Tom looks back on special day

There was no hiding the delight felt by Somerset Captain, Tom Abell after he led his side to victory in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Lord’s on Saturday.

When Somerset last triumphed in a one-day final at Lord’s back in 2001, a seven year old Tom was there in the crowd with his family to witness the occasion, so there was a fitting symmetry to the occasion 18 years on for the Taunton born and bred youngster.

Talking about the game, Tom said: “We lost the toss in the semi and probably would have had a bowl first and we lost the toss here and probably would have had a bat first. We were quite happy. We said before the game that we would back ourselves to chase or defend.

“It’s always the case in one-day cricket that if you can get wickets early, you can make it really difficult on the opposition. They’ve been a really successful side in white-ball cricket and have got a lot of power up top, so it was important to take early wickets and slow them down through the middle. We were able to create a huge amount of pressure and full credit to our bowlers. They asked a lot of questions and didn’t give the batters anything. I thought it was a great effort to keep them to 240 on that wicket.

“I’m delighted for the experienced players like Tregs and Hildy who’ve played in quite a few finals. This is a new team and we want to create our own legacy and that started today. We had a huge amount of faith and confidence in our team and in our squad in this competition. We wanted to try and treat it as another game. The reality obviously is that this was a massive final for us and I’m just delighted to come away with a win today.

“At the start of the season we set out to win every competition. This was the first one up for grabs and we’ve managed to do that. It’s taken a lot of hard work. The team have been absolutely phenomenal right the way through the competition, so I’m just so pleased we could get over the line today. It means a huge amount to the team and everyone associated with the Club.

“We were absolutely desperate to win and hopefully this will break the shackles a little bit so that people will be talking about us as winners as opposed to runners-up.”

The Somerset Captain shared his thoughts on 20-year-old opener Tom Banton, who scored in excess of 50 for the fourth successive time in the competition.

“Tom is a phenomenal talent. You’ve got to just let him play. He’s had an unbelievable competition and he’s got a huge amount of talent. He’s started thinking a little bit more about his innings as well, so the last few weeks we’ve started seeing a far more mature version of Bants. He can just take the game away from the opposition. He’s already been talked about with the likes of Buttler and Kieswetter at Somerset and quite rightly so, he’s got that much ability and, on this stage, he performed once again.”

Tom also reflected on the contribution that James Hildreth had made in this competition.

“Hildy’s absolute class. Watching him out there, he doesn’t look phased, he doesn’t look under any pressure. He is such a skillful batter and a great team-man. We invest a huge amount of time into the team and try and put individual aspirations to one side and Hildy is just a completely selfless man and an unbelievable player. There’s no-one I’d rather have out there in the middle when you’re chasing a total like that.”

Finally the Somerset skipper paid tribute to the Members and supporters.

“We are so lucky,” he said. “Everywhere we go around the country we are very well supported. There was a really great following here for us, so I’m just delighted that we could bring it home for them today.”

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