Jamie Overton’s explosive maiden century was the spectacular centrepiece as Somerset marched towards a huge win over Warwickshire on the third day of their Bob Willis Trophy match at Edgbaston.
After number 10 Overton’s violent 120 from just 92 balls, along with Steven Davies’ accomplished century, lifted Somerset to 413 for nine declared, a lead of 292, they had the brittle Bears in disarray at 104 for six second time round.
Had bad light and rain not lopped off the last 20 overs, victory would probably have arrived inside three weather-affected days.
Somerset have dominated the whole match but their command hit overdrive on the third day after resuming on 214 for six.
They soon lost Lewis Gregory, who skied Tim Bresnan to mid-off, and Roelof ven der Merwe, who edged Olly Hannon-Dalby behind, but from that moment on there was only punishment for the home side.
Davies and Overton came together at 226 for eight and turned a handy lead into a crushing one with a stand of 180 in 29 overs – a Somerset ninth-wicket record against Warwickshire.
Davies completed his 25th first-class century from 150 balls while Overton charged to 80 at lunch and then accelerated to his maiden ton, from just 84 balls, in his 98th first-class innings.
He finally fell to the admirably-persevering Bresnan and 16 balls later the declaration arrived.
The lack of depth in a home attack without the injured Olly Stone and Liam Norwell, and Chris Woakes on England duty, had been ruthlessly exposed.
Former Yorkshire pair Bresnan and Hannon-Dalby took four for 99 and four for 104 respectively, but the rest returned a combined one for 207.
Requiring 292 to avoid an innings defeat, Warwickshire started badly when Rob Yates was bowled, having left a straight ball from Jack Davey.
Sam Hain and Ian Bell, two batsmen of high ability but currently very low of confidence, continued their unproductive sequences as Hain edged Jamie Overton’s third ball to first slip and Bell nicked Gregory to wicketkeeper Davies.
From 54 for three at tea, the Bears’ trouble soon deepened further. It was 58 for five after Michael Burgess and Bresnan perished to successive balls from Davey, caught at cover and first slip respectively.
Captain Will Rhodes showed some defiance but, having watched five partners depart, himself departed for 41 when he was cramped in an attempt to pull a ball from Gregory and fired back a return catch.
That was 104 for six and, with Matt Lamb in severe discomfort from a cracked big toe so unlikely to bat, Somerset sensed a three-day win, but then the light closed and rain followed, leaving the home side to pray for a monsoon.