Vitality Blast - 13 September 2020
Gloucestershire won by 11 runs
Venue: Cooper Associates County Ground
Somerset v Gloucestershire
Benny Howell announced his return to Gloucestershire’s team after more than a year on the injured-list by blasting an unbeaten 49 off 18 balls in an 11-run Vitality Blast win over Somerset at Taunton.
The visitors posted 203 for six after losing the toss, Howell and Jack Taylor (31 not out) cutting loose after Ian Cockbain’s 50 from 27 balls had provided early momentum. Max Waller escaped the carnage with three for 18.
In reply, Somerset made 192 for eight. 18-year-old Will Smeed hitting a valiant 82 on only his second T20 appearance and Lewis Gregory contributing 38
The game summed up the contrasting fortunes of the two West country sides in the competition. For Central Group leaders Gloucestershire, it was a fifth successive win, while Somerset’s dismal campaign has now featured four defeats.
Chris Dent got the Gloucestershire innings off to a flying start in glorious sunshine with 2 fours and a six off the second over, bowled by Lewis Gregory, before falling for 16.
Cockbain and Miles Hammond then both scored freely to take the total to 53 for one at the end of the six-over power play.
Hammond reverse swept Roelof van der Merwe for six before holing out to deep cover for 27 to become Waller’s first victim.
The ninth over cost Somerset 30 runs. It was begun by Tom Abell, who had to be removed from the attack after bowling successive no-balled full-tosses and ended by Ollie Sale, whose first three balls were each dispatched for six by Cockbain.
Gloucestershire were 109 for three at the halfway point in their innings, Ryan Higgins having departed lbw to van der Merwe.
But Waller then removed Cockbain and James Bracey in quick succession to catches by Gregory at mid-wicket and cover and for a short time Somerset applied a brake to the scoring rate.
When George Scott fell to van der Merwe, Gloucestershire were 135 for six and in danger of squandering their advantage.
But Howell came in to join skipper Taylor in a stand of 68 that occupied just 5.1 overs. Making up for lost time after his long spell battling hamstring and calf problems, Howell smashed 5 sixes and 3 fours in an exhilarating exhibition.
Taylor lost little by comparison and their combined aggression and skill ensured Gloucestershire of a hugely competitive score.
Somerset rarely threatened to make a game of it as Steve Davies and Babar Azam fell in the first five overs of their reply, Ryan Higgins and David Payne claiming the wickets. After six overs the hosts were 35 for two.
Dent then produced two superb throws from the deep to run out first Tom Abell and then George Bartlett, attempting second runs, as Gloucestershire tightened their grip and Somerset required 13 an over off the last ten.
All the while Academy product Smeed was quietly going about his business with precious little support. The youngster lifted Howell over square leg for the first six of the innings. Gloucestershire’s had featured 14.
Smeed’s second six, off Tom Smith, took him to a hugely impressive maiden Somerset half-century, from 36 balls, with 6 fours. Both he and Gregory were dropped as they added 65 in 6.2 overs.
When Gregory was stumped giving Howell the charge it looked all over. Tom Lammonby had other ideas and hit two sixes and a four in the 17th over, bowled by Higgins.
Smeed followed suit with successive sixes off Howell and another off Higgins before being caught at long-on in the penultimate over. Lammonby followed next ball and Somerset’s race was run.
Somerset won the toss and elected to bowl.
Mohammad Azam | Steven Davies | William Smeed | Thomas Abell | George Bartlett | Lewis Gregory | Thomas Lammonby | Roelof van der Merwe | Joshua Davey | Oliver Sale | Max Waller |
Christopher Dent | Miles Hammond | Ian Cockbain | Ryan Higgins | James Bracey | Jack Taylor | George Scott | Benny Howell | Graeme van Buuren | Tom Smith | David Payne |
|Gloucestershire win by 11 runs|
|Gloucestershire First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||0b 2lb 6nb 0p 3w||11|
Fall of wickets
|Roelof van der Merwe||4||0||30||1|
|Somerset First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||1b 2lb 2nb 0p 7w||12|
Fall of wickets
|Graeme van Buuren||4||0||21||0|