Somerset entered this sell-out game with near neighbours Gloucestershire desperate for a win to put their failing t20 campaign back on track. It really was a must win encounter with the cider county also wanting to revenge the close defeat at Bristol two weeks before.
It had been an inclement day in the south west and there was rain in the air right up to the toss after some heavy downfalls throughout the day.
Somerset gave a second start to Michael Leask but there was still no place in the 20-over side for James Hildreth, arguably the club’s best batsman, meaning Jayawardene was the only specialist batsman in the starting XI.
The Overton boys retained their place in the side as did Lewis Gregory with spinning options coming from van der Merwe and Waller.
Gloucestershire captain Michael Klinger won the toss and elected to bat.
Umpires: Jeremy Lloyds and Alex Wharf
ESPN Cricinfo match scorecard here
- It was a pedestrian start by Somerset with just 13 off the first 2 overs, and that included 2x4s off the last 2 balls. Gloucestershire struck with the 1st ball of the 3rd when Allenby was out, c Marshall b Taylor 1 and the home team were 13-1.
- Just 2 runs in the 3rd meant Somerset were 15-1 off 3 but Myburgh started to hit out in the 4th hitting 1×6 and 1×4 off Norwell. 31-1 and a bit more like it.
- The next 10 legal deliveries mustered just 9 runs and then the inform Myburgh was out c Klinger b Howell 25 and the cider county were 40-2 off 6.
- Some joy in the 7th as Trego hits 3 consecutive 4s off Norwell and there were 9 off the 8th but Somerset still looking light as 72-2 at this stage. At the half way stage it was 79-2.
- Tregs worked his way to 32 but he was out 1st ball of the 12th c Howell b Smith and the home side now 85-3.
- The 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th overs went for 4, 7, 7 and 6 and it was all Gloucestershire. 109-3 with just 30 balls left.
- The tall task made worse when Gregory was stumped one ball after hitting Smith for 4. 115-4.
- Leask was in for his second Somerset innings and made a start hitting Smith for 4 and Tye for 6. But Taylor got him with a Cockbain catch with the first all of the 18th – 135-5.
- There would be another wicket this over when Jayawardene was out to the same combination for 41. Good effort from the Sri Lankan but 141-6 off 18 looked well short of a competitive total.
- The 19th over was a good one for Somerset going for 21 runs. VDM and Jove shared 3x6s between them so 162-7 going into the last over.
- But Taylor’s last went for just 5 runs and Somerset had to settle with a fibnal score of 167-7. It looked like the visitors game to lose and Somerset would have to be on the button from ball one.
- Tight stuff early on with the first 2 overs going for just 8 runs. The visitors would wait until the last ball of the 3rd for a boundary. 16-0 off 3.
- Cove went for 14 in the 4th and 10 runs in the first 4 balls of the 5th before Somerset had some success when Jove cleaned bowled Marshall for 9. 40-1 off 5 now.
- Gloucester captain Klinger was keeping things going at his own pace as the runs trickled in. But then he hit VDM and Max for maximum’s to pass fifty and at the half way stage Gloucestershire were 80-1 needing 88 runs from 60 balls.
- It was fairly uneventful stuff with the next overs going for 4, 11, 8 and 4 but the 15th over went for 15 and the game seemed a bit more level now with Gloucestershire 122-1 needing 46 from 30 balls. Somerset needed to keep it tight.
- The 17th over was key with Cockbain smacking Jove for 4-6-6 in the first 3 balls followed by a couple of singles. But Overton got his man with the last ball of the over caught by his brother. The player had scored 41 quick runs. 147-2 with 21 needed off 18.
- Klinger then hit Gregs for 2x4s to reach his hundred and the over ended with just 8 needed off 2 overs.
- Jove gave Somerset brief hope when he managed to get the away captain for 101 excellent with Tregs taking the catch. 160-3 with 8 needed off 9 now.
- But it was a false dawn and Gloucestershire needed just 5 balls so won the game with 7 wickets and 4 balls in hand.
Gloucestershire (168-3) beat Somerset (167-7) by 7 wickets with 4 balls remaining.
The win took the Bristol-based side to the top of the southern group although second placed Glamorgan have games in hand. For Somerset the defeat makes qualifying an uphill task now. The team will probably need to win 4 of their last 5 games to have any chance with Kent at Taunton next up, a team that have beaten Somerset five times on the trot.