Somerset crowned Vitality Blast Champions


Somerset clinched a first Vitality Blast trophy since 2005 with a 14 run victory over Essex Eagles in the final at Edgbaston.

Matt Henry claimed the player of the match award with four for 24 as Somerset held their nerve to deservedly win the competition.

After winning the toss, Essex captain Simon Harmer elected to bowl first.

The start was delayed until 7:05pm following yet another shower and the Eagles made the breakthrough in the third over when Will Smeed looked to play Shane Snater through the off side but got a thin inside edge onto his stumps with the score on 17.

Tom Banton and Tom Kohler-Cadmore took Somerset to 46 for one by the end of the six-over powerplay, but Snater struck again in the next over when Banton, on 20, tried a reverse scoop and picked out Das at short third without further addition to the score.

The Somerset 50 came up in the seventh over but Kohler-Cadmore fell for a run-a-ball 19 when he was bowled by Critchley trying to guide one through backward point.

The score had progressed to 68 when Tom Abell was caught at mid on by Beard off Walter for eight.

There was a moment of pure theatrical drama in the 12th over when a leading edge from Lewis Gregory looped up and Critchley claimed a catch diving fully forward. Essex celebrated but Gregory was unmoved. The umpire review showed that the ball had not been caught cleanly and the Somerset skipper survived.

With the score on 84 for four after 13 overs Harmer brought himself into the attack but his opening over yielded 12 runs.

Sean Dickson brought up the Somerset 100 in the 15th over with a brilliant switch hit for four and he shared a 45-run partnership with Gregory until the captain top edged a return catch to Snater and departed for 11 in the 16th over.

When Ben Green (2) top edged Walter miles into the Birmingham night sky, Das took a good diving catch at 121 for six in the 17th over.

Dickson reached an excellent 50 from 33 balls but fell for 53 to a good catch from Adam Rossington in the 19th over to leave Somerset on 133 for eight.

Matt Henry was caught in the deep by Snater in the final over and Ish Sodhi was run out off the last ball as Somerset posted a total of 145 all out.

Adam Rossington ensured that the Eagles got off to a flyer and had moved to 19 off just nine balls when he absolutely creamed Henry to point where Kasey Aldridge took a stunning catch. Henry then claimed two in an over when he found the top of off with a beauty to bowl Michael Pepper for one and pinned Dan Lawrence lbw for 16 just five balls later.

When Das picked out Henry at mid on off Overton, Essex had slumped to 44 for four.

The Eagles’ 50 was brought up in the eighth over, bowled by Gregory, but the Somerset skipper trapped Critchley lbw for three and Essex were 55 for five.

At the half way stage of the Essex innings they needed 75 from 10 overs.

Somerset turned to spin for the 12th over and it paid immediate dividends when Ish Sodhi bowled Paul Walter for 26 at 80 for six.

Daniel Sams and Harmer brought up the Essex 100 in the 14th over but the Eagles skipper edged Gregory behind to leave his side on 106 for seven in the 15th.

Ish Sodhi bowled Snater for 0 and Beard for seven and finished with three for 22, and when Sams edged Henry to Koehler-Cadmore Somerset were the champions!