Vitality Blast – South Group

Hampshire 174-6 beat Somerset 172-3 by 4 wkts

A late salvo from Hampshire’s Liam Dawson helped secure their first ever T20 win in Taunton as they beat Somerset by four wickets, writes Alfie House.

Dawson blasted an unbeaten 47 and Liam McManus won the game with a six as Somerset, who had looked in the driving seat, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Somerset set the visitors a target of 173 after finishing on 172/3, but it could have been much worse if not for Babar Azam, who posted 95 on his home debut front of 7,400 spectators. 

Hampshire then chased, and despite needing 77 from the final six overs, they reached the target with three balls to spare, ending on 174/6.

Hampshire won the toss and elected to field, a decision which immediately paid off as Tom Banton (1) was caught cheaply at mid-off by James Vince in the second over off Kyle Abbott.

Azam and Peter Trego reaching their 50 partnership after nine overs but Trego (35) was the next to fall in the 11th over, swinging and missing against Chris Wood and seeing his middle stump uprooted to leave Somerset 72-2.

Azam brought up a steady 50 from 40 balls before putting his foot down, with a flurry of big sixes taking Somerset to 120-2 after 15 overs.

James Hildreth (28) cleared the ropes three times himself before eventually being bowled by Chris Morris in the 18th over as Somerset sat on 144-3.

T20 captain Lewis Gregory (10 n.o) replaced Hildreth, while Azam (95 n.o) superbly picked up his scoring pace in the final overs to hit the highest individual score in any T20 meeting between these two sides.

A remarkable century just eluded the Pakistani star – he was on 94 with one ball of the innings to go but could only muster a single.

Hampshire’s innings started off in similar fashion to their hosts as, in the second over, Rilee Rossouw (6) was caught superbly by an acrobatic Max Waller off Jerome Taylor.

Another wicket fell almost immediately, Gregory gifted a catch from Vince (1) off Craig Overton’s first ball, leaving Hampshire 14/2 off the first three overs.

The top order continued to fall as Taylor struck again, this time Sam Northeast caught by Hildreth to leave Hampshire 32/3 in the sixth over.

An Aneurin Donald and Dawson partnership saw Hampshire’s total creep up to 88-3, before Donald (48) was caught young home debutant Tom Lammonby off the bowling of Gregory in the 13th over.

Morris hit two sixes off Craig Overton before playing on to the same bowler, who decimated the South African’s stumps to leave Hampshire 112/5 after 15 overs.

The turning point was the 17th over, bowled by Taylor, which saw James Fuller strike three sixes and a four as 24 came off it in all.

Having looked out of it, suddenly Hampshire needed 32 from three overs and, though Fuller was then caught by Banton off Gregory’s in the 19th over, the last over began with Hampshire needing eight.

They needed just three balls to do it as McManus (15 n.o) ended the game in style, smashing a straight six to earn the victory.

The result sees Hampshire leapfrog Somerset in the southern group, moving onto three points from their opening four games, while Somerset remain on two from three.

Up next for Somerset is another T20 blast home fixture against Sussex 2:30pm this Sunday, July 28.