Somerset's title defence ends at Edgbaston


Somerset’s defence of the Royal London Cup came to an end in dramatic fashion on the final day of group matches.

Warwickshire beat the holders by three wickets in a thriller at Edgbaston to spoil the  West Country side’s hopes of retaining the title.

Matt Lamb’s List A-best bowling of four for 35 limited the visitors to 287 for eight after a third-wicket stand of 118 between Lewis Goldsworthy (79) and James Hildreth (72) left them heading for a possible 300-plus.

Lamb then scored 92 from 103 balls as the Bears reached 289 for seven with six balls to spare. At 108 for four, they were on the back foot but Somerset’s qualification bid was then unpicked by stands of 77 between Lamb and Dan Mousley and 88 between Lamb and Jacob Bethwell.

After choosing to bat, Somerset soon lost Sam Young to a sharp return catch by Tim Bresnan but Steven Davies (46) gave the innings early momentum before lifting Bethell to deep mid-wicket.

Goldsworthy, in his eighth List A appearance, and Hildreth, in his 220th, dovetailed nicely to add 118 in 20 overs. Hildreth passed 50 in 52 balls and was accelerating dangerously when he hoisted Craig Miles to deep square.

At 219 for three in the 40th over, Somerset looked set for 300-plus but, after Goldsworthy chipped Bethell to mid-wicket, the innings lost momentum. Lamb’s variations earned him his first List A wickets to continue a productive RLC for the 25-year-old who scored his maiden List A ton in the home win over Leicestershire.

Josh Davey then inflicted early damage on Warwickshire’s reply with two wickets in the third over. Rob Yates sliced to point and Will Rhodes nicked a superb delivery to wicketkeeper Davies.

Ed Pollock made a rapid 44, but Somerset skipper Green astutely kept the impressive Davey on and was rewarded when Pollock chipped to mid-wicket.

Michael Burgess made a fluent 38 but then also perished to a catch at mid-wicket, off Ned Leonard. That was 108 for four but Lamb and Mousley added 77 in 15 overs and, after Mousley was bowled by George Drissell, Bethell settled immediately.

Somerset’s young side fought valiantly and when Lamb and Bethell sent up catches with 12 still needed, the game was back in the balance but Brookes and Bresnan saw the Bears home with six balls to spare.

At the end of the campaign, Somerset Captain, Ben Green said: “It was quite a slow pitch and I thought in the end we actually did quite well to get up to 280/290.  I think that was around par. Then we were a little bit inconsistent with the ball but they only needed 30-odd from the last seven overs and we took it to the last over so that showed good character.

“I’ve really enjoyed captaining the side. When I’ve been out there with the boys I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve just tried to be myself and I hope the boys say good things about the way I’ve done things, but I’m now happy to hand the mantle back to Tom Abell.”

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Next MatchSomerset V Surrey

03/07/2022 18:30 - The Cooper Associates County Ground