Winning run comes to an end in Bristol


Another fine innings from Tom Banton couldn’t prevent Somerset from falling to a five-wicket defeat against local rivals Gloucestershire in this Vitality Blast derby at the Seat Unique Stadium.

An 82-run partnership between Ollie Price and Ben Charlesworth for the sixth wicket saw the home side over the line to put an end to the visitors recent impressive run of victories.

Coming together with the score on 108 for five in the fourteenth over, the pair staged a blistering unbroken in just 32 balls to chase down a target of 189 with eight balls to spare, Price top-scoring with 43 from 15 deliveries and Charlesworth contributing a 19-ball 36.

Banton had earlier posted a high-octane 79 from 53 balls, smashing eight fours and three sixes and dominating crucial stands of 66 and 76 with Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Tom Abell for the second and third wickets respectively as the defending champions ran up 188 for four after losing the toss.

A first defeat in five games saw Somerset miss out on a chance to take over leadership of the South Group, while Gloucestershire’s third win on the bounce improved their prospects of reaching the knockout stages.

Gloucestershire made an important breakthrough in the second over, Will Smeed pulling Josh Shaw’s first delivery to deep mid-wicket. Banton was then fortunate to survive, dropped at long-on by Jack Taylor off the bowling of David Payne on one as the home side’s seam attack applied early pressure on a used pitch.

Seizing upon his good fortune, Banton helped himself to four boundaries in one Shaw over to afford the innings momentum, while Kohler-Cadmore launched Matt Taylor for a huge six over long-on and a brace of fours as Somerset recovered to reach 50 for one at the end of the powerplay. Kohler-Cadmore had harvested 25 from 21 balls when he carved Beau Webster to short third with the score on 70 in the ninth.

However, Banton adapted his game to suit the conditions to go to 50 via 41 balls before pressing on the accelerator. Abell played his part, pulling Shaw backward of square for a startling six as he, too, scored at better than a run a ball.

Banton received another life on 65, dropped by Miles Hammond on the long-on boundary off the bowling of Shaw as Gloucestershire passed up a rare opportunity to redress the balance in the fifteenth. Making good his escape for a second time, Banton helped himself to two further sixes off Marchant de Lange before hoisting the South African to Price in the deep and departing for 79.

Abell made 39 from 23 balls before driving Shaw to cover, but lusty hitting from Sean Dickson and Lewis Gregory, who staged an unbroken fifth-wicket alliance of 31 in 17 balls, ensured that Somerset finished with a flourish.

With rain forecast to arrive at around mid-evening, Gloucestershire were aware of the importance of keeping up with the required rate, and Hammond crashed three boundaries off the third over, sent down by Josh Davey, to give the reply a solid start.

Riley Meredith then produced a wonderful yorker to pin fellow Australian Cameron Bancroft lbw for nine as umbrellas began to go up inside the ground. With rain falling steadily, Hammond managed a fortuitous top-edged boundary off Gregory in the next over and Bracey plundered three fours off Meredith as Gloucestershire attained 50 for one at the end of the powerplay, slightly ahead on Duckworth Lewis.

Warming to their task, the second wicket pair continued to find the boundary with sufficient regularity to stage a stand of 41 and remain ahead of the required rate. Somerset desperately needed a wicket and wily spinner Roelof van der Merwe obliged, bowling Hammond for 39 in the eighth as the rain eased.

Bracey picked up the cudgels thereafter as Gloucestershire advanced to 88 for two at halfway, requiring a further 101 runs from 60 balls. The left-hander had scored a 30-ball 44, with five fours and a six, when he hit England spinner Jack Leach straight to long-on with the score on 101 in the twelfth. Jack Taylor was held at the wicket off the bowling of Ben Green in the next over, at which point the home side were 106 for four with Somerset back ahead on Duckworth Lewis. Leach then accounted for Webster, caught on the long-off boundary, as Somerset tightened their grip.

Price and Charlesworth smashed 24 off the fifteenth, bowled by Green, and Leach conceded 21 off the next as Gloucestershire’s sixth wicket pair mustered a blaze of boundaries to raise a 50 partnership in 18 balls and tip the scales in favour of the home team.

At the end of the game, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “I thought we were superb in the first half of the game, because it was a little bit tricky against their seamers on that surface early on. Tom Banton and Tom Kohler-Cadmore gave us a platform with their partnership and we were in a good place at the halfway stage. But the surface changed under lights with a bit of rain and we were below the standards we’ve set in this competition in the field.

“Gloucestershire played really well, but we were in a really strong position at 108 for five in the fourteenth over. As we’ve seen before in T20 cricket, it only takes one guy to tee off, and Price chanced his arm and got off to a really good start. He and Charlesworth played brilliantly and got them well ahead of the game. When they needed 21 off the last three overs, it was done and dusted to be honest.”