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Vitality Blast Preview: Somerset v Sussex Sharks

THE MATCH

Somerset welcome Sussex  Sharks to the Cooper Associates County Ground tomorrow (Sunday) in the Vitality Blast.

The match begins at 2:30pm with gates opening at 11:45am.

Somerset are currently eighth in the table with two points from three matches whilst Sussex Sharks are third with four points from the same number of games.

HOW CAN I KEEP UP TO DATE?

You can keep up to date using our dedicated Match Centre via this website and on our Twitter feed.

A live stream of the match will also be available and a link will appear in the Match Centre shortly before play starts.

In addition to this a report on the day’s play along with quotes will be posted after the close.

HEAD TO HEAD

Since T20 cricket was first introduced to the domestic schedule in 2003, the two sides have met on 11 occasions. Somerset have won four times, Sussex have triumphed in six of the games and one match ended in a no result.

Somerset’s highest innings total in the series is 177 for four at Taunton in 2011, whilst for Sussex it is 222 for three at Hove in 2016.

The highest individual score for Somerset is 87 not out by Marcus Trescothick at Taunton in 2011, and for Sussex it is 112 not out by Chris Nash at Hove in 2016.

The best bowling for Somerset is five for 31 by Dirk Nannes at Arundel in 2014 while for Sussex it is five for 18 by Ollie Rayner at Hove in 2011.

The two sides met twice in the 2018 competition, the first of which was in the group stages at Hove when Somerset won by three wickets.

After being put in, Sussex posted 169 for five thanks to 96 from Laurie Evans. In reply Somerset reached 170 for seven with three balls to spare as Roelof van der Merwe made a crucial unbeaten 34 off 19 balls.

The second time the two sides met in 2018 was in the semi-final at Edgbaston in September. Sussex posted 202 for nine after opting to bat thanks to 92 from Luke Wright. Jerome Taylor claimed four for 20. In reply Somerset made 167 for eight with both Tom Abell and Corey Anderson scoring 48.

TEAM NEWS

Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr has named the same squad as for Friday’s Vitality Blast match against Hampshire.

The Somerset squad is: Lewis Gregory (c), Tom Abell, Babar Azam, Tom Banton, James Hildreth, Tim Groenewald, Tom Lammonby, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Ollie Sale, Jerome Taylor, Peter Trego, Roelof van der Merwe and Max Waller.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Ahead of the match Jason Kerr said: “We need to bounce back, and if we play to our potential we will give Sussex a good game here on Sunday. They’ve got a lot of stars in their side, but last season we went there and we won.

“Hopefully we will have another belting pitch for the game on Sunday. If you take the result out of the Hampshire match that was a superb game for people to watch.

“We want to play on as good a wicket as possible, and Lewis Gregory has always talked about playing the brand of cricket that people want to come back and watch. Even though our supporters won’t have enjoyed the result on Friday night they’ll have enjoyed the array of talent that was on show.”

Regarding the line up Jason said: “Jamie Overton has had an injection and will be in consideration for Sunday, so we will have a look and assess the situation before making a final decision.”

DID YOU KNOW?

Somerset were severe in our scoring against spinners last season. Their run rate against the slower bowlers was 9.49 runs per over – the highest of all teams in the competition.

ABOUT THE OPPOSITION

Titles: 1 (2009). Finals Days: 4.

Coach: Jason Gillespie. Former Australian fast bowler who has won the Big Bash with Adelaide Strikers.

Captain: Luke Wright. Wright has played 51 T20 internationals and was part of the England team that won the 2010 World Cup.

Overseas signings: Rashid Khan (Afghanistan. First half of tournament), Alex Carey (Australia).

After losing in last year’s final the Sharks are desperate to go one better in 2019. Despite the likely absence of Jofra Archer they seem to have all the bases covered and they would feel they have underachieved if they don’t make Finals Day again.

IS THIS MATCH INCLUDED IN MY MEMBERSHIP?

Vitality Blast matches are included in “T20 Membership” plus “Club & T20” Membership.

Vitality Blast matches are NOT included in “Club Membership”.

Somerset County Cricket Club operates an allocated seating policy for our Vitality Blast matches. “T20 Members” plus “Club & T20 Members” will find their seat number on the back of their Membership cards.

WHAT TIME DO GATES OPEN?

Gates will open at 11:45am with play due to get underway at 2:30pm.

WHICH GATE SHOULD I USE?

Members and ticket holders can enter the Cooper Associates County Ground via The Priory Bridge Road Gate, St James Street Gate and the Brian Rose Gate.

Hospitality guests are invited to use the VIP entry point at the St James Street Gate.

PLANNING YOUR JOURNEY

All the information that you need about getting to the Cooper Associates County Ground can be found by clicking here

WET WEATHER PLAN

If the cricket match is affected by the weather, please visit our Match Centre or Twitter page to view all the latest updates and the prospects of play. Please note that, whilst we will do our best to help spectators who are travelling to the match, it will be the umpires and not the Club who will make the decision as to whether play is possible.

If it has been deemed that a match has to be completely abandoned, please see the Club’s refund and exchange policy.

FAN VILLAGE

In a bid to improve the already outstanding matchday experience at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Somerset County Cricket Club are pleased to be able to announce that there will be a dedicated fan village at all of our home Vitality Blast fixtures in 2019.

The fan village will be situated in the St James Street side of the Ground and will feature a 24-metre marquee bar which will be serving draught Tribute, Thatchers Gold, Thatchers Haze and Carlsberg. There will also be a number of local ciders available as well as wide range of soft drinks and a Champagne bar. The marquee bar will also be trailing two-pint cups.

The Gin & Sin Company will be in attendance and there will also be a Pimm’s shed on site.

In addition to the bars, we have also teamed up with local street food companies in order to provide and exciting and varied range of food options.

These include: The Hot Sausage Company, Bearclaw Meats, Spudshack, Mint & Mustard, Super Juice, Silvan’s, Somerset Steak House and Pancake Pod.

As well as food and drink, there will also be a large artificial grassed area where you can relax in our Tribute and Thatchers deckchairs whilst enjoying live music from The Haus Band.

FOOD & DRINK

In addition to the Fan Vilage there are a number of outlets where you can purchase food and drink on match day and these are as follows:

Food is available from:

  • The Great Catch Fish & Chip Shop (Ian Botham Stand)
  • Granny Gothards Ice Cream Parlour (Somerset Stand)
  • Rooftop concession unit (Somerset Pavilion)
  • Ground floor concession unit (Somerset Pavilion)
  • Legends Square – mobile take away food unit

The following bars will also be open:

  • Stragglers Coffee House
  • County Room
  • Ian Botham Stand
  • 12th Man Cans Bar (card only)
  • Somerset Stand Bar
  • Thatchers Rig – Priory Bridge Road car park (card only)
  • The Hop & Bottle Rig – Priory Bridge Road car park
  • Somerset Stand Cans Bar (card only)

MATCH DAY ACTIVITIES

Our team of volunteers will be on hand to distribute free Vitality Blast giveaways on match days whilst a number of our partners will be on site including:

SPAR are our Official Vitality Blast Partner and they will be situated in the SCCC gazebo in the Fan Village. They will be distributing matchday giveaways and you can also purchase a special SPAR cowboy hat for £2. The money from the sale of these hats will go to charity at the end of this season’s Vitality Blast. Make sure you visit them in the St James Street car park for more details. Keep your eyes peeled for our special SPAR player cut outs too!

THATCHERS CIDER will be carrying out the Golden Ticket competition again this year and there is a case of Thatchers Gold up for grabs! Thatchers will also be providing entertainment during the interval with various prizes on offer. Four lucky people will also be invited to enjoy the match from the Thatchers Best Seats In The House. Make sure you grab your Thatchers Bang Bang sticks from the SCCC gazebo in the Fan Village.

SOMERSET COUNTY SPORTS. Somerset County Sports will be open throughout the match and is located near the Somerset Cricket Museum. You can visit their website here to check out their wide range of cricket equipment and replica kit.

SCCC SHOP. The new SCCC shop will be open selling a number of SCCC branded leisurewear and gift items. The shop is situated behind the Ondaatje stands.

HARRIS FOWLER. After the match we will be running a Player of the Match vote via social media in association with Harris Fowler. For more information visit our Twitter feed.

KIDS ZONE. Our Kids Activation Zone will be set up in the St James Sreet side of the Ground. Make sure you visit the Somerset Cricket Board Coaches and try out your skills!

SIGNING SESSION. After the match Somerset players will be taking part in a signing session in front of the Priory Bridge Road Stand.

MATCHDAY SPONSOR – KING’S COLLEGE TAUNTON

Somerset County Cricket Club and King’s Schools, Taunton have a long tradition of sporting excellence. The schools are thrilled to be continuing their strong relationship with the club.

Providing continuous day and boarding education for girls and boys aged 2 to 18 years, King’s Schools comprises King’s Hall School and King’s College, Taunton. Both schools provide inspired teaching, superb facilities, and the nurturing of individual potential combine to create an environment in which young people achieve great things. Former alumni include England cricketer Jos Buttler and GB hockey goalkeeper Maddie Hinch.

For more information visit their website

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