A remarkable 94* from 41 balls by Will Smeed saw Somerset beat Glamorgan by nine wickets on a used, hybrid pitch in their Vitality Blast contest at a warm, humid and cloudy Taunton.
Heavy rain started to fall around 1730, roughly an hour before the scheduled start of the contest with the Welsh county looking to record back-to-back victories after their six-wicket success against the Essex Eagles last night at Cardiff. After an inspection by the umpires Graham Lloyd and Mark Newell at 1830, it was agreed that play would begin at 1900 without any overs being lost.
David Lloyd and Sam Northeast opened the innings with the latter square-cutting Tom Lammonby for four whilst the former paddle-swept Josh Davey for six over fine-leg. Northeast also flat-batted Davey through extra-cover before Lloyd punched Lammonby off the back foot through backward point followed by a pair of rasping straight drives against Craig Overton. But the bowler, who had been released by the England management from the party on duty at Lord’s, made the breakthrough as Lloyd skewed a drive to short third man where Roelof van der Merwe took a fine catch diving low to his right.
49/1 became 50/2 as Marnus Labuschagne pulled a long-hop from Lewis Gregory straight into Will Smeed’s hands at deep square-leg. After a brace of singles, Kiran Carlson upped the tempo by sweeping van der Merwe for four before repeating the stroke to fine-leg against Gregory, followed by a huge straight six against van der Merwe.
Carlson then swatted Green for six over long-on before miscuing another expansive blow with van der Merwe pouching the skier at point. Eddie Byrom on his T20 debut for Glamorgan dabbed Green for four to third man but, with the total, on 87 Northeast holed out at long-on as Green claimed another wicket. Chris Cooke made his way to the middle to join Byrom who lofted Marchant de Lange for six over mid-wicket before Cooke pulled successive deliveries from his former team-mate for six and four. Byrom also found the ropes again as he pulled Davey for four before Cooke harpooned Green into the Caddick Pavilion. But next ball Cooke swatted a full toss into the hands of mid-off as Glamorgan lost their fifth wicket on 124.
Having been joined by Dan Douthwaite, Byrom pulled de Lange for four before top-edging a repeat of the stroke over the wicket-keeper’s head. He then hoisted Davey over square-leg for six before Douthwaite repeated the stroke later in the over. Green then bowled Byrom, but 153/6 became 153/7 as James Weighell departed in identical fashion to the next ball. Some lusty blows by Michael Neser and Douthwaite, who struck the last two balls for six, saw Glamorgan to 173-7.
Smeed launched the Somerset chase by plonking Hogan over mid-wicket for six before Tom Banton flicked the yeoman bowler to fine-leg for four. He then pulled Weighell for four before Smeed repeated the stroke for six over mid-wicket later in the over. Smeed also on-drove Neser before pulling the next ball for six over square-leg. Banton then pulled Douthwaite for six and four as Somerset raced to 50 in the sixth over, with Smeed also spearing the all-rounder over point for six.
The flurry of boundaries continued as Banton pulled Weighell for six before Smeed swept Prem Sisodiya for four to fine-leg followed by a swat for six over mid-wicket. Banton then on-drove Douthwaite for six as Somerset reached the 100-mark in the tenth over. Smeed reached his fifty from 27 balls before Banton was caught and bowled by Sisodiya.
Rilee Rossouw joined Smeed as Somerset’s target became 74 from 64 balls. Hogan duly returned and was cut through point by Smeed who then drove the next delivery through extra-cover followed by a massive on-drive for six into the River Tone, plus a swat over the mid-wicket ropes and another on-driven four. Rossouw then pulled Sisodiya for a pair of sixes as the task was swiftly reduced to 34 from 48 balls. Labuschagne’s wrist-spin was then introduced with Smeed cover-driving him for four before pulling a full toss for six over mid-wicket followed by another lofted on-drive for six. Rossouw then flicked Douthwaite for six over fine-leg before Smeed ended the game by cover-driving Neser for four as Somerset reached their target with 35 balls to spare with Smeed ending unbeaten on 94 from 41 balls with 7 fours and 8 sixes.