MATTHEW WEBB, aged 15, of Dorset, was named as a winner in the Match Day Reporter competition run by Somerset County Cricket Club and the County Gazette. He scooped a media pass and tickets for three friends to Friday’s Natwest T20 Blast match against Gloucester. Here’s his match report.
Somerset just edged a classic derby that they looked set to lose, to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the quarter finals of the NatWest T20 Blast.
Gloucestershire won the toss and Michael Klinger seemed confident of being able to chase down whatever total Somerset set.
Alfonso Thomas took the reins as Marcus Trescothick was left out for Nick Compton, not a player usually associated with T20 batting. However, after three tentative balls, Compton sauntered down the wicket and smacked David Payne over extra cover for six to get the innings going.
Compton hit another six and four fours as he combined elegance with power to get Somerset off to a great start. Compton then went for one shot too many and was caught in the deep off the bowling of Benny Howell by Ian Cockbain for 46 with the score at 69 after 8.1 overs.
Somerset seemed to be in a position to kick on, with the powerful Peter Trego joining Craig Kieswetter at the crease.
Trego then perished two overs later, picking out Cockbain off Howell to be out for five, with the score on 90. Overseas player Colin Ingram then made a cameo innings of 24 including two 6s before he too picked out the fielder off Will Gidman, with the score at 121.
Craig Kieswetter never really got going, and also hit it straight to Cockbain off Graeme McCarter for 39 off 35 with two fours and a six at 125. His frustration was clearly visible as he threw down his gloves in disgust as he stormed off, regretting what might have been.
Craig Overton and Craig Meschede both came and went quickly, for four and two respectively as the Somerset innings stalled, with the score at 137 for six after 17 overs.
Hildreth reminded the sell-out crowd what T20 was all about as he nonchalantly smacked Payne over midwicket for six. He was then stumped by Adam Rouse for 12 off Tom Smith and with two overs left Somerset were 145 for 7.
Captain Alfonso Thomas and recent signing Tim Groenewald took 17 off the penultimate over to bring up the 150, and then plundered 13 off the final over before Groenewald was run out off in a slightly farcical manner off the last ball for 15, with Thomas unbeaten on 17. Somerset had reached 175-7.
Michael Klinger and Alex Gidman got Gloucestershire off to a flier, with Gidman punching a crisply struck four down the ground off Thomas to bring up the 50 after just five overs. Gloucestershire kept up the run rate before Klinger was caught by Compton off the bowling of Meschede for 35 with the score at 89 off 8.5 overs. Although this was a slight setback to Gloucestershire, they still looked set to win.
Gidman and new batsman Ian Cockbain consolidated their position as Gidman reached his 50 off 37 balls, including five fours and a six, before Dirk Nannes was slightly surprisingly brought back in the middle of the innings. Having gone for 21 in his first two overs, this proved to be a great decision from Thomas as Nannes removed Gidman LBW for 55, which proved to be one of the crucial moments of the match.
Gloucestershire never really regained the same momentum as tight bowling from Max Waller and Groenewald turned the screws. Hamish Marshall then fell to Thomas for 13 with the score at 142-3. At the same stage Somerset were 129-5. Gloucestershire could only manage another 26 off the last four overs, as experienced death bowling from Dirk Nannes and Alfonso Thomas saw Somerset claim another three wickets.
The final over got off to a poor start as Thomas was well struck for four by Benny Howell, before Thomas uprooted his leg stump with a brilliant in swinging yorker. Thomas also claimed Adam Rouse off the final ball as Somerset won by just seven runs.
At the end of the match, Somerset Coach Dave Nosworthy praised his experienced players for the win: “It has been a tactic of ours for a while to ensure that our back end bowlers are as good as possible. Tommo and Dirk must be two of the best in the world and I suppose teams know that and try to get a bit ahead of the game, but today we changed that and Dirk had an over in the middle, he created a bit of pressure and got a crucial wicket but that is what these overseas players are all about.”