Roelof van der Merwe’s 4-27 helps restrict Lancashire to 184-9 with Liam Livingstone his first victim; Tom Abell and Tom Lammonby then combine in an unbroken century partnership as Somerset secure their first appearance at Finals Day since 2018
Last Updated: 26/08/21 10:50pm
Somerset booked their place at Vitality Blast Finals Day as they battled their way to a seven-wicket victory over Lancashire in their quarter-final clash at Taunton.
After Roelof van der Merwe’s 4-27 had helped restrict Lancashire to 184-9, the hosts appeared in trouble at 12-2 in reply, but an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 102 from 51 balls between Tom Abell (78no) and Tom Lammonby (47no) guided Somerset to victory with 11 balls to spare.
Van der Merwe made his mark in style by claiming the wickets of Liam Livingstone (25) and Alex Davies (0) in his first over, the former dismissed caught and bowled just after he had started to cut loose with a couple of massive sixes.
The Dutch-South African left-arm spinner went on to have both Josh Bohannon (35) and Luke Wells (13) stumped by Tom Banton before skipper Dane Vilas (42) and Rob Jones (38no) combined to put Lancashire back on track.
However, there was no late flourish from the visitors as they lost three wickets for 11 runs in the final two overs with Marchant de Lange’s back-to-back wickets keeping them in check as he finished with 3-41.
The consensus was that Lancashire’s total was around 25 or 30 runs under par with the short boundaries at Taunton, but Somerset lost both Banton and James Hildreth for just one run apiece as they slipped to 12-2, the former bowled by Tom Bailey (1-37) and the latter castled by Danny Lamb (2-24).
Lamb also dismissed the dangerous Will Smeed after a punchy 44 from 33 balls, bringing Lammonby and Abell together at 83-3.
Abell took the initiative at first, eventually finishing with 78 not out from 45 balls, including seven fours and three sixes, before Lammonby made the most of being dropped with a strong finish to take the game away from Lancashire, with his 47 not out from 28 balls including back-to-back sixes off Bailey at a crucial stage at the start of the 18th over.
Van der Merwe and De Lange were the main wicket takers for Somerset…
Van der Merwe halted Livingstone’s flying start…
But there was some poor fielding in the crowd!
What they said…
Somerset captain Lewis Gregory: “The fans are fantastic as always and it’s just nice to have a full house back here on a T20 night and it helped us over the line, definitely. I was really happy [at the halfway stage]. I thought we dragged it back brilliantly, it’s always a high-scoring ground, and especially the start they got to fight back and keep taking wickets and restrict them at the end, I was really, really pleased.”
Player of the Match Tom Abell: “A perfect night. It’s amazing to get to Finals Day and a bit of a relief to be honest. It was a great feeling to get over the line.”
Lancashire captain Dane Vilas: “Very disappointed. We would have liked to have done better. We were pretty confident at the halfway stage even though I think we were like 10 or 15 runs short. It would have been nice to get to that 200. Obviously it turned out to be a great wicket and it was a little bit too low.”
The final quarter-final will be played at Canterbury on Friday evening with Kent Spitfires hosting Birmingham Bears live on Sky Sports Cricket from 6.55pm. Who will join Sussex, Hampshire and Somerset at Finals Day?
Live Vitality T20 Blast Cricket
August 27, 2021, 6:55pm