Somerset win possibly the most phenomenal T20 finals day semi-final there has been, coming back from the dead to somehow smite their way to victory in the final overs. Ben Green, Craig Overton and Josh Davey pulled off an impressive comeback that saw Somerset go from certain defeat to victory in a matter of a few overs.
Green’s 35 off 18 balls, Overton’s 11 off six and Davey’s 11 off three set the crowd alight as they cheered on the side that had been 34-5 at one point.
As topsy turvy a game as you can get started with Lewis Gregory winning the toss, opting to bowl and having Hampshire reeling at 26-3, including the key wicket of Hampshire skipper James Vince.
Joe Weatherley played a lone hand getting to 71 when no one else surpassed James Fuller’s 22. Slog sweeping Davey and Overton for six early in the powerplay, when both had already notched wickets, really showed his class.
Somerset’s overseas quick Marchant De Lange got Hampshire back in the game, as he was carted for 42, including consecutive sixes for Weatherley into the Hollies at the start of the last over.
What should have been an easy chase became a much trickier one with those expensive last few overs, as Somerset found themselves needing to chase down 151.
As the reply got underway, Chris Wood started with a beautiful over from the City End, with one off the first ball to Tom Banton before Will Smeed played and missed at the other five; the left-armer slanting across the right-hander.
Banton reached six before hitting Brad Wheal to deep cow corner. Then, nearly as bizarre as the decision to bowl De Lange the final over, was the decision to go back to a failed experiment from earlier in the season – Roelof Van der Merwe in at three, with no James Hildreth. Tom Abell and Tom Lammonby had to wait to show their T20 class at Edgbaston.
Van der Merwe reached just two before being well held by James Vince at mid-on, diving forward. Before the powerplay was over Vince had a second, easier catch. Smeed, on the charge, was held at mid-off for 15.
Lewis Goldsworthy coming in ahead of Lammonby made little difference in the end, as the former was run out and the latter lbw first ball to Mason Crane. Both were gone before the halfway point, leaving Somerset 5 wickets down for just 34 runs.
Abell and Gregory started to rebuild some and Abell played his trademark inside-out, Rahane-esque, six over extra cover, just before England spinner Liam Dawson bowled Gregory for 18.
Ben Green now came to the crease and, despite starting pretty slowly, this was where the game became really remarkable. Abell reached his half century in just 34 balls and then Green took Brad Wheal and Wood for 3 sixes, turning the game right on its head.
On 139-8, Green was gone and suddenly Somerset – the side that had had people tweeting things like “what a disappointing end to the Blast campaign for Somerset” – needed just 10 from the final over.
Poor Wheal had the honour of bowling said over and Josh Davey took no prisoners. He pushed the third ball over long on for a maximum then, cooly, tapped it off his toes for 4. The crowd was going wild; twitter was going wild and Hampshire was going home.
Somerset 153-8 beat Hampshire 150 all out by 2 wickets.