Sensational Somerset into Blast final
Somerset claimed a quite remarkable 24-run victory over Surrey in the Vitality Blast semi-final at Edgbaston.
The team from the West Country will face Essex Eagles in the final following a win which looked unlikely at the half way stage, but Jason Kerr’s team once again showed the fighting spirit that has seen them smash records in the competition this season.
Although the horrific weather that was forecast didn’t manifest itself fully, there was still enough rain to disrupt proceedings, and a further sharp shower just before play was due begin meant that the delayed start was delayed further.
When the 19-over match eventually got underway at 3:30pm, one hour later than scheduled, Somerset openers Will Smeed and Tom Banton shared an opening stand of 38.
Smeed was the man to go in the fifth over, which was bowled by Sean Abbott. The bowler was absolutely convinced that the Somerset opener had edged behind but the umpires were unmoved. Surrey elected to review and it proved to be a good decision as Smeed was given out for 21 off 14 balls. There was almost an action replay two balls later with Abbott again sure that Tom Kohler-Cadmore had edged behind. Again the umpires weren’t interested and on this occasion Surrey chose not to review.
By the end of the 5.4 over powerplay Somerset were 47 for one.
The team from the Kia Oval didn’t have to wait long for their next breakthrough. Banton, having reached 26 in watchful and mature fashion, was given out caught behind off Atkinson following a second review at 55 for two.
That soon became 73 for three in the 10th over when Tom Kohler-Cadmore (11) looked to go down the ground to Abbott but got a thick outside edge and Laurie Evans took a good catch over his shoulder on the run.
With rain falling quite heavily, a back of the hand slower ball from Sam Curran deceived Tom Abell and he was bowled for 15 to leave Somerset seemingly in trouble at 86 for four.
Sean Dickson and Lewis Gregory looked to rebuild and brought up the Somerset 100 in the 14th over, courtesy of a wide followed by a no ball from Tom Curran. Indeed it was a productive over for the Somerset pair as a big six from Dickson over deep backward point ensured that 16 runs came from it.
Just when the Somerset faithful were starting to believe again, Jamie Smith took his third catch of the innings and this one was absolutely superb. The Surrey ‘keeper dived full length to take a stunner to remove Lewis Gregory off Chris Jordan as Somerset found themselves on 108 for five in the 15th over.
Ben Green offered up a return catch to Abbott and when Craig Overton fell to an excellent diving catch at deep third by Tom Curran the big Surrey bowler had four wickets and Somerset were 123 for seven in the 16th over. Abbott finished four for 23 from his four overs.
Intelligent bowling from Jordan in particular starved Dickson of the strike and Somerset finished on 142 for seven from their 19 overs.
Somerset knew that an early breakthrough would be vital and that’s exactly what Overton provided when he bowled Evans all ends up with five runs on the board in the opening over.
The score had advanced to 20 in the fourth over and Jason Roy was looking well set, but Matt Henry got one to rise up at the Surrey batter. It trapped him for room, came off the splice and Dickson was able to pouch the skier sliding on his knees as he ran in from the rope.
20 for two soon became 24 for three when Will Jacks skied Overton to Smeed on the boundary in front of the Hollies Stand.
At the end of the powerplay, Surrey were 27 for three.
Green, the competition’s leading wicket taker was brought into the attack at the City End to bowl the eighth over and he struck with his first ball as Sam Curran chipped him straight to Henry at mid off. All of a sudden, on such a wet day Surrey were all at sea with the scoreboard showing 38 for four.
If they were all at sea at 38 for four, Surrey were sinking fast when Smith lofted Green to player of the match Overton at long on at 57 for five in the 10th over. When Jamie Overton then picked out his twin brother on the long on boundary off Ish Sodhi, Surrey were staring down the barrel.
So it proved as Surrey were all out for 118 in 16.5 overs as Somerset claimed victory in quite remarkable fashion.