Hampshire take the points at Taunton
Hampshire made sure of winning the Royal London One-Day Cup South Group with a seven-wicket victory over Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
The home side were bowled out in 40.2 overs for 216 after winning the toss, George Bartlett top-scoring with 40, while Roelof van der Merwe contributed 38. Kyle Abbott was the most successful bowler with three for 36.
In reply, Hampshire recorded their seventh victory in eight group matches thanks to Aiden Markram (61), Aneurin Donald (57) and Sam Northeast (51 not out).
Seven of Somerset’s top eight batsmen got starts, only to fall when apparently well set. Tom Banton was first to go on 18, bowled attempting to drive Abbott in the fourth over.
Peter Trego and Azhar Ali took the total to 63 before falling in quick succession. Trego was bowled on the back foot trying to late cut Liam Dawson, and Azhar Ali was caught behind off Gareth Berg, the former Pakistan Test player walking off, even though umpire Jeff Evans did not raise the finger.
Every time the innings seemed to be gaining some momentum a wicket fell. James Hildreth was caught at wide mid-on off a Mason Crane full toss and it was 128 for five when Abell, on 36, swept Crane to James Fuller at deep square.
Lewis Gregory edged Fidel Edwards through to wicketkeeper Tom Alsop and, at 141 for six in the 28th over, Somerset looked in trouble.
The powerful van der Merwe hit the only six of the innings in the 35th over and added 60 in ten overs with Bartlett before the latter lifted a catch to long-off, having posed the best List A score of his fledgling career.
Abbott eventually pinned van der Merwe lbw with a full delivery before Jamie Overton was run out first ball, calling for a quick single to mid-off. Craig Overton was last out, driving a catch to mid-on to give Abbott his third wicket.
Hampshire’s innings was given an early boost by Donald, who hit two sixes from successive balls in the fifth over.
Tom Alsop soon joined in before pulling a catch to short fine-leg off Craig Overton to make it 49 for one in the eighth over.
Donald reached his half-century off 50 balls, with five fours and two sixes, but then skied a catch to cover off van der Merwe with the total on 113.
Markram followed Donald to his 50, with six fours and two sixes, before being caught and bowled by Craig Overton, parrying the ball above his head and catching it as it came down.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the home side as Northeast and Rilee Rossouw saw Hampshire home with Northeast reaching a 56-ball half-century with a six to end the game.
At the close of play Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “One of our batsmen needed to take responsibility and make a big score. Every time we looked like getting back into the game we lost a wicket.
“Just over 200 was never enough on that pitch. The plan was to get as many runs as possible on what was a used surface and apply pressure as the pitch got slower.
“We have some incredibly talented players and it’s frustrating to see them perform like that when they put so much work into their game. Right now we’re not clicking as a team and we have to put that right against Surrey here on Tuesday.”
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