Somerset vs Lancashire, 3rd Quarter-Final, Vitality Blast: Somerset blow away Lancashire to reach Finals Day
Tom Abell smashed an unbeaten 78 as Somerset reached Vitality Blast Finals Day with a seven-wicket win over Lancashire Lightning at Taunton.
Somerset 185/3 (18.1 ov)
Lancashire 184/9 (20 ov)
Result - Somerset won by 7 wickets
The visitors posted 184 for nine after losing the toss, skipper Dane Vilas top-scoring with 42 from 33 balls, Josh Bohannon contributing 35 and Rob Jones 38 not out. Left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe claimed four for 27.
In reply, Somerset made 185 for three, winning with 11 balls to spare. Abell hit 7 fours and 3 sixes in his 45-ball innings, while Will Smeed cracked 44 and Tom Lammonby 47 not out.
A sell-out 7,000 crowd enjoyed a riveting contest. Liam Livingstone’s innings of 25 may only have lasted ten balls at the start of Lancashire’s innings, but it was more than enough time to demonstrate his prodigious talent.
Two of his 3 sixes were extraordinary, one reaching well wide of off stump to deposit the ball over long-on into the River Tone and another lifted with sufficient force over mid-wicket to strike the top storey of the flats.
At 44 without loss in the fourth over, Lancashire looked to be on course for a monster total. But van der Merwe then grasped a sharp return catch above his head to dismiss Livingstone and pinned Alex Davies lbw three balls later.
Bohannon hit 6 fours in helping the Lightning to 55 for two off the six-over powerplay. But, with 25 added, van der Merwe returned to have him stumped.
A change of ends saw van der Merwe have Luke Wells stumped yards down the pitch in the 11th over. And when Vilas pulled a Lammonby full toss to Smeed at deep square, Lancashire were 134 for five in the 14th over.
Green produced a brilliant diving catch at deep square to send back Steven Croft before Marchant de Lange dismissed Danny Lamb and Tom Bailey with successive balls.
Their hopes were raised when Tom Banton played the final ball of Tom Bailey’s opening over onto his stumps and James Hildreth soon followed to Lamb to make it 12 for two.
Smeed was caught off a no-ball, as Vilas had been in Lancashire’s innings, and responded by clearing the flats Livingstone had hit with a huge six off Bailey.
Another Smeed six took Somerset to 52 for two off six overs. Abell was then dropped on 15 at backward point by the diving Bailey, attempting to reverse sweep Hartley.
At halfway in their innings, the hosts were 83 for two, requiring more than ten an over. Their chances appeared to recede when Smeed was caught at backward point off Lamb.
But Abell reached his fifty off 32 balls and then hit a flat six over mid-wicket off Richard Gleeson.
Lammonby survived a tough chance to Hartley running in from mid-wicket off Livingstone and took advantage with a six in the same over to reduce the target to 40 off ten.
Abell then hit Hartley for six and Lammonby followed suit with two maximum’s off Bailey as the 18th over proved decisive.
Somerset match-winner Tom Abell said: "It was an incredible night. The atmosphere from the very first ball was amazing and to come out on top against such good opponents feels fantastic.
"I just tried to play the situation. I had one of my worst net practices ever yesterday, but thankfully Will Smeed took a lot of pressure off me at the start of my innings and Tom Lammonby was brilliant at the end.
"The support from the crowd was superb and we know a lot of our supporters will be at Finals Day. First we have some very important Championship cricket, starting against Notts here on Monday."
Lancashire skipper Dane Vilas admitted: "Our total was below par. We were looking for around 200 on that pitch and didn't give ourselves enough to bowl at.
"We then dropped a couple of catches, which we couldn't afford to do against such good opposition, and also conceded a few unnecessary runs.
"But I am still incredibly proud of the players. We have been competitive in all our cricket this summer and still have the chance to get revenge on Somerset and win the Championship title over the next month."
Somerset - Tom Banton(wk), Will Smeed, James Hildreth, Tom Abell, Tom Lammonby, Lewis Gregory(c), Ben Green, Roelof van der Merwe, Marchant de Lange, Josh Davey, Jack Brooks
Lancashire Lightning - Josh Bohannon, Alex Davies, Liam Livingstone, Dane Vilas(c)(wk), Rob Jones, Steven Croft, Luke Wells, Danny Lamb, Tom Bailey, Tom Hartley, Richard Gleeson
Start Time: 19:00
Toss: Somerset won the toss and decided to field
Venue: The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
Officials: Graham Lloyd, David Millns, Neil Bainton, Simon Hinks
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