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Somerset secure home quarter-final

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Will Smeed, Tom Abell and Craig Overton were the standout performers as Somerset secured a home Vitality Blast quarter-final with a 47-run win over South Group winners Surrey at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

20-year-old Smeed smashed 10 fours and five sixes in his blistering 51-ball innings, sharing a scintillating third-wicket stand of 165 in 12.3 overs with skipper Abell, who hit 70, to help the hosts reach 218 for eight after losing the toss.

In reply, Surrey posted 171, Chris Jordan making a career-best 73, from 35 balls. Craig Overton was the pick of the bowlers, claiming four for 25, including the wicket of his twin brother Jamie.

The result meant Somerset finished runners-up to their opponents in the group.

Abell joined Smeed in the fourth over, which had seen Tom Banton run himself out for nine, attempting a second run, and Rilee Rossouw caught in the deep.

Surrey could feel satisfied at the end of the six-over powerplay, reached with the home side 44 for two.

But the next ten and a half overs saw Smeed and Abell smite 150, clearing the ropes eight times between them. Their partnership also yielded 17 fours.

Smeed brought up a 29-ball fifty in the tenth over and the century stand was completed three overs later from 53 deliveries.

Abell lost nothing in comparison with his partner and moved to a half-century off 27 balls in the 14th over, sent down by Cameron Steel, which cost 23.

Somerset looked on course for 250 until Reece Topley returned to have the captain caught at deep backward square, having faced 51 deliveries, and Smeed followed in the same over, miscuing a catch to deep mid-wickct.

At that point, Somerset were 197 for four with three overs to build. But Topley finished with a creditable two for 26, while Atkinson and Jordan, who claimed three wickets in the final over, ensured only 21 were added.

Surrey made a disastrous start to their innings, Overton having Will Jacks and Tom Curran caught at mid-on off the second and fourth balls of the opening over.

The seamer followed up by having Jamie Smith taken at slip in the third over to leave the visitors 11 for three.

Evans and Jordan addressed a potentially embarrassing situation with aplomb. When Jordan hit Lewis Gregory for 6,6,4,6 in a ninth over that cost 23, his side were back in the game.

Evans had faced 32 balls, hitting 3 fours and 2 sixes, when Roelof van der Merwe had him caught at long-off in the tenth over, which ended with Surrey 94 for four.

Jordan breezed to his maiden Blast fifty off 22 balls, with 5 fours and 2 sixes, but it never looked like being enough.

There was a nice sub-plot in the 14th over when Overton bowled to twin brother Jamie, who had struck him with a bouncer and forced him to retire from the LV= Insurance County Championship clash between the sides at Taunton this season.

Revenge was sweet when Jamie edged the fifth delivery though to wicketkeeper Tom Banton and Craig celebrated football-style.

When Jordan fell to Peter Siddle in the 17th over, caught at deep extra cover by George Bartlett, substituting for Abell, who had injured himself batting, Surrey’s race was run.

Atkinson was unable to bat as his side suffered only their third group defeat.

At the end of the game, Craig said: “To get my best ever Blast figures in such an important game was very pleasing. We all knew the importance of getting a home quarter-final to the Club and our Members and supporters.

“It was a bit of payback when I got Jamie out after he had knocked me over in the Championship game here, so I was pleased about that. But it was just another wicket really and the early ones were more important because they left Surrey will a lot to do and it put pressure on them.

“Will Smeed and Tom Abell were brilliant for us tonight and we always felt we could defend that sort of total.

“I’m excited at the prospect of playing Derbyshire here in the quarter-finals. We don’t fear anyone at Taunton because we know how to play our conditions and it is never easy for visiting sides.”

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Next MatchSomerset V Middlesex

14/08/2022 11:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground