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FAKE 2020 CC1 @Warwickshire Grin and Bear it?
By Grockle et al
June 25 2020

In this alternative 2020 reality Tom Banton finally gets into a side because of England's demands on our spinners - and then he bats at 8!!  Jack Brooks gives Jamie Overton a rest on a possibly sluggish pitch in Brum

v WARWICKSHIRE @ Edgbaston Wednesday 24 June 2020

International call ups take out Somerset's whole first class spin attack and therefore Reolof keeps his place while Tom Banton comes in to offer the extra batsman.  On what seems to be a slow pitch, Jack Brooks is called back in to give Jamie Overton a breather.  Other than that the side is the same as that one that took the points in Yorkshire

Tom Abell requests and wins the toss and decides to bat as he has done in every CC1 match this year when he has had the option.  The side is;

Ali, Byrom, Bartlett, Hildreth, Abell, Davies, Gregory, Banton, van der Merwe, Overton C, Brooks

Miles and Norwell open the Warwickshire attack against Somerset and the pitch does suggest there isn't a lot of life off the surface.  Tight bowling keeps everything in check with the first boundary not arriving until the 4th over when Ali finds the rope.  He settles quicker of the two openers while Byrom is nearly caught behind at 35 and then IS a victim to Ambrose just after Chrois woakes takes over inthe 14th over.  Eddie is out for 21 at 46.  Patel is introduced in the 15th.

Azhar moves the score past 50 in a conservative and cautious manner but he can't control what is happening at the other end where George Bartlett becomes Ambrose's second victim off woakes before he has got going at 52 for a score of 1.  Hildreth loooks a little more formidable as he driveshis second ball for four.  Warwickshire try variations before the lunch break with a rota of Norwell, Rhodes and Miles but there are no other incidents and the break comes wiith Somerset on 71 for 2 with Chris Woakes having done the damage with 2 for 20.

The afternoon session starts with Norwell but after James Hildreth puts his second ball over the boundary rope he decides to try around the wicket and almost immediately gets an error and a caught and bowled dismissal of the same batsman for 25 at 84 for 3.  Tom Abell does not stay long either LBW to Miles for 7 at 99.

The 100 comes up but then Steve Davies is the third Ambrose victim as Miles goes around the wicket again 101 for 5 is not great.  The only bbright spark is a very stubborn 50 from Ali (146 balls 6 fours).  Woakes and Patel are back on but Lewis is taking Woakes on which results in a shout at 145 but the ball is just missing.  Up comes the 150 s resistance continues and Tea arrives with 166 on the board for no further loss.

Tea sees Azhar on 71 Lewis on 37 with Miles on 2 for 35 adding to Woakes and hhis 2 for 48.

In the evening session it is Miles who comes to the fore.  First Norwell has Gregory absolutely in front  without adding to the interval score. Banton is off the mark confidently but then snicks Miles to Hose at second slip with only 7 to his name at 179.  RvdM is in and 'wafting' but the next to go is Ali LBW to Miles on 81 just before the Somerset 200.

Warwicckshire take the new ball in the 83rd over but some resistance from RvdM and Overton moves the score on until Craig skies Miles to Sibley for 12 at 238 for his 5-fer (5 for 70) and Jack Brooks makes it 6 when he is plumb first ball.  Somerset all out for a disappointing 238 with only Azhar Ali looking anything like settled.  Miles did the damage after Tea and no one pushed on.

Warwickshire have a dangerous period to bat with enough time for a concerted effort from the Soomerset openers but not really long enough to feel they will be 'in' for tomorrow.  Overton launches the attack and has early 'blood'  catching Sibley straight in front for 5 at 10 for 1.  He then has Bell wonderfully cught by Hildreth diving to his left close in first ball and finds himself on a hat-trick.  Pollock survives and he and Rhodes make it to the end of the day on 34 for 2 with Craig Overton finishing with 2 for 14.

DAY 2

Somerset need early wickets to keep this game from getting away from them and the same attack as last nnight sttart the day.  Overton has Rhodes flashing after oonly one run has been added but in his first over Gregory sees Pollock take the runs needed under 200 - just to keep it in perspective.  However an early close catch from Hildreth does for Pollock from Overton for 17.

The score has moved from 44 to 47 when Overton claims his fourth wicket as Rhodes is caught behind for 19, he then thinks he has his fifth as ex team mate Adam Hose is directly in front of the next ball but the 'no ball!' shout is also pretty clear.  This however seems to unsettle Hose and in the very next over he is out to a superb diving catch from Steve Davies across his first slip fielder.  50 for 5 with 4 for 19 to Craig Overton.

This becomes 5 for 19 as Hain finds himself missing a straight one which rapps his pad without moving the score 50 for 6.

Brooks takes over for the 22nd and RvdM is introduced in the nexxt over.  Woakes hits the first boundary of the day from the 2nd ball of the over but tries to drive the third as well and is well caught by Ali at first slip for 7 as Warwickshire slump to 58 for 7 with an hour to go until lunch on the second day.  Before the over is finished it gets worse as Miles is cleaned up by the Durtchman with the last ball of the 23rd.

Ambrose and RvdM have a bit of a tussle for a while with boundaries and playing and missng being the two most obvious things happening.  As we move towards lunch Gregory is re-introduced for Brooks and he gets Patel almost immediately at 81.  He then repeats this one run later with Ambrose caught Ali for 16 and Warwickshire are 82 all out 156 short of the first innings par score and 6 runs short of the follow on target.....

Somerset decide to NOT enforce the follow on  and so with 13 minutes to go to lunch, they put on 16 before the break.  

Miles and Norwell arre back on after the break and there is a considerable amount of 'fencing' between Norwell and Azhar Ali but it is Byrom who is bowled by Miles for 15 at 37.  He then nearly has Ali but the umpire decides that it is not LBW as the Pakistani got a very slight edge to the ball.

So, the 200 ahead arrives at 44 for 1 and with Woakes and Patel on the visitors go past 50 in their second innings courtesy of a 'savage' four from Bartlett.  Ali reches his second 50 of the game at 90 for 1 (110 balls and 6 fours) 249 ahead, the 250 arrives followed by Somerset's 100.

Tea arrives 7 runs later with Ali on 55 and George Bartlett on 33.

Norwell gets back to the job after the drinks break but except for a couple of edges into space, there is little going for the home side and the score keeps moviing forward.   Ali finally goes caught behind on 66 wiith the score at 134 for 2 courtesy of Miles yet again.

Bartlett's 50 arrives 2 runs later (88 balls 5 fours) and little else changes as the 150 arrives with Somerset over 300 ahead.  George falls LBW to Woakes for an excellent 60at 158 but the work is hard for the bowlers and Norwell and Patel are re-introduced to try and change things.  James Hildreth smacks a couple but it is short lived as he is caught behind off Norwell for 15 at 160.  Patel ends the day facing a forcing stroke off the back foot from Davies at 182 for 4 - 338 ahead with Miles 2 for 52 annd Woakes 1 for 39 but this game is getting away from Warwickshire and Somerset may very well have a big bash before lunch tomorrow and then get to work closing this one down.

DAY 3

With 10 overs to go before the new ball was available, Norwell and Miles are the choice too begin the second half of the game. The first event is the arrival of 200 with 13 of those runs coming from the third Miles over.  Somerset go 350 ahead straight afterwards.

One assumes that Tom Abell  has given his batsment free reign in this first session of the day.  At least that seems to be the strategy as he drives at a ball he really shouldn't have and is caught behind off Norwell at 213 for 5.  The plan is pretty much confirmed when Banton is promoted in the order as the new ball arrives  in the 82nd over.  Davies also confirms it by sending a Miles delivery for six.  However, Woakes wins the contest with Tom who is clean bowled for 1 at 220.  Woakes also wins against Gregory who is also cleaned up for 1 at 226.

Meanwhile, Steve Davies is simply getting on with the job.  He takes another six off the Warwickshire bowlers on his way to a 50 (78 balls 5 fours and 2 sixes) at 237 for 7.  With a single he brings up the 400 lead (obviously the first target of Somerset in this session) and RvdM takes the innings total past 250  with a single.  Davies is dropped by Ambrose at 251 and he takes Rhodes on, seeming not plannning to stop any time soon.  Roelof is caught behind just before the lunch break with the score on 273 and Somerset go in for Lunch at 294 for 8 with Steve Davies on 96.

As this is fantasy and the lead is 450, I decide to give Steve the chance to go to 3 figures by NOT declaring at the break.  I let them come out for a couple of overs.  BUT Woakes is determined not to let the fantasy go forward.  He has the keeper LBW in his secoond over  for 97.  Taking 4 for 60 Chris Woakes keeps Steve under the 100 and keeps the lead to a mere 454.

One hour and 42 minutes to Tea as Warwickshire come out to take on this total. Craig Overton and Lewis Gregory are there to meet Sibley and Rhodes.  Lewis produces a 'peach' at 19 to remove Sibley clean bowled.  Ian Bell has a better start than his first innings one as he puts Overton out of the ground.

Jack Brooks takes over for the 12th and we see RvdM in the 13th.  Bell brings up the 50 with a boundary drive but Rhodes is caught by Bartlett at slip off a leading edge for 28 at 61 for 2.  Tom Abell comes on for the 24th and he clean bowls Bell in his first over - a change in pace gets the England man for 31.

At Tea it is 75 for 3 (379 behind) and an uphill battle for the home side.

Lewis and COve are back on for the start of the third session and Hain is looking like a more settled batsman who is willing to fight for this one.  Pollock, his partner, is dropped - or probably a four is saved - by a wide second slip but the pair start to mmove the score towards 100.  At 93, Gregory clean bowls Hain for 22 while once Warwickshire are the other side of 100, Overton has Pollock caught and bowled at 105 for 17.  The same bowler has Ambrose worried almost inmmediately but he is digging in.

The 40th over sees RvdM on for a more protracted spell even though Adam Hose takes to him in his early overs.  Brooks rejoins himm for the 43rd and has Hose 'dead in the water' in front for 20 at 134 for 6.  He then gets Woakes snicking behind for 6 at 146 and Miles LBW the very next ball.  8 down and less than 150 on the board - this game has gone!!

The 150 comes up and Gregory takes up the mantle for the 55th.  Ambrose is still fighting but the hard working RvdM finally gets him for 34 at 168 some 286 behind.  2 more runs are added before the day ends.  The PC does not allow for the extra half hour I am afraid so we have to come back for Day 4!!

DAY 4

It takes Lewis two balls to send Patel back to the hutch LBW (5) and the game is over without addition.   170 all out, Warwickshire are hammered by 282 runs after looking strong at the end of Day 1.  Azhar Ali is the Man of the Match and Somerset should also thank Steve Davies  for his phenomenal 97.  Somerset are on top 39 points ahead with Yorkshire coming to Taunton for the next FAKE game.  Hampshire are way behind in third.  3 games to go.....