Somerset fall short in Bristol chase

Michael Klinger marked probably his last innings at the Bristol County Ground with a match-winning 74 to lead Gloucestershire to a vital 25-run Vitality Blast win over arch-rivals Somerset.

The home side posted 189 for four after losing the toss in front of an 8,000 crowd, Klinger leading the way with 8 fours and a six in his 52-ball innings, while Miles Hammond hit 56 from 43 deliveries. Max Waller was the pick of the Somerset attack, bowling his four overs for 25 runs.

In reply, Somerset could manage only 164 all out, Babar Azam contributing 44, James Hildreth 40 and Tom Lammonby 31. Tom Smith claimed three for 19 and Graeme van Buuren two for 27.

The victory strengthened Gloucestershire’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals, while leaving their arch-rivals with much to do over their last three group matches.

Fresh from receiving a presentation from club officials to mark his seven years of service before the game, Klinger quickly gave their innings momentum, hitting 3 fours from successive balls in the second over, sent down by Jerome Taylor.

Soon opening partner Hammond was joining in as 54 came from the six overs of power-play. By the halfway point in their innings, the hosts were well placed at 84 without loss.

Hammond reached a 39-ball half-century and hit the first six of the game off Roelof van der Merwe before being caught at wide long-on in the same over, the 13th, with the total on 105.

Klinger went to his fifty off 38 balls and the 15th over, bowled by van der Merwe, saw James Bracey smack 2 sixes in succession. He perished for 20, but Jack Taylor ensured Gloucestershire of a meaningful score with 23 off 10 balls.

Klinger departed to a standing ovation in the final over, raising his bat to all sides of the ground as he walked off.

Somerset’s reply had reached 20 in the third over when Tom Banton was caught at long-on off David Payne, having just hit the left-arm seamer for six. By the end of the power-play the visitors had 59 on the board, Babar and Hildreth scoring quickly with classical stroke-play.

Barbar played a textbook 29-ball innings, featuring 6 fours, before being beaten by a turning delivery from Smith in the tenth over and stumped by Bracey. At halfway Somerset were 91 for two.

Smith struck again to remove Eddie Byrom off a skyer in the 12th over and when Hildreth was brilliantly stumped by Bracey off a leg-side wide from van Buuren a Somerset slump set in.

Craig Overton fell to a big shot off van Buuren and Tom Abell to a reverse sweep off Smith, who finished four accurate overs to a rousing ovation from home fans.

With five overs left, Somerset required 59. Tom Lammonby hit sixes off van Buuren and Andrew Tye to keep his side’s hopes alive, finding a lively partner in van der Merwe, who contributed a breezy 17 before falling to Ryan Higgins, leaving 29 needed from 13 balls.

It proved too much as Tye claimed two wickets in the 19th over and Higgins wrapped things up with the third ball of the last.

Somerset head coach Jason Kerr said: “To start with we let Gloucestershire get 20 too many runs. With a couple of overs of their innings to go we were looking at chasing 180 at most and it turned into nearly 190 because we didn’t execute our skills well enough at the death.

“Then we got off to a great start with the bat and were cruising at halfway, well ahead of where Gloucestershire were at the same stage. Some poor shots cost us wickets and in the end we can have no complaints.

“We still have three group games left, starting tomorrow against Glamorgan, and we know we must win at least two of them. But we go out to win every match and we will still back ourselves to qualify.”

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11/07/2022 11:00 - Southport