Match Report: Somerset v Essex Eagles


Somerset v Essex Eagles

Vitality Blast
The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton


Team News:

Somerset: Tom Banton (wk), Will Smeed, Rilee Rossouw, Tom Abell (c), Tom Lammonby, Lewis Gregory, Lewis Goldsworthy, Ben Green, Roelof van der Merwe, Marchant de Lange, Josh Davey.

Essex Eagles: Adam Rossington (wk), Will Buttleman, Michael Pepper, Matt Critchley, Paul Walter, Tom Westley, Daniel Sams, Simon Harmer (c), Aron Nijjar, Ben Allison, Sam Cook.

Match Details:

Umpires: Tim Lungley & Alex Wharf
Match Referee: Jason Swift
Toss: Somerset, who elected to field
Result: Somerset won by 6 wickets

Scorecard: View Here

Match Highlights:

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Match Reaction:

Anthony McGrath: “If we had won the toss, we were going to have a bowl as well. We started poorly, but then rescued it and at 83-2 were in a good position.

“With five overs left when the rain came, we thought we could post a decent score. But in the three overs we came back on for we scored nowhere near enough.

“We then needed to get early wickets and we didn’t. From there on, it was pretty one-sided.”

Match Report:

Somerset’s overseas players, Marchant de Lange and Rilee Rossouw played key roles to help their side to two wins in their Vitality Blast campaign after defeating the Eagles by six wickets at Taunton.

In a match reduced to 18 overs per side by rain, paceman de Lange took 4/9 from three overs as Essex posted 139-9 after losing the toss.

Josh Davey finished with 3/31 with Matt Critchley hitting 60 off 38 balls and Michael Pepper, whose 37 featured 7 fours, providing the bulk of the Essex runs.

In reply, Somerset reached a revised target of 144 with 3.2 overs to spare, Rossouw blitzing 67 off 29 balls, with 7 sixes, well supported by 20-year-old Will Smeed, who smashed 58 from 30 deliveries, including 5 sixes.

Essex got off to a slow start after Somerset skipper Tom Abell had elected to field, losing openers Will Buttleman and Adam Rossington to Davey and Tom Lammonby respectively, off the first 14 balls.

But Critchley and Pepper got the innings on track, taking the score to 50-2 by the end of the six-over power play, Critchley striking three boundaries in the fourth over, sent down by Davey.

Pepper reverse swept left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe for 3 fours in seventh over, as well as driving him through cover for a fourth boundary.

Critchley hit Lewis Gregory for six over point as the pair to the total to 83 by the end of the ninth over before de Lange took a decisive hand.

Having conceded five from his first over, the South African seamer had Pepper caught at mid-on, having faced 24 balls, and Paul Walter taken at fine leg for a duck in a tenth over that saw the Eagles fail to add to their score.

The spin duo of van der Merwe and Lewis Goldsworthy then bowled five overs in tandem for only 34 runs, Goldsworthy picking up the wicket of Tom Westley, as Somerset turned the screw.

Critchley had reached a 32-ball fifty when rain interrupted play at the end of the 15th over, with Essex 117-5.

By the time the players returned to the field at 5.50pm, the match had been reduced to 18 overs. Their final three saw the Eagles lose two wickets to Davey and two to de Lange, including Critchley, who had struck 6 fours and 2 sixes.

Smeed ensured Somerset made a rapid start to their reply, lofting 2 sixes in the third over, bowled by Dan Sams, before Ben Allison had Tom Banton caught at deep mid-wicket for two.

The powerful Smeed collected his third and fourth maximums by smashing Sam Cook for 6,4,6 at the end of the fifth over, and by the end of the power play Somerset had raced to 69-1, Rossouw joining the party with a six over mid-wicket off Simon Harmer.

The South African left-hander built on his match-winning Somerset debut innings against Kent last Wednesday, hoisting left-arm spinner Aron Nijjar for 3 sixes in the ninth over, which saw Smeed reach a 25-ball half-century.

Rossouw cleared the ropes twice more off Critchley, while Smeed also treated the crowd to another six in the same over. Both fell late on, along with Tom Abell, but by then the outcome had long been settled.