24 May 2023 | Vitality Blast 2023
75 for 2
Hampshire Hawks
74 all out
Somerset win by 8 wickets

Somerset's seamers Craig Overton and Matt Henry led them to eight-wicket Vitality Blast victory over reigning champions Hampshire Hawks at sun-drenched Taunton.

Beaten in last season’s semi-finals by the same opponents, the hosts started well after winning the toss, Overton claiming three for eight from four overs and Henry two for 19 from three to leave the Hawks 27 for five.

The Blast title holders never recovered and were bowled out for 74, their lowest ever T20 total, in 16.1 overs, Ben Green taking three for 11 and Lewis Gregory two for 13, while Overton added four catches to his heroics with the ball.

It was a ruthless display by the Somerset seamers, backed by some razor-sharp fielding. In reply, the hosts made it to 74 for two off just 9.3 overs, Tom Banton smiting 40 off 24 balls.

Overton and Henry appeared to be trying to outshine each other when the Hawks innings began in front of a packed crowd, both maintaining excellent line and length.

Ben McDermott fell to the last ball of Overton’s opening over, caught two-handed to his left by Tom Kohler-Cadmore at slip.

It was nine for two when Henry struck with his first delivery, bowling James Vince between bat and pad with a ball that nipped back. The New Zealand Test bowler then had Joe Weatherley caught at mid-on by Overton to make it 12 for three in the fourth over.

By the end of the six-over powerplay, the Hawks were 26 for three. Overton then had Tom Prest caught behind.

Overton notched his third victim in the same over as Toby Albert was also snaffled by wicketkeeper Banton.

Albert had scooped a six off Henry, but it was a rare moment of defiance from the Hawks as Overton produced 17 dot balls in bowling his allotted four overs straight through from the River End.

Rightly impressed by his opening attack, Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory did not make a change until the eighth over, which saw Peter Siddle replace Henry.

Ross Whiteley hit fours off successive balls from Gregory and Liam Dawson pulled a six off Green as Hampshire briefly threatened a recovery.

But, having helped take the score to 57, Dawson fell to another Overton catch, this time at fine leg off a scoop, and Scott Currie went in the same Gregory over, the 12th of the innings, bowled off a bottom edged pull shot.

Whiteley had reached his side’s top score of 18 when caught by Kohler-Cadmore, diving forward at long-off, having made decent contact with a Green full toss.

At 61 for eight, Chris Wood was pouched by the diving Overton at mid-off off Green, who completed the rout by having Nathan Ellis, who had taken 13 off Henry’s final over, caught at long-on by the same fielder.

Somerset’s batting line-up were never likely to be troubled and Banton soon signalled his intentions to end the match early by clearing the ropes with a ramp shot off Wood in the 3rd over.

A scoop off Ellis brought the England T20 international another boundary, followed up next ball by a clip through the leg side for four. Will Smeed was caught at short third man for five in the same over, but by the end of their powerplay, Somerset were already at 37 for one.

Banton launched another six over mid-wicket off Dawson before being stumped in the same over chasing a wide one. Kohler-Cadmore (18 not out) got off the mark by smashing the spinner over wide long-on for a maximum and by then the outcome had long been beyond doubt.