Somerset look to get their one day season back on track following the narrow defeat at Bristol on Friday evening, the end of a week where the cider county lost 2 games, tied one and had the other abandoned without a ball being bowled.
This will be Chris Gayle’s last game in Somerset colours this season – unless the club progress to the qualifying stages and he is able to return – and he will no doubt wish to give the Taunton faithful something positive to remember him by. It was against Hampshire that Gayle played one of his two home games in 2015 scoring an undefeated 85 and securing the win with a big six off Yasir Arafat who is, ironically, a team-mate this season.
Gayle has yet to pass 50 for Somerset this season.
Somerset will select their team from the following 13-man squad: Jim Allenby (c), Chris Gayle, Peter Trego, Mahela Jayawardene, Johann Myburgh, James Hildreth, Roelof van der Merwe, Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Max Waller, Tim Groenewald, Ryan Davies (w), Yasir Arafat.
Hampshire have been given a huge boost by the availability of James Vince, who will resume his duties as club skipper against Somerset, whilst Michael Carberry, Adam Wheater and Shahid Afridi are all set to feature. Carberry missed trips to Kent and Surrey through a hand injury.
The Southampton based club also has all-rounder Darren Sammy to create some fireworks.
Somerset go into this game in 6th place in the table with 5 points from 6 games. The visitors sit second bottom with 3 from 6 so both teams will be determined to win. With world class players on each side it will be a fascinating contest, weather permitting.
Umpires: Mike Burns and Steve O’Shaughnessy
Match scorecard on ESPN Cricinfo here
There was rain in the air prior to the game with the forecast suggesting the west country will miss any inclement weather.
Somerset made one change from the side that lost at Bristol bringing in Max Waller for Yasir Arafat.
- The home team didn’t need long to get the first wicket when debutant Tom Alsop tried a crazy run and was caught short by Jamie Overton’s throw to Ryan Davies. Hants 15-1 of 10
- Carberry was looking good but he skied a short one and was out c Groenewald b Overton 17 and it was 25-2 off 3.5 overs.
- Jamie Overton was back in the thick of the action with the first ball of the 6th over when England man Vince was c Davies for 10. 32-3 now.
- Hampshire huffed and puffed into the 10th over then lost 2 in 2 balls with Waller the menace. First Adam Wheater was stumped by Davies for 10 and Will Smith was leg before without scoring. 56-5 now and at the half way stage 58-5. Advantage Somerset.
- There were 3 overs without a wicket as Dawson and Ervine tried to restore some balance but Zimbabwean Ervine danced down the track and was stumped by Davies off Waller for 13. 88-6.
- Dawson batted well and continues to hit boundaries, backed by Shahid Afridi who hit Waller for 4-6-4 in one over. Bit Maxi had the last laugh when he bowled the Pakistan international for 21. 124-7 off 16 overs.
- There was a great bit of fielding from Myburgh when he found danger man Dawson out of his crease and the visitors were 125-8 now. Soon after the rain came and the playesr were off the field.
- Play resumed at 4.20pm but it didn’t last long for Hants. They lost two wickets in the 19th in 3 balls as their innings closed on 133. First out was Sammy c Allenby b Overton 0 followed by Berg who was c Gayle b Overton 4.
- Pick of the bowling was Waller whose 4 overs yielded 4-33. Jamie Overton also took 4-22 off his 3.3 overs. It was Somerset’s to lose at this stage.
- Somerset openers Gayle and Allenby took to the crease and Tino Best gave Somerset 9 runs in the firstst 2 legal deliveries with 4 byes, 4 leg byes and a wide. 14-0 off 1 over.
- Skipper Allenby lasted just 5 balls when he was out c Shahid Afridi b Berg 4. 15-1.
- Trego hit successive four’s off Sammy but tried a third and was c Vince b Sammy 8. In truth it was a careless shot. 28-2.
- Jayawardene joined the Universe Boss and it was steady stiff. At the half way stage Somerset were 82-2 needing 52 runs from 60 balls.
- Gayle went passed 50 in the 11th but was out in the 12th when he edged Smith to Wheater for 52, including 4×4 & 3×6. 95-3 and still all Somerset.
- The rain was persistent and the players may have come off the field if Somerset needed 50-60 runs. Myburgh joined Jaya and the two eased towards the target when Mybs was out bowled Berg with just 2 needed. 132-4.
- Lewis Gregory struck the next ball for four and it was over with 26 balls spare.
Somerset (2 points) beat Hampshire (0) by 6 wickets with 26 balls left.
Man of the match: Max Waller (Somerset)
Speaking to the Somerset website after the game Chris Gayle said: “It’s not a bad way to sign off, with a half century, a catch, a Man of the Match Award and two points for the team. We got the result so everything went really well and hopefully we can build on that platform.”
“I have really enjoyed my time here again and the atmosphere has been fantastic. As you can see, the fans are still waiting for me to sign autographs and take selfies. I can’t complain. This is the best send off that I could have had from Somerset. Apart from the first game that was very poor I have felt that I have got into the spirit. Hopefully the team can get to the final a get the chance of a trophy.”
“I like the interaction that I have had with the fans here. If the ball comes trickling towards me they cheer for that which is pretty thrilling to me and pleasing to see how they actually love what I do on the field, so it’s great to have that impact on the people. I am happy they enjoyed it and we got the result and Somerset will always have a place in my heart.”