Somerset edge thriller
A review of Friday's action in the NatWest T20 Blast as Somerset beat Hampshire.
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Somerset survived a late scare to breathe life back into their NatWest T20 Blast campaign with a dramatic one-run victory over South Division leaders Hampshire on Friday night.
Somerset, Twenty20 champions in 2005 and runners-up in three of the last five years, had lost their last three matches in the competition but a fine all-round performance from Peter Trego helped them end that run against in-form Hampshire at Taunton.
Trego, who turned 33 on Thursday, followed up his 94 not out against Glamorgan last time out with a 48-ball 76 as Somerset ran up a daunting 176 for four batting first.
Trego then claimed the wickets of James Vince and Jimmy Adams cheaply to leave Hampshire having to play catch-up in their run chase.
And with 30 runs needed off the last eight balls, a home victory looked assured, only for Will Smith to set Somerset hearts racing as he clubbed three sixes in a quickfire 25.
With Smith's heroics, the target came down to four needed off the last two deliveries, but Alfonso Thomas kept his cool to earn Somerset the victory and inflict only a second defeat in six games on 2010 and 2013 winners Hampshire.
In the evening's other early start, Warwickshire defended a total of 156 for five to defeat Nottinghamshire by 18 runs at Trent Bridge.
England duo Alex Hales (30) and Michael Lumb (24) looked to be powering Nottinghamshire to victory as they put on 57 in just 5.1 overs for the opening wicket, but after both fell in the same Shoaib Malik over the hosts badly lost their way as they slumped to a second loss in the North Division.
Laurie Evans earlier helped salvage a decent score for Warwickshire with an unbeaten 45 off 23 deliveries after Nottinghamshire all-rounder Samit Patel (three for 26) had shone with the ball.
The first tie of this season's competition came at Sophia Gardens where Glamorgan and Kent shared the spoils in a thrilling clash that saw both teams finish on 177.
Darren Stevens' typically brutal 71, which came off just 39 balls and included six sixes, appeared to have put Kent on the verge of victory as they needed just three runs off the final over from Michael Hogan.
However, the Australian dismissed Adam Ball and Mitchell Claydon off successive deliveries before Doug Bollinger was run out off the final ball of the match with the scores level.
While that match could hardly have been closer, it was a completely different story at the Oval where Surrey stormed to a comprehensive 10-wicket win over Sussex as Jason Roy and Hashim Amla both clubbed unbeaten half-centuries.
Surrey needed just 15.3 overs to chase down Sussex's 148 for five as Roy (81 off 43) and Amla (61 off 50) flayed the visiting attack around the Oval.
Also in the South Division, there was a similarly destructive batting display at Chelmsford as Essex beat Gloucestershire by eight wickets to go top of the table.
England's Ravi Bopara cleared the rope six times in his unbeaten 66 while Tom Westley contributed 55 not out as Essex reached Gloucestershire's 162 for six - built around Hamish Marshall's 74 - with nine balls to spare.
In the North Division, leaders Worcestershire made it five wins from seven with an eight-run victory over Derbyshire at the County Ground.
Skipper Daryl Mitchell (68 not out) and Colin Munro (65) starred as Worcestershire ran up 177 for five and Derbyshire fell just short as visiting seamer Chris Russell (four for 40) took three wickets off the final four balls of the match.
Lancashire remain level-pegging with Worcestershire after claiming a nine-run win over Leicestershire at Old Trafford.
Tom Smith's 50 helped Lancashire score 166 for seven despite the best efforts of Richard Jones (five for 34) and Leicestershire could only make 157 for seven in response.
Defending champions Northamptonshire, meanwhile, slipped to their second defeat after losing by 16 runs at home to Yorkshire, who scored 181 for three off the back off a rapid 60 from Jonny Bairstow.
Richard Levi threatened to take the match away from Yorkshire with a brutal 76 at the top of the order, the South African striking five sixes and five fours, but he did not get the support he needed as Northamptonshire were limited to 165 for nine in reply.