Kartik's spin sends Bears stumbling to abject defeat

Somerset 268 & 183 Warwickshire 140 & 130 (Somerset win by 181 runs)
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The Independent Online

Warwickshire's woes continued yesterday as Somerset sealed a third consecutive Championship win despite a two-and-a-half-hour delay for rain, beating the Midlands county within three days for the second time in two weeks. For Warwickshire, it is a fifth defeat of the season, and a third in four matches.

Murali Kartik, the Indian left-arm spinner, finished with 6-42 for match figures of 11-72, his best in England. Given he took 6-61 when Somerset beat them by nine wickets at Taunton, Warwickshire will be relieved to have seen the last of him in this competition.

A fourth-innings target of 312 on a bouncy, turning pitch would have tested most teams but Warwickshire's collapse was undignified. They lost their last eight wickets for 49 runs and, having been 117-6 when the weather closed in at tea, surrendered their last four in 17 balls after the restart.

Scoring runs in either innings has become a major headache for coach Ashley Giles. In their last four matches, his side have not managed a single batting bonus point. In 64 attempts collectively, their top six in this match have only half a dozen 50s between them in the Championship – three of them to the captain, Ian Westwood. These are not statistics to encourage confidence with the season already at the half-way stage.

Somerset bowled Warwickshire out for 140 on Saturday for a lead of 128 and while they managed only 183 themselves second time around, the leg-spinner Imran Tahir finishing with 6-58 after taking the two wickets to fall yesterday morning, it gave them an overall lead of 311.

This was more than enough to frighten Warwickshire into submission and although Varun Chopra, signed from Essex in the winter, played well for his 46 until he was undone by a ball that kept low, there was not much further resistance.

Kartik, relishing the conditions, did the damage in two bursts, taking three wickets in the space of 14 deliveries as Warwickshire subsided from 81-2 to 91-6 before the rain, and three in 11 balls as they crashed from 125-6 to 130 all out afterwards, losing by 181 runs as Somerset climbed to third place.