This weeks Throwback Thursday sees us going back to 2001 and a very memorable one-day semi-final.
Somerset ended a long trophy drought in 2001 by winning the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy, but on the way to the final Somerset fans were treated to one of the most dramatic matches that Taunton has ever seen.
Warwickshire were the visitors to the County Ground for the C&G Trophy semi-final clash that was played out in front of a packed house and the live television cameras.
Somerset skipper Jamie Cox won the toss and decided to field but Warwickshire made a strong start.
Openers Nick Knight and Mark Wagh put on 101 for the first wicket before Wagh was caught and bowled by Keith Parsons as the Somerset bowlers began to fight back. Dougie Brown, Knight and David Hemp all fell in quick succession as the visitors suddenly found themselves on 129 for four.
Somerset were then frustrated by a 70 run partnership between Michael Powell and Trevor Penney as Warwickshire finished on 228 for eight from their 50 overs. Richard Johnson was the most successful bowler for the home side with three for 42 whilst both Parsons and Mike Burns claimed two wickets each.
The Somerset reply got off to the worst possible start as Marcus Trescothick, Peter Bowler and Mike Burns all found themselves back in the players pavilion with Somerset struggling on six for three. Parsons and Cox then took the score to 62 before Parsons was dismissed for 31. A rapid 30 from Ian Blackwell helped to move Somerset past the 100 mark but he was caught and bowled by Neil Smith with Somerset on 102. Cox then fell for 47 to leave the hosts on 130 for six and the Somerset faithful feared the worst.
However, as the tension grew and became almost unbearable Keith Dutch and Rob Turner kept the scoreboard ticking over. Their partnership of exactly 100* eventually took Somerset to what had looked like an unlikely four wicket victory.
Man of the Match Dutch made his highest score in List A cricket courtesy of 61 from just 54 balls and he was well supported by Turner whose 42 proved vital.
Looking back on that incredible day Turner recently said: “When I went in to bat we were 102 for five and Jamie Cox was still there. I thought all I would have to do was stay there and he would hopefully see us home. However, he was stumped by Keith Piper and suddenly there was panic! Then in walked ‘Dutchie’ who was in his own bubble. After he sneaked a couple between ‘keeper and first slip and rode his luck a bit, I thought I’d just let him get on with it. Bit by bit the runs came and we ended up seeing the game home which was quite incredible.”
Keith Parsons also has fond memories of the match. “It was a packed house here at Taunton and we managed to scrape through when it looked like we were going to lose for most of the game,” he said. “It was a funny game in many ways. They were 100 without loss but we managed to claw it back. Then we were three down early on in reply and managed to claw it back again and thankfully Keith and Rob got us over the line.”
When Keith came to the crease Somerset were in desperate trouble with the scoreboard showing six for three. The all rounder put on 56 with captain Jamie Cox to get Somerset back on track but did the perilous position effect the way he approached the innings? “I think it took the pressure off a little bit,” he said. “To be three down was not a good position to be in but we were still chasing a reasonable score so we could still be aggressive. When I went out there it was mainly a case of getting us back in the game and that partnership with Jamie Cox did that. Then it was down to the boys in the middle order to get us home. It was a great game to win and obviously it led to a good day out at Lord’s for the final.”
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