Hampshire end Somerset's Vitality Blast hopes.


Hampshire Hawks claimed revenge for last year’s Vitality Blast semi-final defeat at the hands of Somerset when they overcame the team from the West Country at the same stage of the competition today at Edgbaston.

The Hawks claimed the victory by 37 runs.

Hampshire skipper James Vince won the toss and elected to bat.

Vince and opening partner Ben McDermott raced to 43 off the first four overs, but the Hawks’ skipper fell to the second ball of the fifth over, bowled by Roelof van der Merwe, when he was caught by Tom Abell running back from cover. Vince had made 20 from 12 balls.

Lewis Goldsworthy, fresh from an impressive performance against Lancashire in the Championship this week, was brought into the attack to bowl the sixth over. However, his opening five balls cost 20 runs. Not to be deterred, the diminutive Cornishman claimed the wicket of McDermott, who was caught by Abell for 31 off 17 balls.

Tom Prest and Joe Weatherley brought up the Hampshire 100 off the final ball of the 10th over and eventually shared a stand of 48. That came to an end courtesy of an excellent diving catch from Rilee Rossouw at long-on. Weatherley, who caused Somerset so many problems at this stage of the competition last year, was the man to go for 24 and Goldsworthy was celebrating his second wicket.

Prest and Ross Whitely had taken the Hawks to 145 for three when Prest skied Ben Green to the boundary in the 16th over and a diving Will Smeed just failed to hold on to it. The Hampshire pair then brought up the 150 later in the over.

Prest brought up his 50 in the following over from 38 balls.

As Hampshire looked to hit out in the final three overs, Whiteley (33) went for a lofted off- drive but mistimed it and it was taken by Lammonby on the cover boundary at 171 for four.

With the score on 181 for four, the responsibility of the final over was given to van der Merwe, and the Netherlands international did not baulk under the pressure. Seven runs came from the opening two balls, but Prest tried one big hit too many and was caught by Rossouw and had to depart for 64. James Fuller then fell just two balls later when a mix up resulted in a run out. A single was taken off the final ball and the Hawks finished on 190 for six.

Somerset openers Smeed and Tom Banton had raced to 20 from the opening two overs.

Nathan Ellis was brought on to bowl the third over and he made the breakthrough with his third ball when Smeed mistimed a pull shot and was caught at mid-on by James Fuller for nine.

This brought Rossouw to the crease and he was soon showing why he has already scored 600 runs in this year’s Blast as he dispatched Brad Wheal high back over his head for a big maximum.

The score had advanced to 37 when an excellent throw on the run from Mason Crane saw Banton run out for 12.

Rossuow ensured that Somerset would end the six-over powerplay on 46 for two when he launched Wheal on to the roof of the Hollies Stand for the biggest six of the day. However, the big-scoring South African fell for 23 when he skied Fuller to Weatherley at 50 for three.

Abell and Lammonby shared a fourth wicket stand of 47 but Abell holed out to Weatherley in front of the Hollies Stand in the 13th over to leave Somerset on 97 for four.

Lewis Gregory got off the mark with a six over long-on to bring up the 100 for his side but as he tried to up the run rate, he was caught by Nathan Ellis at deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Brad Wheal for 18 in the 16th over.

When Ben Green was run out for nine following an umpire review, Somerset knew that the writing was on the wall at 136 for six in the 17th over. The same fate then befell Lammonby who went for 33, and with the scoreboard showing 150 for seven in the 19th over, the game was up.

Somerset were eventually bowled out for 153 with three balls remaining.

At the end of the match, Somerset Captain, Tom Abell said: “Obviously it’s been a really disappointing day for us. They got off to a good start and we weren’t at our best today. We couldn’t restrict them during the middle overs, but I still felt that we were in the game at the half way stage.

“We fell behind the rate too early and couldn’t find the rhythm that we needed. We didn’t execute with the bat in the way that we needed to and that’s why we fell short.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the Somerset Members and supporters who traveled to cheer us on today. I can assure them that we are just as gutted as they are. It was clear to see that we had a huge following here. It’s so disappointing for everyone connected to the Club that we couldn’t be at our best when we needed to be.”

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