Another 50 for Johann as Somerset overcome Hampshire

Johann Myburgh started his long farewell from professional cricket by thumping an unbeaten 54 to keep Somerset top of the South Group of the Vitality Blast.

The Somerset opener clinically smashed the ball around the Ageas Bowl to help his side chase down 129 with six wickets in hand.

Hampshire had toiled to an unconvincing total but where the hosts had struggled, Myburgh appeared to find the going much easier as he stroked boundaries at will. He added 32 for the first wicket with Steven Davies, who was caught in the covers by a diving Liam Dawson.

Myburgh was unfazed by the loss of partner as he got his head down and kept the run rate ticking at just above the six an over needed.

Peter Trego was deceived by a Mujeeb Ur Rahman variation, as he played on, and James Hildreth hit straight up in the air to be caught keeper Tom Alsop, but Myburgh remained comfortable. He moved to his 11th fifty in T20 cricket and although Liam Dawson trapped Corey Anderson (25) lbw, Somerset eased to a six wicket victory with seven balls to spare when Tom Abell hit the winning runs.

Earlier, Lewis Gregory won the toss and elected to bowl on the same wicket that Southern Vipers had posted 159 on earlier in the day – a quickish wicket, which slowed throughout the two games, albeit with steady bounce.

Hampshire never got to grips with the pitch though, despite James Vince firmly cutting Max Waller through point first ball and Rilee Rossouw dispatching a six over cow corner. That was as good as it got for the hosts as the wickets fell with regularity, with the runs failing to arrive.

Rossouw started the slump when he dragged a full ball to mid-wicket, before Jerome Taylor found Vince’s leading edge, with Tom Abell completing the snaffle at backward-point.

Hampshire were left 45 for two at the end of the powerplay and quickly lost Tom Alsop skying to mid-wicket and Liam Dawson offering up a simple catch at point. Sam Northeast then attempted to anchor an end – scoring 30 off 36 balls – but nobody else could build around him. The former Kent batsman eventually fell when he top edged to James Hildreth at short fine leg, before Joe Weatherly was bowled by Jamie Overton.

Hampshire didn’t manage to strike a boundary between the eighth and fifteenth over which summed up their misery.

Taylor then accounted for Chris Wood and Gareth Berg to finish with three for 39 as Hampshire posted a meagre 129 for eight.

For the match scorecard click here

After the game Somerset Man of the Match, Johann Myburgh said: “We thought we kept them under par but we knew it was going to be a grind until the end. I tried to play the situation. I try to be as aggressive as possible but after losing a couple of wickets and being ahead of the rate I didn’t want to give away a cheap wicket.

“Even before the season I thought about retirement. I have played for a long time and thoroughly enjoyed it. It feels like the right time to do it right now. Winning at Edgbaston would be the perfect finale if we get there.

“Every time you go on the field and do something, not necessarily a batting performance, you think ‘oh I could still crack on’. But when you are sat at home and put things in to perspective, then you come to the conclusion that it is the right time to do it.”

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