CRAIG Kieswetter played another key innings yesterday, backed up by a good bowling performance, to keep Somerset’s hopes of progressing through to the quarter finals of the Nat West T20 Blast very much alive.
The Cidermen roared to a 39 run victory with 19 balls to spare against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.
Assistant coach and bowling specialist Jason Kerr said: “We knew that this was an important game for us and we went out there and won it.
“At half time we talked about how important it was the way that we approached it as a bowling unit. When we went out on the field we were excellent and were helped as well by a couple of run outs.
“Certainly as a team we were well up for the challenge and fielded and bowled really well and to be fair Hampshire were never really in it."
After choosing to bat first Somerset soon lost captain Marcus Trescothick, caught by wicket keeper Michael Bates off the bowling of Chris Wood in the second over with the score on 5.
Kieswetter and new batsmen Pete Trego quickly pushed the score along and the pair hit 18 off the fifth over, the opener hitting the final ball for six to take the total on to 36.
The second wicket pair added 55 together in 5.3 overs but with the total on 60 Trego was caught by Will Smith off the bowling of Matt Coles for 25.
Alviro Petersen joined Kieswetter and the pair took the score onto 77-2 at the halfway stage.
Kieswetter took a single off Smith to bring up his 50 in the 12th over. Petersen then brought the Somerset 100 up in style when he hit spinner Danny Briggs for a big six in the 13th over.
Petersen and Keiswetter took the total onto 115 when Kieswetter was bowled by Coles for 60 off 44 balls. The third wicket pair added 55 runs together in 7.3 overs.
Petersen was joined by James Hildreth and after 15 overs the score had moved onto 120-3.
There was short rain delay in the 18th over but the players soon returned to complete the Somerset innings taking the score onto 155 before Hildreth was out caught in the deep by Michael Carberry off Abbot for 20, leaving Petersen unbeaten on 38.
When Hampshire replied Trego gave his side the dream start when he had James Vince LBW third ball of the innings without a run on the board.
At the other end Dirk Nannes saw the back of Jimmy Adams with his sixth ball when he was caught by Craig Meschede for seven with the total on 11.
Alfonso Thomas was next to strike when he had Smith caught by Petersen for 16 in the fifth over.
Somerset claimed two more wickets in the sixth over both run out. Off the first ball Glenn Maxwell was run out by Petersen, and off the last Carberry was run out by Thomas, which saw Hampshire 35 for 5 after six.
Somerset strengthened their hold on the game when Kieswetter stumped Sean Ervine off the bowling of Max Waller in the eighth over to make the total 41-6.
Coles came in to join Wood and while the pair were together they looked threatening, but after added 42 in five overs Coles was caught by Waller off Trego for 25, which made Hampshire 83-7.
Thomas came back into the attack to remove Wood, caught by Nannes attempting to scoop with the total on 88.
With the total on 105 Meschede had Abbot caught by Trescothick for 16 off a slower ball, leaving Hampshire needing 41 for victory off 24 balls.
Nannes made sure that didn’t happen when had Bates caught by Trego fifth ball of the 17th as Hampshire were all out for 116.
Thomas ended with 2-10 off two overs, Nannes 2-18 off 2.5 and Trego 2-24 off 3 while Tim Groenewald, on his debut, bowled three overs for just 12 runs.
Somerset move up to fifth place in the table as a result of this game and are next in T20 action when they host their old rivals Gloucestershire in Taunton on Friday evening (5.30pm).
Somerset: Trescothick, Kieswetter, Trego, Petersen, Hildreth, Burke, Meschede, Groenewald, Thomas, Waller, Nannes.