Royal London One-Day Cup - 28 April 2019

Gloucestershire beat Somerset by 4 wickets

Venue: Bristol County Ground

Gloucestershire v Somerset

A seventh wicket stand of 49 between Jack Taylor and Ryan Higgins saw Gloucestershire home by four wickets as they successfully chased a target of 243 against old rivals Somerset in the South Group of the Royal London Cup.

Taylor, who finished 43 not out, also added 83 with Graeme van Buuren (61) as Gloucestershire's innings followed a similar pattern to Somerset's earlier in the day.

On a used and slow pitch, Somerset made 242-9 batting first, Lewis Gregory making 52 from 33 balls down the order after a period of 27 overs in mid innings had passed without a boundary. Benny Howell finished with three wickets, and there were two each for Tom Smith and David Payne on a day when Gloucestershire kept themselves in contention for a place in the knockout stages.

Watch Graeme van Buuren's post match thoughts here:

Gloucestershire made two changes to the team which lost to Hampshire on Friday, with Miles Hammond replacing George Hankins and Matt Taylor coming in for Chris Liddle.

For much of the day the game was a slow burner, largely due to the slow pace of a used pitch. Fielding first, Gloucestershire had dispensed with the slips well before the end of the opening powerplay, when their solitary success was David Payne's yorker which removed Tom Banton in the ninth over. 

The first ten overs had only two boundaries off the bat, and the crowd had to wait a long time for that pattern to change. The flat trajectory of van Buuren's slow left arm spin sent back Trego after he tried to sweep, and a fine catch by Howell off Higgins - who didn't bowl with the new ball - reduced Somerset to 51-3 before the rebuild began.

Pakistan international Azhar Ali and Somerset captain Tom Abell were content to play safe early on, rotating the strike where they could and chiefly scoring square of the wicket. Very little was driven and Ali's frustration, despite having made 43, manifested itself in an ugly reverse sweep which gave Tom Smith the first of two wickets.

The inexperienced George Bartlett maintained Somerset's disciplined progress with his skipper as they refused to gamble until the final third of the innings. Both might have been run out off the same delivery in the 34th over, but three overs later a sharp throw by Higgins saw Bartlett (29) short of his ground attempting a second run and in Smith's last over, Abell - who had made 42 - found the safe hands of Jack Taylor to leave Somerset 154-6.

It was left to Lewis Gregory to provide the innings with some late acceleration, splitting four sixes between the two shortest boundaries on the ground - one towards Kennington Avenue and the other towards the apartments. His departure to Benny Howell with 14 balls remaining checked Somerset's progress despite useful support from Craig Overton (25*), but 86 runs in the last ten overs had given Somerset something to bowl at.

A target of 243 left the game finely balanced, and Gloucestershire could have done without a second run out for Chris Dent in three games, this time by a direct hit from Overton in the second over.

Gareth Roderick had been pushed up to open the innings, and joined by Miles Hammond their progress mirrored Somerset's cautious approach earlier in the day until Gregory's influence on the game escalated with two wickets in two balls. First Roderick (25) edged a catch to keeper Banton and then Benny Howell steered his first ball straight to van der Merwe in the gully.

As befitted a side previously unbeaten in all cricket this season, Somerset were offering little loose bowling and with three wickets down Gloucestershire were well behind on DLS, which is always a useful guide. Hammond and James Bracey were together at half distance but Davey's return saw Bracey get underneath an on drive and van der Merwe took a well judged catch at mid wicket.

Hammond's gritty effort ended two runs shy of his fifty to Groenewald, leaving Gloucestershire's fate was in the hands of three players who, for the first time in the tournament, had chances to influence a match with the bat. All of them stepped up.

Graeme van Burren hadn't made a List A half century since the game against Glamorgan in 2017, but here his scuttling running and workmanlike shots - many off the back foot - kept Gloucestershire neck and neck with Somerset's run rate. Joined by Jack Taylor, and with 129 still needed from the last 19 overs, the pair squeezed the score along until Taylor twice sent Davey over the rope in his final over. 

Gloucestershire still needed 77 runs when the last ten overs began, and van Buuren's half century from 52 balls with five fours and a six drew warm applause from an increasingly tense crowd. Three boundaries in van der Merwe's last two overs boosted the home team's chances and forced Somerset to bowl out Craig Overton in search of a breakthrough.

He got it, as van Buuren chipped up to Azhar Ali at mid off in his last over, but in Jack Taylor and Ryan Higgins they had the ideal pairing to finish the job.

With 44 needed from the final five overs, both attacked Tim Groenewald from the Ashley Down Road end, striking two sixes and three fours to leave the scores level as the last over began. Higgins despatched Gregory over mid wicket, and Gloucestershire had closed out their third win in the South Group.


 



Scorecard

Somerset won the toss and elected to bat.


Gloucestershire
Miles Hammond | Christopher Dent | Gareth Roderick | James Bracey | Benny Howell | Jack Taylor | Ryan Higgins | Graeme van Buuren | Tom Smith | David Payne | Matthew Taylor |


Somerset
Azhar Ali | Thomas Banton | Peter Trego | James Hildreth | Thomas Abell | George Bartlett | Lewis Gregory | Craig Overton | Roelof van der Merwe | Timothy Groenewald | Joshua Davey |


Gloucestershire win by 4 wickets
 

Somerset First Innings How out Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Tom Banton Bowled David Payne 11 35 29 1 0
Azhar Ali Bowled Tom Smith 43 89 85 0 0
Peter Trego L.B.W. Graeme van Buuren 5 12 9 1 0
James Hildreth Caught Benny Howell Bowled Ryan Higgins 5 16 15 0 0
Tom Abell Caught Jack Taylor Bowled Tom Smith 42 77 53 0 0
George Bartlett Run Out Ryan Higgins 29 41 36 1 0
Lewis Gregory Caught Chris Dent Bowled Benny Howell 52 43 33 1 4
Roelof van der Merwe Caught Matt Taylor Bowled Benny Howell 15 19 14 1 0
Craig Overton Not Out 25 26 20 2 1
Tim Groenewald Bowled Benny Howell 5 7 5 0 0
Josh Davey Not Out 1 4 1 0 0
Extras 0b 5lb 0nb 0p 4w 9
Total 242

Fall of wickets

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
28 38 51 86 141 154 193 229 237

Bowlers

Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Matt Taylor 6 0 19 0
David Payne 9 0 64 1
Ryan Higgins 8 0 44 1
Graeme van Buuren 7 0 29 1
Tom Smith 10 1 36 2
Benny Howell 10 0 45 3


Gloucestershire First Innings How out Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Chris Dent Run Out Craig Overton 1 2 1 0 0
Gareth Roderick Caught Tom Banton Bowled Lewis Gregory 25 50 50 1 0
Miles Hammond Caught Azhar Ali Bowled Tim Groenewald 48 111 83 1 0
Benny Howell Caught Roelof van der Merwe Bowled Lewis Gregory 0 2 1 0 0
James Bracey Caught Roelof van der Merwe Bowled Josh Davey 21 43 39 1 0
Graeme van Buuren Caught Azhar Ali Bowled Craig Overton 61 72 62 6 1
Jack Taylor Not Out 43 78 45 2 1
Ryan Higgins Not Out 30 26 16 3 2
Tom Smith
David Payne
Matt Taylor
Extras 0b 7lb 2nb 0p 8w 17
Total 246

Fall of wickets

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 44 44 89 114 197

Bowlers

Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Craig Overton 10 1 37 1
Josh Davey 10 1 48 1
Tim Groenewald 10 0 59 1
Lewis Gregory 9 0 38 2
Roelof van der Merwe 10 0 57 0