Somerset County Championship dream stays alive after epic Tom Abell hundred in final day chase

-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Tom Abell hit a perfectly-paced century as Somerset chased down 410 to beat Warwickshire by five wickets on the final day of an absorbing Vitality County Championship Division One match at Taunton. The former club captain finished unbeaten on 152 as his side made light of their mammoth target, winning with 26 balls to spare.

Tom Banton contributed 81, James Rew hit 57 not out and Tom Kohler-Cadmore scored 49 after Warwickshire had declared on their overnight second-innings total of 281 for eight. It was the second-highest successful fourth-innings run chase in Somerset's history. They took 20 points from the game to climb up to second in the table, while Warwickshire had to be content with seven.

Somerset knew a good start was imperative. Andy Umeed played positively from the outset and had made 30 of the 44 runs on the board when edging behind a delivery from Oliver Hannon-Dalby. Kohler-Cadmore demonstrated admirable restraint to ensure a solid start, but lost another partner with the total on 77 when Tom Lammonby (26) top-edged off Michael Booth.

With the total on 144, Kohler-Cadmore aimed an expansive shot over the leg side off Hannon-Dolby and got a thick edge to third man. Somerset went into the final session still needing 188 runs from a minimum of 33 overs. The century partnership between Abell and Banton was brought up and the latter immediately went on the attack.

Warwickshire desperately needed a wicket and it came with the total on 281 when Banton picked out Yates at mid-wicket from the bowling of Ed Barnard. Somerset promoted Migael Pretorius (14) in the bid for quick runs but the South African did not last long. That brought in Rew before Abell reached his century, with the pair powering on.

By the time Hannon-Dalby was handed the new ball, there were just 11 overs left and 54 runs required. From there, the pair cut loose to finish the game with a flurry of boundaries, Rew completing a 51-ball half-century and Abell ending a memorable day with a pulled six off Booth. Somerset are still 23 points behind Surrey - but still in the title race