Gloucestershire come out on top in derby nailbiter


Gloucestershire claimed the local bragging rights as they secured a Vitality Blast double over bitter rivals Somerset in a game that went down to the penultimate delivery at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

Ben Charlesworth hit the 119th ball of his side’s innings for six to give the visitors the win by five wickets as they chased down a target of 195. Miles Hammond top scored with 42 whilst player of the match Beau Webster contributed 39.

Somerset posted 194 for six, 32 of those coming off a last over which saw Josh Shaw removed from the attack for two full-toss no-balls above waist height.

Tom Banton continued his recent good form, hitting six fours and four sixes in his 77. He also shared a sixth-wicket stand of 88 in 6.4 overs with Ben Green, who raced t0 47 from just 25 deliveries, his highest T20 score.

Somerset reached 58 for two in the six-over powerplay after losing the toss. Will Smeed, caught at cover off David Payne, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, caught at mid-off for 22, were the players to fall.

The visitors struggled in the field as three catches went down, but wickets continued to fall with Somerset restricted to 148 for five at the end of the 18th over.

However, Somerset hit the accelerator as 75 runs came from the last four overs, 32 of those coming from the final over. Off-spinner Price was asked to bowl the last four deliveries of the innings as Shaw was removed for two waist-high no balls. Green collected another four and a six before holing out to wide long-on off the penultimate delivery.

Cameron Bancroft fell for a five-ball duck at the start of Gloucestershire’s reply, caught at mid-off off Gregory. That wicket saw the Somerset skipper become the Club’s all time leading wicket taker in T20 cricket, eclipsing the previous record of 139 by Max Waller.

However, by the end of the powerplay, the visitors had raced to 55 for one, James Bracey and Hammond added 66 in 5.2 overs when Hammond skyed a catch to long-on off Roelof van der Merwe, having hit the previous delivery for six. Bracey, on 31, followed in the next over, miscuing a catch to point to give Gregory a second wicket.

Taylor and Webster took 20 off the 15th over, bowled by Jake Ball, but their stand of 65 in 6.1 overs ended when Taylor skyed a catch off Josh Davey with 44 needed from 27 balls.

Webster fell to a brilliant catch by wicketkeeper Banton off Gregory at the start of the 18th over before back-to-back boundaries from Price left Gloucestershire needing 21 off two overs.

With Meredith off the field due to a back spasm and unable to send down his last two overs, it fell to Green to bowl at the death and both Price and Charlesworth smashed sixes to seal a dramatic victory.