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Jack and Hildy inspire Somerset to victory at Surrey

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Jack Leach, James Hildreth and Will Smeed steered Somerset to a comprehensive victory over Surrey at the Kia Oval in the Vitality Blast tonight.

Leach, making his T20 debut, claimed three for 28 to help restrict the hosts to 146 for eight.

Somerset lost Tom Banton early, but Hildreth and 19-year-old Smeed steered the visitors to victory with a second-wicket stand of 103, Somerset’s second-highest for any wicket in T20.

Hildreth celebrated his 200th T20 appearance with an unbeaten 72, made off 59 balls with nine fours and two sixes, as Somerset wrapped up their second win in the South Group with eight balls to spare.

Earlier, Will Jacks lodged his second Blast half-century of the season from 43 balls.

Jamie Smith had become Leach’s first victim in his second over thanks to a well-judged catch over his shoulder by Ben Green. Jacks and Laurie Evans put on 52 for the second wicket, but Surrey struggled to accelerate after a mix-up led to Evans (10) being run out in the eighth over.

Somerset’s spinners relished the turn on offer, not least Leach who returned to the attack in the 12th over to have his former team-mate Jamie Overton (8) caught at extra cover before claiming Jacks in his next over, when he holed out to long off after facing 43 balls and hitting six fours and three sixes.

After Jacks, their next highest scorer was Rory Burns who made 18 before picking out deep mid-wicket with a slog sweep in the 19th over.

Surrey also employed plenty of spin but Hildreth and Smeed took few risks against them, deciding instead to take on the quicker bowlers, Jade Dernbach’s solitary over going for 19.

Smeed impressed, hitting five fours and three sixes in 42 from 29 balls before Dan Moriarty had him caught off a leading edge. Goldsworthy (1) was bowled round his legs by Gareth Batty, but Tom Lammonby (23 not out), making his first Blast appearance of the season, and Hildreth got the job done.

Following the victory, Hildreth said: “It’s a really good win for us and we’re very happy with how we played. We’re aware that we need to put a run of wins together to get some momentum and that’s two wins in a row now, which is good.

“The wicket was quite tricky. It was a used pitch, quite slow and spinning, so it almost felt like you had license to play some big shots. It was nice to get a score, and Will and Tom came in and played with no fear to get us to the target.”

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