Royal London One-Day Cup Review: Part Three
Welcome to the third and final part of our Royal London One-Day Cup review.
Having topped the South Group with an impressive 13 points from our eight matches Somerset qualified for a home quarter-final.
Worcestershire were the visitors to a sold out Cooper Associates County Ground in the last eight encounter on August 17th.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat but it was Somerset who made the better start Worcestershire first three wickets fell for just 42 runs. However, a partnership of 113 between Moeen Ali and Daryl Mitchell got their side back in to the game. Peter Trego claimed the prize wicket of Ali for 81 and then removed Mitchell for 64 and from that point on Somerset were in control as Worcestershire slipped from 175 for five to 210 all out from 42.5 overs. Trego finished with figures of three for 33 from his eight overs whilst Craig Overton and Josh Davey both claimed two wickets each.
Somerset made short work of chasing 211 as openers Jim Allenby and Mahela Jayawardene put on 188 for the first wicket. Allenby was the man to go for 81 but Jayawardene went on to make 117 not out and it was only fitting that the Sri Lankan legend hit the winning runs in his final appearance for Somerset as the home side eased through to the semi-final courtesy of an impressive nine wicket victory with 79 balls to spare.
After hitting the winning runs Mahela said: “This is a really big moment for me because when I came to the County it was all about winning matches and taking them all the way. They are a great bunch of guys so it’s great to be able to contribute to a quarter final win and to be a part of that. The fans here have been fantastic and they are 100% behind the Club win or lose. There is a great culture here so it’s nice to keep on doing well and contributing to winning matches. The fans appreciate their cricket so it’s great to be a part of that.”
Captain Jim Allenby said: “It was very special to be able to bat with Mahela for so long. For me to spend so much time out there with him was fantastic and it’s great that someone of my age is still learning. I think its one loss in 13 in this format and fair play to Matt Maynard who decided to give the young players a bigger part to play. We are probably seeing the results of that this year as we did at the end of last season. It’s a very exciting time and there’s a big buzz about the place. We’ve got a lot of good players who are coming into form at the right time.”
The semi-final draw saw Somerset head up the M5 to Edgbaston to take on Warwickshire.
Hundreds of Somerset supporters made the journey to cheer the team on but unfortunately the day ended in disappointment.
The home side won the toss and elected to bat. Jonathan Trott and Sam Hain made a good start and put on 90 before Trott was caught and bowled by Roelof van der Merwe for 44. Hain was eventually dismissed for 86 whilst an unbeaten 94 from Ian Bell ensured that the home side posted a total of 284 for four from their 50 overs. van der Merwe claimed two for 62 whilst there was a wicket each for Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton. Warwickshire wicket keeper Tim Ambrose was injured whilst batting and Somerset sportingly allowed their hosts to use Alex Mellor as a specialist substitute.
Somerset lost Johann Myburgh early on and when captain Jim Allenby was given out lbw his side were 44 for two. Tom Abell and Peter Trego got Somerset back in the game with a third wicket stand of 75 but the former was caught behind by Mellor for 35. Trego went on to make 58 but fell to Jeetan Patel who claimed four quick wickets as Somerset slipped from 145 for four to 161 for seven.
A 71 run partnership between Ryan Davies and James Hildreth for the eighth wicket got Somerset back in to the match and an unbeaten last wicket stand of 42 between Tim Groenewald and Max Waller took the game down to the final few balls. Unfortunately for the large travelling support, the side from the West Country fell agonisingly short as Warwickshire booked their place at Lord’s by just eight runs.
After the game a clearly disappointed Jim Allenby said: “I thought that they got 20 runs too many when they batted and that the wicket was going to deteriorate more than it did but it held together really well. All of their big players rocked up today, so fair play to them. It was a terrific fighting performance from our lower order, but the boys have been doing that all of the year. They have shown a lot of fight. Nobody gives up in this team and that’s why we have got through to the semi-final. I am hugely proud of the whole team but we couldn’t quite get there today. I think we are two years away from being a really good side so to get to a semi-final like this I see as a real achievement. People can see where we are going and how we are getting there which is quite encouraging so I am really proud. For the guys to show the spirit to get that close is all credit to them.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed our look back on what was a thrilling Royal London One-Day Cup campaign.
Thank you for all your support during the season!