All Bob Willis Trophy matches are being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus restrictions in place. This report was therefore written following a day watching Warwickshire CCC’s live stream of the match without which it would not have been possible. The stream was watched throughout with the commentary muted and with notes being taken to enable the author to replicate as far as possible his experience of watching matches live; and to enable him to form his own view of the play.
Bob Willis Trophy. Central Group. Warwickshire v Somerset. 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th August 2020. Edgbaston.
Warwickshire. R.M.Yates, R.M.H. Rhodes (c), S.R. Hain, I.R. Bell, M.J. Lamb, M.G.K. Burgess (w), T.T. Bresnan, A.T. Thomson, H.J.H. Brookes, C.N. Miles, O.H. Hannon-Dalby.
Somerset. E.J. Byrom, T.A. Lammonby, T.B. Abell (c), J.C. Hildreth, T. Banton, S.M. Davies (w), L. Gregory, C. Overton, R.E. van der Merwe, J.Overton, J.H. Davey.
Overnight. Warwickshire 121. Somerset 80 for 2. Somerset trail by 41 runs with eight first innings wickets standing.
Second day. 16th August – Glowering skies – glorious cricket
A glowering sky presented itself when the live stream woke up on the second morning of this match. Then, the dreaded words presented themselves. “Start delayed. Wet outfield. Rain.” The wide-angle camera located in the Pavilion presented its view of the Birmingham skyline. A skyline that was doing battle with those clouds. Half-buildings with their heads in the clouds. I could almost feel the dank atmosphere. The sullen-looking outfield didn’t help. Neither did the Blackdowns, for they looked depressed and expectant of rain. Perhaps, like me, they knew of the importance of Somerset getting enough time on the field in this match to force a win. It is the halfway point of a five-match competition in which only two of the three group winners can progress to the final. Even five wins might not guarantee a place. Weather could be a crucial factor in determining the outcome, and the forecast for the final three days of this match is poor. The players will have had their own view, but the supporter dreamt of them only having to bat once, perhaps, dream of dreams, of reaching 300 and then letting slip the … Well, not exactly the dogs of war, but you get my drift after the Somerset bowling performance in the first Warwickshire innings.
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