Natwest T20 Blast - Somerset avoid Friday 13th nightmare against Hampshire

Bridgwater Mercury: Competition winner Max Kelly meets Max Waller Competition winner Max Kelly meets Max Waller

MAX Kelly, aged 18, of Milverton, was named as a winner in the Match Day reporter competition run by Somerset County Cricket Club and the County Gazette. He scooped a media pass and tickets for three friends to Friday’s Natwest T20 Blast match against Hampshire. Here’s his match report.

THE Cidermen avoided a Friday 13th nightmare with victory over Hampshire in Friday’s Natwest T20 Blast clash - despite four dropped catches and a missed run-out.

After Hampshire won the toss and elected to bowl, Somerset started brightly, with two boundaries apiece for the openers, before Chris Jones, playing instead of the injured Marcus Trescothick, was bowled by Chris Wood.

Peter Trego joined Craig Kieswetter at the crease, and the pair continued steadily, without scoring as quickly as a Taunton pitch often allows. Some 45 runs were scored from the powerplay, including six fours.

By the halfway stage, Somerset were in a good position to push on to a strong total, reaching 80 for only the loss of Jones.

The pace was quickened in the 14th over, bowled by Sean Ervine, as Trego brought up his 50 with a straight six, followed by Kieswetter bringing up his own half century with a four and a six.

Somerset were never truly able to capitalise on their good start, however, and lost Kieswetter in the next over for 57, followed by Petersen shortly afterwards.

Trego was the last wicket to fall, for a 76 during which he had not struck the ball cleanly, and Somerset finished on 176 for 4 wickets – a score which felt 15 runs short.

The Hampshire innings began poorly for them, as James Vince edged his first ball to stand-in captain James Hildreth at slip off the bowling of Trego.

Yet Hampshire scored quickly, racing to 48 for the loss of two wickets from five overs, Jimmy Adams also falling to Trego.

Michael Carberry and Glenn Maxwell looked to capitalise on the short boundaries at Taunton, but fell in the seventh and eighth over respectively, the steady flow of wickets keeping Somerset in the hunt for victory. Max Waller bowled tightly with figures of 1-20 from his four overs.

Some sloppy fielding saw two catches dropped by Somerset, but two wickets in two balls from Alfonso Thomas looked to have put the game to bed, with 34 required from the final two overs.

However, in the penultimate over, two more catches were dropped, and two sixes hit, leaving Hampshire needing 17 from the final six balls, to be bowled by Thomas.

Two boundaries and a missed run out opportunity left Hampshire requiring three runs from the final ball to secure an unlikely victory, but they were unable to pick up more than a single, finishing on 175 for 7.

Four dropped catches and a botched run out is poor, and Somerset cannot afford to make basic mistakes if they wish to progress in the Natwest T20 Blast. However, the sun shone, the crowd was entertained and, as Dave Nosworthy said afterwards, “A win’s a win”.

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