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Somerset reach Vitality Blast Finals Day!

Somerset reached Vitality Blast Finals Day after defeating Notts Outlaws in their quarter-final at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

After wet conditions had ruled out any play on Sunday, play began on the reserve day with the visitors opting to bowl first after winning the toss.

Somerset Captain Lewis Gregory passed a late fitness test and went on to plunder an unbeaten 60 as his side made 209 for five, with James Hildreth also passing 50.

Gregory scored his runs from only 24 balls with two fours and four sixes. Five different bowlers claimed wickets for Notts but Harry Gurney wasn’t amongst them after being warned out of the attack for bowling two waist-high full tosses in the 18th over.

The Notts run chase gave cause for optimism but they slid from 133 for two to 190 all out in the final 6.2 overs, leaving Somerset victors by 19 runs.

Jamie Overton did most of the damage with the ball, taking five for 47, with four of the dismissals being completed by Max Waller catches. Gregory also took two for 29 and bagged a catch to add to his earlier run spree.

The defending champions made a dream start to the match by removing Steve Davies in the first over; bowled by Matt Carter.

Peter Trego, playing his 150th domestic T20 match, also fell in the powerplay overs after hitting Luke Fletcher to mid-on.

Johann Myburgh, playing his final match on the ground after announcing his forthcoming retirement, left the field to a standing ovation after departing for 27 to a catch by Alex Hales at long-on, in Ish Sodhi’s first over.

At the halfway stage of their innings Somerset were 81 for three and needed the timely acceleration of Hildreth to reach three figures. The 33-year old pulled Mullaney away for consecutive sixes to reach a 27-ball half century. Attempting a reverse sweep, the batsman then fell lbw to the same bowler for 52.

Corey Anderson then departed, leaving the South Group winners on 130 for five after 15 overs.

Gregory and Tom Abell, who finished with a T20 best score of 46 not out, made the most of the closing overs, boosting their stand to an unbroken 81 from only 33 balls.

Overton removed Riki Wessels in the third over of the reply but Hales ensured that Notts enjoyed a profitable powerplay as he sped to 45 before falling to a Gregory’s catch from Overton’s bowling.

Notts were 15 runs ahead of their opponents after 10 overs and Tom Moores maintained the charge with 36 from 18 balls, with three sixes.

The contest remained close until the final quarter of the Outlaws innings with the number of dot balls steadily rising.

Fifty four were required from the final 18 deliveries but the contest was effectively ended then as Overton removed Patel, Fletcher and Mullaney in the same over.

Carter hit a six but the final ball of the match saw Jerome Taylor bowl Gurney to spark the celebrations.

Somerset will now face Sussex Sharks on Finals Day, whilst Lancashire Lightning will meet Worcestershire Rapids in the other semi-final on 15 September.

After the match Jamie Overton said: “It was a mixed sort of a day for me. It was just that I was bowling to one of the best batsmen in the world in Alex Hales. He was a number one for a reason and can be so destructive at times. I bowled the balls I wanted to but he kept hitting them for four. It was one of those days but it was massive for us to get him out when we did.

“Max has caught a lot of catches from me in the past and it was nice to see him take a few more today.

“Lewis coming in, when he did, and getting 50 off 20 balls shows how deep we bat. He’s had a phenomenal year for us, with runs and wickets in all competitions. He’s a good leader and it’s nice to have him in the side.

“Obviously this was Johann’s last game here. He’s done a lot for us over the years and we wanted to send him off with a massive win and now we want to win him a trophy at Finals Day as well.

“We haven’t been to Finals Day for a few years, so it will be nice for me to get there and see what the atmosphere is all about. Obviously we beat Sussex at Hove recently so we go there with a positive attitude and hopefully we can put one over them again.”

For the scorecard please click here

Details of ticket information for Vitality Blast Finals Day will be announced tomorrow.

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