50 for Tom as Somerset make it three out of three


Tom Banton helped himself to a 26-ball 50 as Somerset eased to a four-wicket Vitality Blast victory over Glamorgan at a packed Cooper Associates County Ground.

Banton dominated an opening stand of 69 with Will Smeed and went on to make 54 from 28 balls, his highest score of the campaign, to help propel his side to victory with 5.1 overs to spare.

Somerset won the toss, elected to field and produced a disciplined performance to bowl Glamorgan out for 153 in 19.4 overs, thanks in large part to Roelof ven der Merwe’s return of three for 24 from four overs. He was well backed-up by Lewis Gregory and Peter Siddle, who took two for 14 and two for 29 respectively, while Craig Overton held three catches.

Former Somerset batsman Eddie Byrom top-scored with 43 and added 50 for the second wicket with Kiran Carlson, who made 31, but Glamorgan then lost nine wickets for 82 runs and failed to bat out their overs.

Now top of the table following Surrey’s defeat at the hands of Sussex, Somerset remain the only side in the South Group to boast a 100 per cent record, while Glamorgan have won one and lost one under new Head Coach, Mark Alleyne.

Put into bat on a good pitch, Glamorgan made a decent start thanks to Byrom and Carlson, who staged an aggressive half century stand in 5.5 overs. Perhaps with a point to prove against his former county, Byrom adopted a long-handle approach, hitting Matt Henry for a six and two fours in three successive balls in the second over. He then deposited Siddle over mid-wicket for another towering six.

Overton served up a wicket maiden to remove Sam Northeast for two, held by Tom Lammonby at third man, but Carlson looked the part as he claimed a brace of sixes off the same bowler, one a scoop over fine leg, the other a more orthodox affair high over long-on.

Glamorgan were 57 for one at the end of the six-over powerplay, but came under pressure as spinner van der Merwe and seamer Ben Green turned off the hitherto ready supply of boundaries in the seventh and eighth overs. Attempting to sweep van der Merwe, Byrom missed and was trapped lbw for a 28-ball 42, his innings adorned by five fours and two sixes. Gregory then struck with his first delivery, Carlson caught in the deep by Tom Abell having scored 31 from 19 balls, with three fours and two sixes.

Taking full advantage of their double breakthrough, Somerset applied the squeeze, Gregory persuading the dangerous Colin Ingram to hit to deep mid-wicket for 13 and van der Merwe having Ben Kellaway held at long-on as Glamorgan slipped to 100 for five in the 13th over.

Chris Cooke carved 18 runs from 16 balls to threaten a Welsh revival, only to fall to the returning Henry, who had him caught at long-on. When Dan Douthwaite was dismissed in identical fashion off the bowling of van der Merwe, the visitors were 129 for seven in the 17th over and in danger of falling short.

Billy Root attempted to take matters into his own hands by raising 18 from 16 balls, but perished at the hands of Siddle, while Ruaidhri Smith skied a catch to extra cover off the bowling of Green. New overseas recruit Peter Hatzoglu smashed 15 off eight balls before hoisting Siddle to Overton at long-on as the visitors were dismissed with two balls unused.

Banton afforded Somerset’s chase a super-charged start, plundering three fours and a six from successive balls in an over from Australian leg spinner Hatzoglou that went for 23 runs. Not to be upstaged, Smeed drove down the ground with increasing fluency as the openers raised 50 in 3.5 overs to seize the initiative.

Having contributed his highest score of the campaign and played his part in a whirlwind opening stand of 69 in 5.5 overs, Smeed drove Douthwaite straight to mid-off, departing for a 14-ball 28, with three fours and a six. By the end of the powerplay, Somerset were 72 for one and the required rate was down to 5.9.

Nevertheless, Tom Kohler-Cadmore was in no mood to hang about and the former Yorkshire man smashed Smith for consecutive sixes over long-on and mid-wicket before chancing his arm once too often and holing out to backward point for 19 later in the same over.

There was no stopping Banton, however, the right-hander going to his first Blast 50 of the season via 26 balls. Having set-up a successful chase, he was unable to finish the job, hitting Douthwaite to mid-off in the tenth over, by which time he had amassed nine fours and a six and Somerset were 116 for three, requiring a further 38 runs at just under four an over.

Lammonby came and went quickly, but Tom Abell and Gregory eschewed unnecessary risk in a fifth wicket partnership of 25, which took the home side to the brink of victory. Abell was bowled for a 17-ball 22 and Gregory went for 11, leaving Green to strike the winning runs.