Somerset End Auckland's Hopes
Somerset 126-6 (Snell 34no, Hildreth 34, Bates 2-13) beat
Auckland 125-7 (Vincent 47no, Thomas 2-21) by four wickets
Champions League T20 qualifier, Hyderabad
Auckland's Champions League campaign ended in thrilling fashion following a last ball defeat to Somerset in Hyderabad.
The Aces, after losing yesterday, needed to win to have any hope of progression, and they got off to a terrible start as, after choosing to bat, they were reduced to 14 for three by some intelligent new-ball bowling from Peter Trego (two for 26) and Alfonso Thomas (two for 21). Lou Vincent then rectified things to a certain degree with a run-a-ball unbeaten 47, but the Somerset spin duo of Max Waller (one for 18) and Murali Kartik (none for 24) bowled tidily in the middle of the innings to restrict Auckland to 125 for seven from their 20 overs.
Somerset got off to a brisk start in reply, with debutant Chris Jones striking a couple of boundaries, but they too soon collapsed, this time to 64 for five, as Michael Bates once again starred for the Aces with the ball. James Hildreth and wicket-keeper Steve Snell both made 34, however, as Somerset got home by four wickets with Alfonso Thomas hitting the final ball of the game - the only one he faced - over the infield for the winning run.
The performance from Snell was particularly heartwarming because, after being released by Gloucestershire last year, he had spent his summer playing Minor Counties cricket, before answering an eleventh hour call from Somerset to be their 'keeper for this tournament following England call-ups for regular wicket-keepers Jos Buttler and Craig Kieswetter.
© Cricket World 2011