Tom Abell struck his second score of 70 in a week to give Somerset 2nd XI their second 50-over victory of the season, as they won by three wickets in this clash against Northamptonshire on Monday.
Chasing 184 to win, Somerset lost a late flurry of wickets, but, just as he had in the recent championship match against Kent, Abell held the Somerset innings together with a fine half-century. He carried his bat, facing 115 deliveries, to see his side home by seven wickets with two overs to spare.
He found a willing partner in captain Max Waller, who made 39 and the pair shared a 62-run partnership in 17 overs for the fourth wicket. But the next highest score was 17, which underlined the importance of Abell’s innings.
Somerset’s victory leaves the 2nds fifth in the south division on 5 points, having played five matches (two wins, three defeats, one no result).
Northants lost wickets at regular intervals throughout their innings, but unlike Somerset had no-one who was able to play the anchor role.
The home side were soon in trouble at 33-3 in the seventh over, two wickets falling to Tim Groenewald and one to Jamie Overton.
Then, with Waller (3-44) and Adam Dibble removing the middle order, Northants stuttered further. Only 33 from Chad Barrett, 32 from Saif Zaib and 24 from Maurice Chambers helped them towards any kind of competitive total. Jack Leach removed Barrett before Josh Davey picked up the final two wickets at the end of the 43rd over.
Somerset bowling figures: Groenewald 6-0-23-2, J Overton 5-0-24-1, Dibble 5-0-26-1, Stewart 2-0-9-0, Waller 10-0-44-3, Leach 10-1-24-1, Dave 4-0-22-2, Burke 1-0-9-0.
Abell and Neil Brand made a solid start to Somerset’s run chase, putting on 45 together before Brand was bowled by Barrett for 17. James Burke only lasted two balls before he was trapped lbw by Barrett for 0 and Somerset were 45-2. When Davey was bowled for 13, Somerset were 72-3.
There then followed that Abell and Waller partnership, but when the Somerset Seconds captain was bowled by his former Somerset teammate Gemaal Hussain, Somerset were 134-4.
After a great run of form with the bat, James Regan missed out this time, being adjudged lbw to Zaib for 7 with the score 145-4. Leach stuck around with Abell, putting on 22 for the sixth wicket before the spinner was caught behind off Barrett for 15 with the score 167-6.
With Dibble being caught off his first ball to give Barrett his fourth wicket, Somerset were 167-7, with four overs to go and 17 runs still required.
Groenewald came out to join Abell and the two safely negotiated the next two overs to score the remaining runs.
Tom is clearly in fine form with the bat, finding time between his two innings of 70 for the Second XI to score an unbeaten 93 for Taunton Cricket Club against Knowle in the West of England Premier Cricket League (Bristol Somerset) on Saturday!
Somerset Second XI’s next 50-over Trophy match in the south division is against the Unicorns at Sidmouth on Thursday 24 July, starting at 12 noon.
In the meantime, the Seconds are in action against Northants again this week, also at Milton Keynes, this time in a three-day championship game from Tuesday to Thursday 8-10 July. We’ll have a full round-up of that game on The InCider later this week.
Somerset Second XI: Abell, Brand, Burke, Davey, Waller, Regan, Leach, Dibble, Groenewald, J Overton, Stewart
Northants Second XI: Howgego, Rossington, MacDonnell, Murphy, Carter, Zaib, White, Barrett, Chambers, Hussain, Sohi
Second XI Trophy tables: http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2014/engine/series/715727.html?view=pointstable