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Hampshire rout Somerset to clinch South Group

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Hampshire made sure of winning the Royal London One-Day Cup South Group with a thumping seven-wicket victory over Somerset at Taunton.

The home side were bowled out in 40.2 overs for just 216 after winning the toss, George Bartlett top-scoring with 40 while Roelof Van Der Merwe contributed 38. Kyle Abbott was the most successful bowler with three for 36.

In reply, Hampshire cruised to their seventh victory in eight group matches with more than 18 overs to spare, Aiden Markram leading the way with 61, Aneurin Donald making 57 and Sam Northeast 51 not out.

It was Somerset’s third successive defeat in the competition. After winning their first four games, they now face a battle to qualify from the group.

Seven of Somerset’s top eight batsmen got starts, only to surrender their wickets when apparently well set. Tom Banton was first to go on 18, bowled attempting to drive Abbott in the fourth over.

Peter Trego and Azhar Ali took the total to 63 before falling in quick succession, Trego bowled on the back foot trying to late cut Liam Dawson and Azhar caught behind off Gareth Berg, the former Pakistan Test player walking off even though umpire Jeff Evans did not raise the finger.

Every time the innings seemed to be gaining some momentum a wicket fell. James Hildreth was caught at wide mid-on off a Mason Crane full toss and it was 128 for five when Tom Abell, on 36, played an equally poor shot, sweeping Crane straight to James Fuller at deep square.

Lewis Gregory edged Fidel Edwards through to wicketkeeper Tom Alsop and at 141 for six in the 28th over Somerset looked in big trouble.

The powerful Van Der Merwe hit the only six of the innings in the 35th over and added 60 in 10 overs with Bartlett before the latter lost patience and lifted a catch to long-off, having posted the best List A score of his fledgling career.

Abbott pinned Van Der Merwe lbw with a full delivery and Somerset’s supposedly strong tail imploded. Jamie Overton ran himself out first ball, calling for a quick single to mid-off, and brother Craig was last out, driving a catch to mid-on to give Abbott his third wicket.

Hampshire’s innings was given an early boost by Donald, who hit two sixes from successive balls in the fifth over, bowled by Josh Davey.

Alsop soon joined in, hitting Davey for four, four, six, four in his next over before pulling a catch to short fine-leg off Craig Overton to make it 49 for one in the eighth over.

Markram deposited a short ball from Gregory over fine-leg for six and then swung Jamie Overton, having his first bowl of the season following injury, to a similar area for four.

Donald eased to a half-century off 50 balls, with five fours and two sixes, but then skied a catch to cover off Van Der Merwe with the total on 113.

By then Markram was set and he followed Donald to a fluent fifty, with six fours and two sixes, before being caught and bowled by Craig Overton, parrying the ball above his head and catching it as it came down.

It was far too little too late for Somerset as Northeast and Rilee Rossouw saw Hampshire home, the latter hitting a big six over midwicket off Jamie Overton on his way to 26 not out from nine balls and Northeast reaching a 56-ball half-century with a six off Davey to end the game.

PA

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