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Somerset off to an impressive start

Somerset got off to a winning start in this year’s Vitality Blast courtesy of an impressive eight wicket win at Glamorgan.

After a strong start, Glamorgan looked on course for a score in excess of 200, but instead of consolidating they lost three wickets in three overs and were grateful that Colin Ingram enabled them to reach a challenging total.

Needing 182 to win at nine runs an over, Somerset reached their total with two overs to spare. Tom Banton was in sparkling form as he helped the visitors to the perfect start, scoring 22 from Marchant De Lange’s opening over whilst 50 came from only four overs. On a good batting pitch, runs continued to be plundered with Somerset reaching 75 without loss after just six overs, four runs more than Glamorgan.

Banton soon reached fifty with a high proportion of boundaries (five sixes and four fours) as Somerset raced to 100 in the ninth over and were well in control. Babar Azam fell to Douthwaite on his debut after making 35 from just 23 balls, and in the following over Banton’s excellent innings of 64 from only 34 balls ended when Billy Root held on to a catch at deep mid- wicket.

Th experience of James Hildreth (24) and Peter Trego (47) saw Somerset reach their target with ease, while Glamorgan will reflect on their failure to capitalize on a good start, while their bowlers need to improve their accuracy.

Earlier Glamorgan, who were put in, made 180 for five after a rapid start, reaching 50 in the fourth over and 70 at the end of the six over power play. Jeremy Lawlor, making his debut in the competition, set the tone by striking  early boundaries.

After reaching 95 for one at the halfway stage, Glamorgan fell away in mid-ininnigs, and had Colin Ingram not blasted a 28-ball half century, their score would have been well below par.

Somerset used five bowlers in the first five overs and the opening partnership of 82 was broken in the ninth over when Lawlor, who scored 43 from 30 balls, was caught on the long off boundary by Max Waller off Roelof van der Merwe.

David Lloyd was the next to go after scoring 57 from 37 balls when he was deceived by Craig Overton’s slower ball, giving Tom Abell at short square leg a simple catch. Two wickets then fell for three runs as Chris Cooke became van der Merwe’s second victim and Dan Douthwaite fell for two when he was caught behind off Jerome Taylor.

With one over remaining, Glamorgan were 153 for five but Ingram, relatively quiet until then, suddenly took it upon himself to increase the run rate. His 50 off 28 balls was eventually in vain though as Somerset started the 2019 Vitality Blast in impressive style.

At the close of play Tom Banton said: “It was a good wicket and I think that 180 was about par. Batting with Babar was an experience. He’s the best in the world at T20 cricket and it was good to stand at the other end and see how he goes about things.

“When you’re out there you just focus on the moment and the ball that’s coming at you and I just try and hit it out of the park really.

“We’ve got a good batting line up and Hildy and Tregs finished it off nicely. Tregs and I are quite similar in that we’re both quite aggressive, and Hildy’s just a class act. He’ll play sensibly but when he needs to he’ll just smash it out of the park.”

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