Surrey come out on top at Taunton
Somerset relinquished top spot in the Vitality Blast South Group as Surrey moved above their hosts courtesy of a 28-run victory in this first against second clash at a sold out Cooper Associates County Ground.
Sam Curran claimed five wickets and Chris Jordan showed his class with both bat and ball as the visitors came out on top after posting 195 for nine after losing the toss.
Will Jacks impressed with 60 off 43 balls whilst Jordan blitzed his way to 36 not out off just 12. Ben Green cemented his position as leading wicket-taker in the competition with four for 33, taking his tally to 20, while Josh Davey claimed three for 32.
In reply, Somerset were restricted to 167 for nine, Tom Banton top-scoring with 54 and Tom Abell making 39. Curran finished with five for 26 and Jordan two for 31.
The battle of the most successful sides in the South Group drew a packed crowd of around 7,000 to the Cooper Associates County Ground where those present were hoping for a run-fest.
Before play began, players, staff, officials and spectators all came together for a minute of applause as a mark of respect for Barnaby Webber, the local 19-year-old who sadly lost his life following this weeks tragedy in Nottinghamshire. Players from both teams also wore black armbands, whilst the Club flag flew at half-mast.
After Craig Overton and Matt Henry had bowled the first two overs for four runs each, Jacks launched the Surrey assault with a six over extra cover off Overton. Particularly strong through the off-side, Jacks then dispatched a Henry yorker through point for four and cleared the long-off ropes off Davey in leading his side to 44 without loss off the six-over power play.
Laurie Evans scooped a six off Lewis Gregory and pulled a maximum off Green, who broke the opening stand of 71 in the ninth over when Evans was pouched at deep mid-wicket by Abell for 28.
It was the first of four Abell boundary catches as Somerset backed their bowlers with some superb fielding. However, they couldn’t stop Jacks reaching fifty off 37 balls.
Tom Curran fell to another Abell catch off Davey for 15 and Jacks departed when lofting a Roelof van der Merwe full toss to Henry at long-off.
Jamie Overton smacked 20 off just nine balls against his old county before falling to the best of Abell’s catches, a low diving effort off Green at deep mid-wicket.
Tom Curran and Sean Abott fell cheaply and when Surrey reached the end of the 18th over on 155 for seven it seemed they might fall short of a challenging total. Jordan had other ideas, taking 30 off the penultimate over from Henry, which also included a wide.
It looked like a match-turning contribution, and so it proved. Somerset were typically positive with the bat in response, Banton scooping a six over fine-leg and upper-cutting another over third man in the opening over, sent down by Abbott.
Will Smeed followed up with two fours off Sam Curran, who then stemmed the flying start by having him caught at deep cover. The standard of fielding was maintained when Gus Atkinson held an excellent catch at mid-on to dismiss Tom Kohler-Cadmore in Curran’s second over.
Banton and Abell took the score to 51 for two by the end of the power play. Both looked in supreme touch as the partnership flourished, Banton sweeping a six and four off Sunil Narine’s first over and Abell slog-sweeping sixes off successive balls in the off-spinner’s second.
The fifty stand came off 28 balls as Somerset reached the halfway stage of their innings on 99 for two. However, the first ball of the 11th over saw Abell nick a catch behind off Gus Atkinson.
A six and a single off Narine, who switched ends, took Banton to his second Blast fifty of the season off 33 balls.
Curran returned to end his innings, courtesy of a miscued drive to mid-off. The same over, the 14th, saw Sean Dickson run out in a mix-up with Gregory over a second run, and Gregory pull a catch to deep mid-wicket.
Somerset were suddenly 120 for six. Green gave them hope with two sixes and a four off Narine, whose four overs cost 55. But Jordan ended any doubt about the outcome by sending back Roelof van der Merwe and Green in the 17th over.