Somerset win a phenomenal 10/10 westcountry derby thanks to Roelof van der Merwe’s 48* off 15 balls!
Josh Davey supported him ably (12 off seven in a 59-run partnership) as the top order failed, Rossouw hit a six second ball but then out for 7, Lammonby’s 23 off 10 was impressive but not enough. Somerset fans were contemplating easing an already pretty late night at 55-7 after six overs. Good job they stayed for what was to come!
Gloucestershire started like a train but slowed in the second five after the lengthy delay and in truth probably feared Somerset’s top drawer top three doing the damage, not the number eight!
Both skippers had a reputation for winning tosses, so something had to budge. Tom Abell won and opted for Somerset to bowl first as Craig Overton (back with England) was replaced by Lewis Goldsworthy and Pete Siddle in for Marchant De Lange on what would likely be a slow pitch. Better to bat second with a chance of rain around and floodlights already on as a little gloomy from the off.
Gloucestershire were unchanged from the side that beat Glamorgan on Tuesday.
Given the first over again, left-armer Tom Lammonby’s second and third balls went for six……and the fifth… and the sixth also for six too! All into the leg side, Mound Stand, off Hammond’s bat…no not the Love Island star I did my teacher training with last year who’s been making content for Glos & Hampshire recently…but Miles Hammond-he/Glos 24-0 off the first over!
He got to 29 off 11 balls before edging Josh Davey to Siddle at short third man. 46-1 after 3.2 overs.
It was raining fairly heavily in the first few overs, credit to the umpires for playing on. Though a slip in the field encouraged play to eventually be ceased after five overs, 61-1. Glos well on top, the break could suit Somerset who would be favoured in a DLS altered second innings with T20 Blast top runscorer Rilee Rossouw in the ranks. He had 278 runs from 5 innings at 92.66 with a strike rate of 191.72!
We saw the rain pour down until gone 8pm, but eventually patience was rewarded with a 10 over game from 8.45pm, Glos still having some batting to do, but it did not go too well for the home side. Ian Cockbain’s 16 off eight and skipper Jack Taylor’s 15 off nine was not enough as there was no boundary off Glos’ final 16 balls, 101-5 not massive in the modern game.
The three over powerplay for Somerset saw the home side more than happy, none of Somerset’s top four (the guys who have done the batting this campaign so far) made double figures. Lammonby scooped his first ball for four and went some way to making up for his expensive first over but when he went hearts really sank.
But that’s the thing with this Somerset side-they bat so deep, Van der Merwe batted three last T20 campaign without much success, and in truth has not performed yet this year, but his four fours and four sixes lit up this otherwise dying contest!
Bizarrely Gloucestershire went up a place in the T20 Blast South Table despite the loss-the quirks of cricket and run rate figures!
Roelof spoke really well after saying that this his best knock in a Somerset shirt since that innings in the 50 over competition alongside Dean Elgar at home to Surrey.
A lovely way to nearly end the night come 10.45pm was seeing Marchant De Lange (dropped from the side for Siddle tonight) come out and pick up all the club kit bags in one hand (along with his own kit bag) and carry them to the bus in the rain. Some character, personality and strength to that man.
Eventually the lights were literally turned out with still five of us Somerset press working away, the Glosters had well and truly retired to bed, but we safely navigated the dark past the Bristol foxes to the complex car park situation, not minding the near midnight hour. This was another game that will go down in westcountry derby history.