Yasir Arafat (4-37) took his 150th domestic T20 wicket and Michael Carberry (57) hit a terrific fifty as Hampshire all-but qualified for the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals with a narrow six-run win over Somerset at the Ageas Bowl.
The hosts got to flying start with Carberry scoring an excellent half-century, despite Max Waller (3-17) taking crucial wickets as Hampshire posted 143-7 from their 20 overs
Somerset started well with former Hampshire man Adam Hose (20) making a notable contribution, but the visitors lost wickets as Will Smith (2-18) and Arafat helped restrict them to 137-8 in reply and ultimately six runs short.
After a cautious first over, Carberry and James Vince (24) smashed 16 from Craig Overton (1-40)’s first over to get their side off to an aggressive start.
The pair continued to score runs at a quick rate with eight boundaries coming in the power play as Hampshire raced along to 56-0 from the opening six overs.
Carberry reached his 26th half-century in T20 Cricket off just 29 balls as Hampshire moved onto 76-0 in the ninth over. It was the left-hander’s first half-century against Somerset in his 14th innings.
Their partnership was ended when Vince was run out by Jamie Overton after attempting a quick single but their 80-run stand was the highest between the pair in the T20 Blast this season.
Adam Wheater (0) was then dismissed in his first ball by Max Waller (3-17), as Somerset clawed their way back into the game and Overton picked up his first wicket of the game when Carberry holed out to Tom Cooper at long off to leave Hampshire 91-3 in the 13th over.
Owais Shah (9) and Will Smith (4) were both bowled by the impressive Waller as the hosts continued to lose wickets in quick succession and as Joe Gatting (11) and Chris Wood (8) tried to increase the run rate, but after hitting a few boundaries, both were back in the pavilion.
It was left to Gareth Berg (21*) to launch a late counter-attack and he hit a boundary from the final ball as Hampshire posted a competitive first-innings total.
Somerset got off to a good start in reply, however openers Jim Allenby (15) and debutant Hose were dismissed by Arafat shortly after.
Smith then dismissed the dangerous Peter Trego (10) as the required run-rate quietly crept above eight-an-over before he got his second wicket of the game as he bowled Tom Cooper (27).
Mason Crane (0-28) and Danny Briggs (1-18) also bowled superbly in the middle overs as Somerset needed 40 runs from the final four overs.
James Hildreth (19) and Gregory (16) tried to increase the run-rate, but both were dismissed as Arafat and Briggs held their nerve late-on.
Wood (1-24) and Arafat dismissed Somerset twins Jamie (0) and Craig Overton (13) at the death as they all-but sealed Hampshire’s progression to the last eight of the tournament for a seventh consecutive season.