Trott races back to slow Somerset

Somerset 323-8 dec Warwicks 156-3
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The Independent Online

This has been a match notable for a debut rendered anonymous by one that never happened at all, which sounds like a riddle to set county cricket followers twitching and will almost certainly be adopted as such here.

It came about after Jonathan Trott, who was not given his first Test cap by England at Headingley, arrived to play here, which was good news for everyone in the Warwickshire dressing room except Nathan Newport, the 20-year-old batsman who had been given his county debut in Trott's place but was now required to stand down.

Nathan, son of former Worcestershire and England seamer Phil Newport, will doubtless recall the occasion vividly but he may be pressed to find many others who do. Having spent 79.1 overs in the field, without bowling or taking a catch as Somerset tried to make something, after so much time lost, of their first innings, his participation will be recorded only as a footnote to the scorecard.

There may not be much else to remember, in any event. With the best part of two days wiped out by rain and a saturated outfield – play did not start until 2.30pm yesterday – a draw is inevitable. Somerset, thwarted in their bid to close the gap on First Division leaders Durham, declared at 323 for 8 at tea, just after Trott arrived, but given that they would need to bowl out the home side twice in four sessions to win the game it was a token gesture.

From 226 for 2 overnight the innings had fragmented somewhat, although James Hildreth, a man who still harbours his own international ambitions, held things together with an unbeaten 86. He struck 303 not out against the same opponents back in April.

Otherwise, after Marcus Trescothick had added only four to his unbeaten 104, Somerset did not bat with particular distinction, offering too many loose shots outside off stump. Trescothick apart, all the wickets that fell were catches behind the wicket or in the slips. The only other chance, offered by Hildreth, was spilled by Ian Westwood at short mid-wicket.

Boyd Rankin, the Irish fast bowler, found better lines than he had on Thursday but the pick of the home attack was Chris Woakes, the 20-year-old all-rounder of burgeoning talent, whose away swingers earned him 4 for 89 from 25 overs, 3 for 37 from 10 on the day.

Trott, who would normally have batted at three in a side lacking Ian Bell, came in at five after Warwickshire had stumbled to 61 for 3 in reply, but is unbeaten on 40 overnight, Tony Frost having recorded his second Championship half-century of the season to lead a recovery to 156 for 3.