sport

Somerset earn dramatic win

Somerset claimed a one-run victory over NatWest t20 Blast South Division pacesetters Hampshire in a thrilling encounter at Taunton.

Impressive half-centuries from Craig Kieswetter and Peter Trego helped Somerset to 176 for four from their 20 overs.

Hampshire appeared down and out when they needed 36 runs from their final two overs but despite a heroic effort from Will Smith (25 from nine balls) and his batting partner Adam Wheater (22 from 17 deliveries), the visitors could not score the three runs required from the final ball to secure an unlikely victory.

Put into bat, Somerset made a bright start - Kieswetter dispatching Smith's final two balls of the opening over to the boundary to reach 11 without loss. Chris Jones emulated his partner in the second over - with a couple of fours taking the score to 19 - before he was bowled by Chris Wood for 10.

Trego, who made 94 not out against Glamorgan last time out, made a cautious start as Somerset failed to score a boundary in three subsequent overs but two fours off Kyle Abbott in the sixth over got them back on track.

Trego contributed 10 runs in a 13-run 10th over as Somerset reached 80 for one at the halfway stage. Kieswetter and Trego then took Sean Ervine to task in a 14th over that cost Hampshire 19 runs and saw both batsmen pass the half-century mark.

Kieswetter's innings came to an end on 57 in the very next over when he was caught by Abbott trying to hit James Vince over the ropes. Trego added two fours and a six to his total after passing 50 but he was dismissed for 76 in the 18th over - bowled by Abbott - as he once again went on the attack.

Alviro Petersen was stumped off the bowling of Wood (two for 33) for eight in the penultimate over as Hampshire were set a tough target of 177 to win.

The visitors made a terrible start when Trego (two for 18) then did them damage with the ball - dismissing Vince for a golden duck in the first over before accounting for Jimmy Adams shortly after to leave Hampshire on 23 for two.

Michael Carberry got Hampshire back on track as he hit Alfonso Thomas for 14 off three deliveries - one of which was a no-ball - in the fifth over to make it 44 for two.

Glenn Maxwell plundered successive fours off Craig Overton in the sixth over, before Carberry was caught on 38 by Max Waller in the deep trying to hit Craig Meschede to the ropes.

Maxwell's innings proved to be short but sweet when he edged a teasing Waller delivery to leave Hampshire in trouble at 77 for four in the eighth over.

Owais Shah brought up Hampshire's 100 with a maximum off Overton with the third ball of the 13th over but the bowler had the last laugh two deliveries later when the batsman was caught on the boundary having made 22.

The game appeared all but over when Sean Ervine and Matt Coles were dismissed by successive Thomas deliveries in the 18th over, but 17 runs from the 19th over and 14 from the first five balls of the final over left Hampshire needing three runs off the final delivery to win the game.

Wheater could not get bat on ball, though, and with just a leg bye conceded from the final ball of the game, Somerset held their nerve to secure only their second victory of the season in this competition.