Somerset win again!


Not even the wet weather could dampen Somerset’s charge to become the first team to retain the Vitality Blast as they overcame Kent Spitfires in a rain affected game at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

In a match which was reduced to five overs per side, it was the hosts who dominated in all three facets of the game to secure a 14-run victory (DLS).

Tom Kohler-Cadmore impressed with the bat, whilst Riley Meredith and Jake Ball were almost unplayable and Tom ABell was exceptional in the field as the hosts claimed a tense victory.

Kohler-Cadmore smashed 24 runs off nine balls as Somerset raised 55-6 from their five overs, Nathan Gilchrist taking two for 12 on his T20 debut against his former employers, while Charlie Stobo and Grant Stewart claimed a wicket apiece.

Chasing a revised target of 61 off five overs, Kent imploded in the face of tight bowling from Meredith and Ball, who returned figures of one for 15 and one for 19 in two overs respectively.

Kent came up short at 46 for five as Somerset claimed their fourth win in six games.

Kent skipper Sam Billings won the toss and elected to field, but Xavier Bartlett conceded 11 runs to openers Tom Banton and Will Smeed in the first over and then the rain intervened, forcing the players to run for the cover of the pavilion at 6:35pm.

When the elements finally relented and mopping up operations were completed, it was announced that play would resume at 9.02pm with the game reduced to five overs-a-side.

Kent made the best possible start upon the resumption, stand-in overseas bowler Stobo having Smeed caught at deep mid-on with his first ball. Kohler-Cadmore promptly made amends, smashing a six and four off the first two deliveries he faced as Somerset plundered 13 runs to finish the second over on 24 for one.

Kohler-Cadmore pulled Stewart for another four in the third, only for the pace bowler to exact an instantaneous revenge next ball, inducing Banton to hit straight to cover and depart for seven with the score on 31. Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory hit the ground running, driving his first ball for a sumptuous four as the home side advanced to 37 for two.

Gilchrist’s first delivery in T20 cricket will be one he will want to forget in a hurry, Kohler-Cadmore carting him over mid-wicket for an enormous six. Gregory drove the third ball of the over back down the ground for four, only to then hole out in the deep, while Kohler-Cadmore departed in similar fashion as Gilchrist held his nerve to reduce the home side to 49 for four at the end of the fourth.

Ben Green and Tom Abell were run out in the final over as disciplined Kent turned the screw, Bartlett conceding just six runs from it as Somerset finished up on 55 for six.

Required to score 61 off 30 balls to win, the Spitfires made a poor start to their reply, Zac Crawley being run out by substitute fielder Kasey Aldridge and Daniel Bell-Drummond top-edging a pull shot to short square leg as Meredith reduced the visitors to nine for two.

Billings opened up with a pulled four at the expense of Jake Ball, but the seamer recovered well, persuading Marcus O’Riordan to present Abell with a straightforward catch at long-off in an over that cost just nine runs. Kent’s frustration knew no bounds when Meredith restricted them to a mere seven runs in the third over, his accuracy and express pace leaving the visitors needing to score an unlikely 36 off 12 balls.

Billings helped himself to a brace of fours off Ball in the fourth, only to then take on Abell’s arm and be run out for a 10-ball 16 attempting a second run. Kent required 26 runs off the final over, but Green demonstrated a cool head to frustrate the best efforts of Joe Denly and Stewart.