Ben and Tom see Somerset to comprehensive win

Somerset impressed under lights at the Cooper Associates County Ground this evening as Ben Green and Tom Abell helped to see their side to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Glamorgan in the Vitality Blast.

Green claimed four for 26 whilst Abell played beautifully for his 74* as Somerset cruised to the two points on offer.

22-year-old Devonian seamer Green was making only his third appearance in the competition played a big role as the visitors were restricted to a modest 133 for eight after losing the toss. Josh Davey also claimed two for 17 in an impressive Somerset bowling performance.

The hosts then made short work of their target, racing to 134 for two from just 16.1 overs with skipper Abell leading the way and James Hildreth contributing an unbeaten 34. Their unbroken stand of 110 assured Somerset of a first win in the group.

The Welsh county’s batting effort began with Dan Douthwaite falling for a first ball duck to Max Waller’s second delivery of the match, a flighted googly that pinned the batsman lbw.

By the end of the six-over power play, the visitors were 39 for three, Andy Balbirnie (17) having miscued a pull to be caught at mid-wicket off Ollie Sale and Billy Root carving a catch to Green at cover off Davey.

Chris Cooke, on whom his side rely heavily, did his best to raise the tempo with sixes over deep square off Sale and Green, but there was little support at the other end.

Kiran Carlson fell for five, caught at deep mid-wicket to become Green’s first victim and at the halfway point of their innings Glamorgan had posted 62 for four.

Cooke and Callum Taylor then added 26, but Taylor mistimed a ramp shot to be caught off Green for 12.

Any hope Glamorgan had of reaching a respectable total disappeared when Cooke, who had eased his way to 42 off 34 balls, drove a catch to extra cover off Green in the 15th over.

Andrew Salter was caught at long-off for the second first ball duck of the innings and Green, who had been the sixth Somerset bowler used, could reflect on a good night’s work from the River End.

Marchant de Lange produced some belligerent blows, including a six over long-on off Waller, but it was too little too late to give Glamorgan a competitive total.

Somerset immediately had more momentum to their batting, despite losing George Bartlett and Steve Davies in the opening six overs to Salter and Tim van der Gugten respectively.

By the end of the power play their score was 47 for two, with the experienced Hildreth and captain Abell running well between the wickets and content to wait for a loose ball.

At the end of ten overs, Somerset were coasting on 81 for two, needing only 5.3 runs an over for victory.

Having played largely textbook shots, Abell moved to a fluent half-century from 30 balls, with a classic back-foot forcing shot off Salter through extra cover for four.

Hildreth was content to play a supporting role, one superbly timed reverse sweep for four standing out in his 36-ball knock.

Abell brought up the century stand by hitting Salter over long-off for six and soon his side were celebrating victory with 23 balls to spare.

The skipper had faced 45 balls, hitting nine fours and a six, while Hildreth’s innings occupied 36 deliveries. The partnership was an object lesson in scoring quickly without resorting to unorthodox shots.

At the end of a memorable evening, Ben Green said: “It’s the first time I’ve taken four wickets for the First Team in any competition, so I’m delighted. We have such good bowling options that I can’t be sure whether I will be used for one over or four, but tonight the skipper gave me and Ollie Sale a great opportunity.

“When someone as good as Craig Overton doesn’t bowl his full quota, it says a lot about the other bowlers. We executed our skills well and tried not to give the Glamorgan batsmen room to free their hands.

“Tom Abell then played a captain’s innings, scoring quickly without taking any risks. It was a good win for us and confidence in the camp is high ahead of our next game.”

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12/08/2022 11:00 - Uptonsteel County Ground