Corey blasts Somerset to victory!

Big-hitting Corey Anderson helped move Somerset in to a share of second place in the South Group of the NatWest T20 Blast as he propelled his side to a 32-run victory over Sussex on the DLS Method in a rain-affected contest at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

After a rain delay Somerset were put into bat and reached one without loss after three balls but further rain resulted in the match being reduced to eight overs-a-side. The home team posted a competitive total of 102 for three, courtesy of Anderson’s forthright innings of 41 not out from 17 balls.

Required to chase down a revised target of 104 to win, Sussex failed to recover from the loss of early wickets and came up short at 71 for 4, despite a gutsy unbeaten 42 from Stiaan van Zyl.

New Zealander Anderson arrived in the middle with Somerset on 27 for one in the third over and immediately took England paceman Chris Jordan to task, hoisting his first delivery back over his head for a massive six. When Jordan returned at the other end to send down the seventh over, Anderson greeted him with another huge straight six, much to the delight of a near-full-house.

Somerset’s overseas player dominated stands of 36 and 35 with Steve Davies and Roelof van der Merwe for the second and third wickets respectively, accruing a quartet of fours and three sixes into the bargain.

George Garton did his utmost to keep the scoring in check, the Sharks seamer inducing opener Lewis Gregory and van der Merwe to hole out to deep mid-wicket. However, Anderson remained at large to ensure the home side realised three figures, with van der Merwe contributing a valuable 16 from 11 balls.

Somerset struck an early blow when Chris Nash hoisted a length ball from Craig Overton to Gregory at deep backward point with the score on nine. Stiaan van Zyl and Laurie Evans did their best to keep up with the rate in the rain, only for the hosts to turn the screw.

Sussex needed a further 79 off five overs at 15.8 an over when leg spinner Max Waller entered the attack and changed the complexion of the game. Waller had Evans stumped by Davies for five off his first delivery and then pinned Sharks skipper Ross Taylor for one later in the same over as the visitors lurched to 27 for three.

South African van der Merwe kept things tight at the other end to ramp up the pressure on Wiese and Van Zyl, who struggled to get the ball off the square as conditions worsened.

Max Waller of Somerset celebrates the wicket of Shahid Afridi during the Natwest T20 Blast South group match between Somerset v Hampshire on June 23 in Taunton, Somerset. – PHOTO: Alex Davidson/PPAUK

Waller continued to cause problems for the batsmen, deploying clever variations of pace to keep a lid on things and leave Sussex requiring a notional 60 off 12 balls to win. Having returned impressive figures of two for 13 from two overs, Waller then held a catch at long-on as Wiesse perished at the hands of Overton.

Van Zyl summoned defiance aplenty in an innings of 42 not out from 22 balls, but he lacked the support needed to make a game of it.

A third successive home win moved Somerset, who now have 10 points from nine games, into a share of second place in the South Group, two points behind leaders Glamorgan.

Afterwards Somerset Captain Jim Allenby said: “My players showed a world class attitude to play in those conditions and their skills were top drawer. We’ve won three out of three at home now and are building good momentum. I know Sussex will be unhappy to have played and lost in the rain, but the same thing happened to us against Glamorgan and we didn’t whinge.

“We have to look after Corey Anderson and manage him, but he was happy to play today despite a stiff back and I just hope he’s okay for the next game against Gloucestershire at Bristol.”

Corey Anderson said: “When there are only eight overs you don’t have too much time to think about things, so I was pretty fearless when I went out there to bat. You just have to put yourself in a selfless position because there are other guys waiting in the shed to do the job as well.

“Today it was my day and I got a couple out of the middle and other guys chipped in well and made good contributions to enable us to make a good score.”

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Next MatchGloucestershire V Somerset

20/09/2020 13:00 - The Bristol County Ground

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