Josh Davey led a high-quality bowling display as Somerset beat Hampshire Hawks to maintain their perfect start to the Vitality Blast with a four-wicket victory at The Ageas Bowl.
Fast bowler Davey claimed a three-for for the second day in a row as he went for 21 in his four overs as the Hawks were bowled out for 123.
Tom Banton, Will Smeed and Hampshire old boy Rilee Rossouw all reached 20s, but a slip to 89 for five gave a moment of jitters before Tom Lammonby collected a classy 33 to steady the ship as Somerset got over the line with 25 balls to spare.
Runners-up last year Somerset have disposed of holders Kent Spitfires, 2019 winners Essex Eagles and now the Hawks to sit level on points with Middlesex at the top of the South Group. Hampshire are bottom with two home losses in two.
Along with the after-effects of some afternoon rain, there was revenge in the air from both teams; Somerset for their two heavy LV= Insurance County Championship defeats to Hampshire, Hampshire for their semi-final T20 defeat last year.
The visitors’ sense of retribution was stronger as they had the Hawks 38 for three in the powerplay, having been stuck in. Aneurin Donald, Ben McDermott and Joe Weatherley all went aerial to their demise. James Vince perished to further condemn the home side.
Somerset’s set of bowling figures were a sight to behold – only Lewis Goldsworthy went at over seven runs per over; and other than Goldsworthy and Roelof van der Merwe, they all claimed at least one wicket.
Davey’s three for was the pick, but Lewis Gregory’s two for eight and Marchant de Lange’s two for 20 were key to moderating the below-par batting effort. Ben Green also worked hard in the middle overs for his two for 19.
They were helped by some excellent catching, not least Tom Lammonby and Smeed’s relay catch to dismiss Chris Wood.
James Fuller was the only counter-attacker as he biffed 42 from 28 balls, including two massive sixes over midwicket – no other Hawks batter reached 20.
Smeed and Banton added further misery to the hosts by proving the potential high scoring nature with 46 coming for the first wicket. Both fell in successive overs, carving to cover and nicking off respectively.
Australian recruit Nathan Ellis endured a tough first over, which saw two no balls, a huge Smeed six and 17 runs.
Rossouw returned to The Ageas Bowl, where he spent three seasons as a Kolpak, to strike a six off his legs. He, Tom Abell and Gregory all fell within 12 balls of each other to give the Hawks hope.
But Lammonby then struck 33 to ease those worries and despite edging Ellis behind with two runs to win, Somerset quickly reached the target.