Somerset chase down 151 against Hampshire having been 34-5 and 103-7; Josh Davey hits match-winning boundary after taking four wickets; Somerset to face Kent or Sussex in final on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports
Saturday 18 September 2021 14:28, UK
Somerset are one win away from a first Vitality Blast title in 16 years after pulling off a stunning comeback victory to beat Hampshire Hawks by two wickets with two balls to spare.
Lewis Gregory's side, champions in 2005 before finishing runners-up in 2009, 2010 and 2011, will face either Kent Spitfires or Sussex Sharks in the final from 6.45pm after rallying from 34-5 and 103-7 to chase down 151.
When Tom Abell (50 off 35) was caught in the deep, Somerset required 48 from 20 balls with just three wickets in hand but Ben Green (35 off 18) then ensured the Taunton team took the next two overs for 36 to reduce the requirement to 10 from six deliveries.
Green had departed at the end of the 19th over but his replacement at the crease, Josh Davey (11no off 3), then smashed Brad Wheal for six down the ground before flicking the match-winning four over midwicket to break Hampshire hearts.
Player of the Match Davey had earlier taken 4-34 to limit Hampshire to 150 all out, with Joe Weatherley the only Hawks batsman to make a substantial score, hitting 71 from 50 deliveries after being caught off a no-ball on 25.
Hampshire did plunder 51 runs from the final four overs having been 99-6 after 16 and became favourites when they took five wickets inside seven overs, but Abell kept Somerset in the hunt before Green and Davey fired late on to end Hawks' hopes of a third Blast crown.
Hampshire - Blast champions in 2010 and 2012 - were 26-3 after four overs, with skipper James Vince (2) caught behind off Craig Overton for two in the third over having been dropped by the same bowler in the first and Davey accounting for teenagers Toby Albert (5) and Tom Prest (0).
The Hawks seemed set to fall to 37-4 after six but Weatherley was given a reprieve with one Somerset fielder having been outside the circle when the batsman skied Davey behind to wicketkeeper Tom Banton - a no-ball was called and Liam Dawson (18) promptly smashed the free hit for six.
Weatherley and Dawson added 39 for the fourth wicket but that was the highest partnership of the innings, although James Fuller (22 off 19) and Chris Wood (18 off 6) also reached double figures.
Wood nailed the expensive Marchant de Lange (1-42) - who bowled four overs in a row at the death - for two sixes and a four at the backend of the 18th over before Weatherly nailed back-to-back sixes off De Lange at the start of the 20th.
Davey was far more frugal than De Lange and completed his four-wicket haul in the 19th by bowling Wood and Scott Currie (0).
The early wickets that fell in the Hampshire innings were replicated in Somerset's as Tom Banton (6) picked out midwicket, Vince caught Roelof van der Merwe (2) and Smeed (15) at mid-on and mid-off, Lewis Goldsworthy (3) was run out and Tom Lammonby (0) was trapped lbw by leg-spinner Mason Crane to depart for a golden duck.
Abell kept Somerset in the hunt but when he skied a slower ball from Scott Currie to deep midwicket to leave his side seven down, the game appeared up - but Green and Davey then took their team to a stunning win.
Watch continued coverage of Vitality Blast Finals Day live on Sky Sports Cricket.