Lewis Goldsworthy and Tom Abell (again) star as Somerset beat Kent for their first win of the 2021 T20 Blast.
68 from Abell and 48 from Goldsworthy, including a 90-run partnership for the fourth wicket, saw Somerset to an impressive 204-7 despite a poor start.
Tom Banton again did not reach double figures, Will Smeed only made seven and when James Hildreth was caught at long off for 27 the pressure was again on Abell and the young shoulders of Lewis Goldsworthy.
Abell twice slog-sweeping the evergreen, legendary Darren Stevens for six was a highlight, although not for the Somerset media man who had his car bonnet dented from one of them!
The returning Craig Overton struck 16* at the end, promoted ahead of Ben Green. Back home after carrying the drinks for England in the two-match New Zealand series, Overton then struck with the ball in his first over, as did Josh Davey, having Kent 14-2.
Overton’s presence gave a real lift to the Somerset side and faithful, who cheered him every time he jogged back to field in front of the Somerset stand or Marcus Trescothick Pavilion – in front of which he later took a great catch sprinting to his right from mid-on.
Zak Crawley and Sam Billings dominated the last four overs of the powerplay, contributing 55 together for the third wicket – Crawley standing tall and driving on the up dominantly and effortlessly.
The next twist saw the brave introduction of left-arm spinner Goldsworthy for the seventh over from the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion End. Crawley swept him for four then hit him for a straight six first two balls, but after a single and a dot, Billings pulled him to Tom Abell to depart for 14.
Waller bowled his first over, the eighth, from the River End and got the key man Crawley bowled for 48. Surely it was just Darren Stevens now standing in the way of a first Somerset victory of the campaign?
Stevens cut Waller’s first ball for four, but only managed 12 before joining Jack Leaning back in the Ondaatje Pavilion. Jordan Cox played well for 33, but it was too little too late for Kent, who had lost the game when Crawley and Billings fell in those two overs of spin right after the powerplay.
Marchant De Lange mopped up the lower order for 3-18 off three, and there was even a 35-yard throw from James Hildreth to run out underwhelming overseas bowler Qais Ahmed.
Somerset won by 47 runs.
Afterwards, Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory said: “We put a good score on the board and then we were pretty clinical in the second half.”
“Abell has shown what a fantastic player he is and every time we see Goldsworthy he impresses us even more.
“He has a wise head on young shoulders and a very promising future.”