SOMERSET’S challenge for a Vitality Blast quarter-final place is going down to the wire, after Friday night’s seven-wicket win at home to Northants Steelbacks.

It took them up to third in the Central Group standings, level with Northants on nine points but ahead of them on run rate (0.757 to -0.012).

Northants won the toss and elected to bat first in Taunton, reaching 73-1 through Paul Stirling (25) and Josh Cobb (49).

Both were dismissed by 19-year-old Lewis Goldsworthy (2-21) in just his second Somerset match, however, to leave the visitors on 89-4.

Luke Procter (19) pushed his side past 100, but Lewis Gregory (2-22) and Ollie Sale helped restrict them to 140-9.

Somerset fell to 37-2 in reply, losing Babar Azam (4) and Will Smeed (1) inside the six-over power play, but Steve Davies (45) held firm.

His score laid the foundations for Tom Abell (42*) and Tom Lammonby (43*) to reach 146-3 and win the match with two whole overs remaining.

Gloucestershire lead the group with 13 points, followed by Birmingham Bears on 11.

Sunday’s final round of fixtures sees Somerset visit Gloucestershire and Northants go to Birmingham.

Somerset now know that they must match Northants’ result to finish third (or potentially second, if both they and Northants win), and will also be well aware that only the two best third-placed finishers across the three groups will go through to the quarter-finals.