Vitality Blast Preview: Gloucestershire v Somerset
Somerset take on Gloucestershire in the Vitality Blast on Friday at the Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol.
Play is due to get underway at 6:30pm.
Somerset are currently top of the South Group with 12 points from seven matches, whilst the hosts are sixth in the table with six points from as many matches.
This match is sold out!
HOW CAN I KEEP UP TO DATE?
You can keep up to date with a live blog via our dedicated Match Centre and also on our Twitter feed.
In addition to this, a report on the day’s play along with quotes will be posted on this website.
Captain: Jack Taylor
Overseas players: Grant Roelofsen (South Africa), Zafar Gohar (Pakistan)
Finals day appearances: 3
2022 finish: Fifth (South Group)
2022 highest run-scorer: Glenn Phillips (340)
2022 highest wicket-taker: David Payne (18)
Key winter moves: Gloucestershire are a team in transition following the departure of established stars Benny Howell, Ian Cockbain and Ryan Higgins. Financial pressures have precluded the return of overseas batter Glenn Phillips but South African wicketkeeper-batter Grant Roelofsen has been recruited to help plug the gap in the top order. Pakistani spinner Zafar Gohar has been contracted for the entirety of the competition.
Somerset will be without Sonny Baker (back) and Peter Siddle (hand), whilst Matt Henry is rested for this fixture. Tom Abell will be assessed ahead of the game after missing the game against Hampshire on Wednesday.
The starting XI will be selected from the following squad: Lewis Gregory*, Tom Abell, Kasey Aldridge, Tom Banton, Shoaib Bashir, Josh Davey, Sean Dickson, Ben Green, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Lammonby, Craig Overton, Will Smeed and Roelof van der Merwe.
If selected, Roelof van der Merwe will play his 100th Blast match for Somerset.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
On the eve of the big local derby, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “We’re all disappointed with last night’s result at Hampshire. There was an opportunity for us to win the game, but unfortunately we couldn’t quite get over the line. The result doesn’t take away from the fact that some of our cricket in that 40 overs was outstanding. Confidence is still high and we take that into tomorrow’s game at Bristol.
“We love that little bit of needle that you get in a local derby because it brings an extra energy. It’s sold out and the weather forecast looks amazing, so hopefully we can get back to winning ways. It’s a long competition and we would have been in dreamland if we thought that we wouldn’t hit a bump or two along the way. As always, we’ll be going into the game looking to win it and hopefully we will come out on top.
“We’ve got a few question marks surrounding player availability. Peter Siddle will miss out and that’s a significant loss for us. Having said that, we’ve already seen how effectively we’ve been able to rotate the squad in this competition. With regards to Tom Abell, we’ll make an assessment when we get to Bristol. We will rest Matt Henry because we have Championship cricket coming up on Sunday with a tough fixture against Essex. The games are coming thick and fast at the moment and that challenges the depth of the squad.”
The last time the two sides met in Bristol in T20 cricket was in June 2022.
The match was reduced to 10 overs per side due to poor weather and it was an absolute nail-biter as Somerset recovered from 55 for seven to win the game by three wickets (D/L Method).
Roelof van der Merwe was the star for Somerset as he smashed his way to 48 not out from just 15 balls!
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
You can find out everything that you need to know about attending the game via the Official Gloucestershire Website.
Somerset’s next match begins on Sunday when we travel to the Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford to face Essex in the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Tickets for this match are still available.