Some scintillating shot-making from skipper Tom Abell guided Somerset to their first win in the 2020 Vitality T20 Blast.
A sensational 110 third wicket partnership between James Hildreth and Abell, master and apprentice, had the young captain playing so well that Hildreth needed do very little.
It was one of the classiest T20 knocks you could wish to see from Abell. Few manage to make batting look even more elegant than Hildreth, but he happily took second fiddle as Somerset clinched victory with 3.5 overs to spare.
Abell earlier won the toss & opted to bowl first; Josh Davey in for Jamie Overton, but Ben Green was the leading wicket-taker with 4-26 – his career best.
Billy Root and Dan Douthwaite formed the opening partnership for Glamorgan, both of whom in recent years have batted in the middle-order; Root as low as eight in Notts’ T20 & Royal London One-Day Cup-winning campaigns.
Ireland captain (& hero of that mammoth partnership with Paul Stirling when they beat England in an ODI a few weeks ago) Andrew Balbirnie joined Root early in the middle as Douthwaite was lbw to Max Waller in the first over.
Balbirnie scored quickly, but when the ball was banged in short by the Thor-looking Ollie Sale, it was comfortably held at short mid-wicket as Balbirnie departed for 17.
Root’s struggle was ended in the fifth over for just five runs; caught cover off Josh Davey. The first six of the night came from Chris Cooke’s bat off Sale, over deep square in the sixth over, leaving Glamorgan 39-3 after the powerplay.
The easiest of catches for Waller at deep cow corner ensured Ben Green had Kiran Carlson for five to leave Glamorgan 62-4 at the halfway stage.
Green then snared two wickets in two balls; Cooke out for 42, an easy catch for Abell at cover, in another top-scoring knock for him against Somerset. Andrew Salter was caught at long on, first ball to make 90-7 after 14.5.
Fresh from his blistering Bob Willis Trophy ton the other week, Marchant De Lange joined Graham Wagg with still five overs remaining, fortunately for the Welsh side they put on 30 for the eighth wicket.
Another scoop attempt failed for Glamorgan as Ollie Sale caught Wagg for 13, Davey the wicket taker. At 133-8, Glamorgan whimpered to survive their 20 overs.
This felt a repeat of any Glamorgan v Somerset game in recent times..: Glamorgan struggled, Chris Cooke top scored with 42 & De Lange second best with 24.
Greens’ professional T20 best 4-26 was Somerset’s standout (and he took two catches too).
Steve Davies & George Bartlett went out to face the spin of Prem Sisodiya first up. The second ball was pulled for four by Bartlett.
Spin from both ends eventually worked for Glamorgan, Salter was hit over long off for six by George Bartlett, then a very well run two took Somerset to 15-0 off just 10 balls, but Bartlett got carried away and on 13 gave point a forward-diving catch.
When Davies hit Timm van der Gugten straight to Taylor at mid-on to depart for nine, Somerset were 24-2, Glamorgan taking the early wickets they needed to have a chance in this match.
But Abell set his stall out first ball. It could have been Mahela Jayawardene in his pomp, elegantly stroking off the back foot for four through the covers, shortly followed by the second cleanest stroke of the night, Hildreth reverse sweeping for four over cover.
Abell twice cover driving for four showed that T20 batting really can be done with proper cricket shots.
This really was a knock to watch back on YouTube, Abell was Taunton’s answer to Vincent Van Gogh tonight.