Somerset v Hampshire, RLODC, 5th May 2019, Taunton. Hampshire 221-3 (31.3 overs) beat Somerset 216 all out by 7 wickets.
Somerset supporters who chose to do something other than head to the CACG on a “bank holiday Sunday” will probably be glad they made that choice. Those that loyally arrived in Taunton hoping to see Somerset snap a 2-game slump after such a promising start to the group phase will be left wondering what has gone wrong.
What once seemed an unstoppable force now cannot even compete in a 50 over contest.
The Somerset batsmen all got a start. The top 6 all passed 20 but none went beyond George Bartlett’s 40. On a blameless Taunton surface 216 was not good enough.
Kyle Abbott – remember him he will come back to haunt us in September took 3-36 and was ably supported by Edwards, Berg and Dawson. Even Mason Crane, who seems to have lost whatever he once had, picked up 2 wickets albeit rather expensively.
Hampshire’s batsmen found no such difficulties. Fifties for Donald, Markham and Northeast, the latter unbeaten, saw them home with unseemly haste.
The Somerset bowlers, with the notable exception of Craig Overton, were treated with contempt, all disappearing for, at best, 7 an over.
Where qualification for the knock out stage seemed a breeze after the first week Somerset now needs to beat Surrey back in Taunton on Tuesday to scrape into the last qualification spot.
With hindsight this all seems like unbelievable pessimism. In fact, it was just a cunning plot to set things up for a glorious four-game run to silverware.