Natwest T20 Blast - South Group

Somerset 102-3 beat Sussex 71-4 by 32 runs (DLS)

SOMERSET picked up their third home T20 victory in a row after defeating Sussex by 32 runs in soggy conditions in Taunton.

In a match reduced to eight overs a side, Corey Anderson blasted 41 from 17 balls to help the hosts to 102-3 before Max Waller and Craig Overton each took two wickets to ensure Sussex were never in the hunt in reply.

Early afternoon rain meant a delayed start to the match, which eventually got underway at 3.35pm, but the players were back off after just three balls had been bowled as the rain swept in again.

A frustrating delay of 90 minutes followed, and an eight-over match resumed just after 5pm which saw Somerset waste no time in putting their foot down.

As they had done against Hampshire on Wednesday, Lewis Gregory and Steve Davies both found early boundaries, with the latter particularly strong through fine leg, but Gregory holed out to Will Beer on the deep mid-wicket boundary to depart for seven from George Garton's first delivery.

Anderson was promoted up the order to number three as Somerset continued to accelerate, passing 50 in just 4.2 overs after successive boundaries from the bat of the New Zealander, but Davies then provided Garton with his second wicket as he, like Gregory, picked out Beer on the boundary to fall for 25.

Roelof van der Merwe joined Anderson, who continued to show his brute force and was particularly powerful down the ground, smacking England bowler Chris Jordan for two of the three sixes he hit on his way to 41.

Van der Merwe made a quick 16 before gloving behind off Jofra Archer with two balls left of the innings, but Johann Myburgh helped the hosts end on 102-3.

The target was adjusted to 104 by DLS, and Chris Nash made the most of surviving a huge lbw appeal from his first ball to strike two boundaries in the opening over.

The opener fell from the first ball of the second over, however, after picking out Lewis Gregory from the bowling of Craig Overton to leave Sussex 9-1 in the pounding rain.

Stiaan van Zyl hit the first six of the innings to inject some momentum into the chase, but his side were always struggling to keep up with the required rate and a stunning over from Max Waller put the result beyond doubt.

The spinner collected the wickets of Laurie Evans, expertly stumped by Steve Davies for five, and captain Ross Taylor, who was pinned in front on just a single, and conceded just two runs in the process as Sussex fell to 27-3 at the halfway stage.

Waller, who ended with 2-13 from his two overs, then held on to an excellent catch to remove David Wiese (4) and provide Overton (2-12) with a second wicket of his own.

Van Zyl teed off in the last over to end on a creditable 42 not out from 22 balls, but his side found life understandably difficult in the damp conditions and ended 32 runs adrift of the target.

The win lifts Somerset into second place, ahead of Surrey and two points off leaders Glamorgan, ahead of Friday's derby against Gloucestershire in Bristol.


AFTER the match, Corey Anderson said: "You have to be selfless in those shortened games and take a fearless approach, as if it's not my day it will be someone else's.

"Fortunately a few came out the middle today and I thought our boys then did an outstanding job in the field.

"It's not easy in soaking conditions - I've never played in rain that heavy before - but it's the same for both teams.

"My back is still sore, but I hope to be fit for Friday and I'm looking forward to it."

Captain Jim Allenby added: "It was another very good all-round performance and we're getting on a bit of a roll.

"We've been playing in the rain all season in this competition so we don't whinge about it, we just get on with the task at hand.

"I think there's been an attitude adjustment since our early games - we are now ultra-aggressive and we have a young and athletic side in the field.

"It should be a great game on Friday and we have good memories of the 50-over game there earlier this season."