Tom Abell and Sean Dickson rebel in Somerset’s defense in T20s
4 mins read

Tom Abell and Sean Dickson rebel in Somerset’s defense in T20s

Abell scored an unbeaten 96 off just 47 balls and Dickson 65 off 32 balls to help the hosts score 241 for five, the Blast’s third-highest ever score in a loss. Their stand was Somerset’s record for the fourth wicket in the competition.

Hampshire replied with an all-out 178, Ben McDermott hit 46 off 28 balls and Ben Green set his career-best score of five (29). The victory allowed Somerset’s defenders to get back on track after successive group defeats on the road.

The hosts didn’t let the loss of three power-play goals affect their momentum and reached 58 for three by the end of the sixth over, despite the dismissals of Will Smeed, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Tom Banton.

If Hampshire were happy to see three great players, two of them to Michael Neser, their satisfaction quickly turned to anxiety when Abell and Dickson went on the attack, taking the score beyond 100 in the 11th minute.

Abell hit the first sixes of the match and scored 50 in 31 balls, with the pair needing just 18 more deliveries to take their partnership to triple figures. The thirteenth over, bowled by James Fuller, ended with the score at 21 as Abell hit three consecutive fours on the offside and Dickson ended the game with two consecutive breaks.

Both players reached half-centuries in the 15th century, Dickson taking 25 balls and Abell 30. Dickson celebrated by getting six behind from John Turner, and by the time he was caught at long-on after a full toss by Liam Dawson, the stand had overtaken Somerset’s previous record for the fourth wicket in Blast Cricket – 110 between Babar Azam and Lewis Goldsworthy against Glamorgan in Cardiff in 2020.

Lewis Gregory hit 18 off eight balls and Abell capped his majestic knock with a straight six off Turner as Somerset posted their highest ever strike total against Hampshire. Abell hit 12 fours and three sixes, while only Benny Howell of the Hampshire bowlers hit fewer than ten per over.

McDermott and James Vince started the Hampshire response fearlessly and extended their lead in just 4.4 overs. They increased that to 65 late on the power play, with McDermott dominating with some brutal punches.

Green made a significant breakthrough for Somerset in the eighth minute, bowling McDermott his second ball as he came down the pitch, and struck again with his fourth ball when Vince intercepted the ball to make it 78 for two.

No more doubts about the result. Soon, Hampshire required over 15 wickets and Green, who had taken 30 Blast wickets at his medium pace last season, struck again when Joe Weatherley took a deep catch at mid-wicket to score 101 for three in the 11th minute.

James Fuller hit Josh Davey for a straight six but died on the next ball while trying to repeat the feat. Howell cleared the rope off van der Merwe’s subsequent deliveries, but when he and Toby Albert fell to the same Riley Meredith over for Hampshire, the affair was lost and there was a clatter of wickets, including two for Green.

Somerset top scorer Tom Abell said: “Sean Dickson took all the pressure off me with the way he batted. When we got together, we initially had to think about rebuilding the innings, but the series flowed smoothly and when you’re only three wickets down and six or seven overs to go, you’re in a dominant position.

“I worked on a few things before the match and went into the rounds in a good mood. It was my second highest T20 score and I may have hit the ball harder than when I scored a century.

“Ben Green works very hard on his game and deserves every goal he scores. He has a great slower ball, a really accurate yorker and it’s no surprise he has so many batsmen in T20 cricket.

I hope this victory will help us get back on track after several losses. However, no one will get carried away because we know how quickly things can change in this form of the game.