A century from Michael Klinger meant that Somerset were not able to get revenge over our local rivals as Gloucestershire came out on top in the NatWest T20 Blast at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
The Gloucestershire skipper scored 101 as his side chased down a victory target of 168, winning with four balls to spare to go top of the South Group. Ian Cockbain also contributed 41 to a second-wicket stand of 107.
The hosts posted 167 for seven, Mahela Jayawardene making 41 and Peter Trego 32 whilst Matt Taylor returned a career-best three for 16 and Tom Smith two for 28.
Jim Allenby fell early to a miscued pull off Taylor and Johann Myburgh produced the odd sweet shot in his 25 before falling to Howell. Trego looked in good touch hitting five boundaries, but then he launched a catch to long-off. By the time Jayawardene was sixth man out in the 18th over Somerset had 141 runs on the board.
Jamie Overton’s successive sixes off Andrew Tye boosted the total as Somerset reached 167 for seven.
Gloucestershire’s reply had reached 40 in the fifth over when Hamish Marshall was bowled by a perfect yorker from Jamie Overton.
The home side had to wait until the last ball of the 17th over for their next wicket as Klinger and Cockbain produced an array of powerful strokes. When Cockbain was caught at long-on by Craig Overton off brother Jamie, having hit 3 fours and a six in his 39-ball innings, Gloucestershire required only 21.
Klinger reached his hundred off 67 balls and although he fell in the penultimate over, the job was done. Jamie Overton was the pick of the home attack with three for 33.
Shortly after the game Matt Maynard said: “ We were always a little bit behind here and in the first six overs at Taunton you expect to be 50 plus. There was a little bit in the wicket and I thought that they bowled slower balls well in the power play up front and we didn’t. Perhaps we didn’t show the intent that we have done in the past up front, which was disappointing.
“Because of the weather this week it wasn’t a belter of a wicket so we thought that we were in with a chance. We managed to get up to 167, but Mr Klinger has just played a wonderful knock and showed that if you do get in then you have got to capitalise. We had some guys who got in today but nobody took it onto that bigger score like Klinger did. I thought that we stuck at it pretty well and bowled pretty well without being as good or as sharp as we can. However without Mr Gayle at the top I think we will have to have a look at that impetus at the top of the innings.”
Looking ahead Matt said: “We need to get on a roll now and quickly and next week we have got two huge games. We need get our bowlers as sharp as we can and work on those skills. There are a number of things that our players could have done better to day and they will be the first to put their hands up. They will have a look at themselves and see where they could have improved and what options they could have taken next time. We had a young bowling group with Lewis, Jamie and Craig but I think they stuck well to the task today. Maybe they didn’t get all their options right but that’s about the learning process.
“I liked the attitudes of the guys today and I thought that they did give it their best but we were probably 15 runs shy of par. If we can win our two matches next week it puts a different spin on things but we need to win those two games.”