thought the way Georgie (George Bartlett) played this afternoon was mature beyond his years and showed a great temperament, alongside Bessy (Dom Bess) who had a great game.

“Those lower order partnerships show we’ve got guys who can bat all the way down and that was telling in this game.

"If we keep playing like we know we can do, we've got as good a chance as anyone."