Fresh from an eight wicket (D/L) Royal London One Day Cup win at Surrey on Wednesday, Somerset host the same side in the Natwest T20 Blast tonight.
Another sell out Taunton crowd will be hoping the weather holds off to allow another cracker from 5.30 this evening.
Somerset won the RLODC match thanks to a 155 run opening stand from Johann Myburgh and skipper Jim Allenby. In what turned out to be a 24 over game, Somerset cruised to their revised target of 180.
Surrey also played at the Kia Oval in the Blast last night, beating Hampshire by 80 runs. Debutant Dominic Sibley scored 67 off 49 and Kumar Sangakkara 72 off 35 balls setting Hampshire 189 to win off their 20 overs. All six bowlers took at least a wicket each, 20 year old Sibley further impressing with figures of 2-33 from his four overs.
This game sees two West Indians and a Sri Lankan play another West Indian. Surrey’s Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Rampaul bowling against Chris Gayle should be a great battle, whilst Kumar Sangakkara can never be ignored.
Somerset sit second from bottom in the South Group whilst Surrey sit top of the table with three wins from four. Surrey’s only T20 competition win was in the inaugural Twenty20 Cup in 2003 whilst Somerset’s only win came at the Oval in 2005.
Captain Jim Allenby opened the batting and the bowling in the RLODC fixture on Wednesday taking 1-22 and scoring 71off 56. He also batted through 17.5 overs for 37* to set up his side’s victory over Essex last Friday, witnessing Gayle, Trego and then Gregory tee off from the other end. With Chris Gayle being the best boundary hitter in every side he plays in, Allenby easily slips under the radar, but this hasn’t stopped him setting the example from the top of the order. Allenby’s been a much better performer for Somerset in One-Day cricket than in the County Championship.
Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara is now in his second season at Surrey. Since his International retirement his form has not faltered, last night’s innings (strike rate of 205.7) showed Sanga at his fluent best. He was the ideal man to partner Sibley through his Surrey T20 debut; the pair put on114 for the second wicket. Saved the toil of wicket-keeping these days, Kumar’s able to play all three formats for Surrey and at 39 is still their best player in all three formats.
Mahela Jayawardene is at the Test Match at Lord’s today, so expect Hildreth to come in and bat at 4. Somerset have no new injury concerns.
Somerset squad: Jim Allenby (c), Yasir Arafat, Ryan Davies (wk), Chris Gayle, Lewis Gregory, Tim Groenewald, James Hildreth, Michael Leask, Johann Myburgh, Jamie Overton, Craig Overton, Peter Trego, Roelof van der Merwe, Max Waller.
Despite completing three one-day matches in three days, if not too wet, expect Surrey to name the same side that beat Hampshire last night.
Surrey squad: Gareth Batty (c), Zafar Ansari, Dwayne Bravo, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes (wk), Stuart Meaker, Mathew Pillans, Ravi Rampaul, Jason Roy, Kumar Sangakkara, Dominic Sibley, Gary Wilson
Weather and Conditions
The forecast for Taunton this evening does not look promising. Although warm at 17 degrees, the Met Office predicts a 50% chance of rain from 3pm until midnight.
Date: 10th June 2016
Ground: Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
Umpires: Jeremy LLoyd and Paul Pollard
Odds (SkyBet): Somerset 10/11, Surrey 10/11