Abell’s innngs followed an inspired performance with the ball by Somerset’s attack, which reduced the hosts to 7-3 inside three overs and 22-4 after eight, Josh Davey and Craig Overton taking two wickets apiece
A 70-run stand for the fifth wicket from Jack Leaning and Will Rhodes helped Yorkshire rebuild, but Somerset struck back in ruthless fashion to reduce Yorkshire to 108-9, Peter Trego taking 3-8 in his first four overs.
Some loose bowling at the death and some determined resistance by an inexperienced Yorkshire tail enabled the hosts to set a target of 176, but it never proved enough as Abell shared a 71-run stand for the fourth wicket with James Hildreth to take Somerset to the brink of victory.
This was Somerset’s most clinical showing in this year’s Royal London One-Day Cup, the players taking the field with Matt Maynard’s demand for improvement ringing in their ears after losing four of their first five games.
Scotland international Josh Davey, making only his second first team appearance for Somerset, struck with the fourth ball of the match, trapping Hodd lbw without scoring. Next over Craig Overton picked up dangerous Australian international Glenn Maxwell, well caught by Jack Leach at midwicket, before Davey had Yorkshire’s new one-day skipper Alex Lees caught behind to leave the Vikings reeling at 7-3 after 16 deliveries.
Overton struck again in the eighth over when he bowled Gary Balance, recently dropped from the England Test squad, for 6 and Yorkshire were 22-4 at the end of the eighth over. The Somerset all-rounder had bowled four overs and taken two wickets for just three runs.
He went on to bowl eight overs straight through, a brilliant spell, which did a fantastic job of containing the Yorkshire batsmen and earning him remarkable figures of 8-2-8-2.
Leaning and Rhodes started to bring Yorkshire back in the game, but with Overton – well supported by the rest of the Somerset attack – keeping things tight, progress was slow and their 70 run stand for the fifth wicket took 19 overs.
Rhodes then decided to target Leach, dispatching him for two sixes in an over, before the Somerset spinner extracted his revenge in his next over, bowling him for 37.
It was the start of another collapse of wickets for the home side as they went from 92-4 to 97-8 in the space of 5.2 overs, with Pete Trego ripping through the middle order with three wickets in as many overs. First he had Tim Bresnan caught in the slips, then Leaning caught at point by Abell for 40 and finally Rich Pyrah caught behind by Alex Barrow.
Leach and Trego continued to apply the pressure and conceded only 11 runs in the next six overs before the spinner picked up his second wicket, having Brooks caught by Hildreth for six.
With Yorkshire on 108-8 in the 39th over and 17-year-old number 11 Matthew Fisher at the crease with 19-year-old Karl Carver, an early finish looked in prospect. But a spirited last wicket stand of 67 in 11.3 overs enabled Yorkshire used up all but one ball of their innings and ensured their bowlers would at least have something to defend. There were signs that the wicket was becoming easier to bat on, but some lose deliveries at the death helped the Vikings’ cause.
Still it was an excellent performance with the ball by Somerset to bounce back from a hugely disappointing white-ball campaign. Trego duly finished proceedings by bowling Fisher for 34 to finish with figures of 4-29. Carver was left unbeaten on 35 at the other end.
Yorkshire struck twice inside the first 13 overs of Somerset’s reply, as Adam Hose and Trego both fell to catches behind the wicket for 19 apiece. Trego, who had just smashed Fisher for a six and a four, was caught off a top-edged pull off the next delivery to leave Somerset on 61-2. With Somerset only needing to score at 3.5 an over there was no need for rash shots.
Tom Cooper survived two dropped catches before he had reached 2, but fell to Fisher in the 20th over when he chipped to short mid-wicket for 13, leaving the score on 91-3.
Abell was joined by Hildreth, and the pair played sensibly, working their way towards their target with controlled calm. Abell was at his best, playing a chanceless innings until a play and miss very late in his knock. In all he hit 10 fours during a 112-ball stay at the crease. He deserved to carry his bat, as he has on two occasions in the County Championship this season, but for the second time in five days was strangled down the legside and departed for a fine 80, with only 14 required to win.
Captain Jim Allenby came in and drove Rhodes for four to bring up the winning runs with almost 12 overs to spare.
Maynard said afterwards: “We’ve been threatening that. We have done some good stuff in this competition, but we just haven’t been able to get over the line. Today, I thought we stuck at it brilliantly with the ball. We got some luck, which you always need. At times that’s been missing this summer. Craig Overton and Josh Davey getting those early wickets helped a great deal.
“That was a terrific opening spell from Craig – eight overs, two for eight. I thought we were brilliant in the field, and it was a very polished innings by Tom Abell in the run chase.”
Yorkshire 175 all out from 49.5 overs (Leaning 40, Rhodes 37, Carver 35*, Fisher 34; Trego 4-29, Overton 2-19, Leach 2-25, Davey 2-37) lost to Somerset 178-4 from 38.1 overs (Abell 80, Hildreth 23*; Fisher 2-29) by six wickets – http://www.espncricinfo.com/royal-london-one-day-cup-2015/engine/match/804817.html