West Indies paceman Jerome Taylor claimed five wickets as Somerset beat Hampshire by 17 runs in a high-scoring Vitality Blast South Group match at Taunton.
The home side posted 197 for seven after losing the toss, recovering from 17 for three thanks to James Hildreth (57), Corey Anderson (32) and late cameos from Lewis Gregory, who smashed 24 off nine balls and Roelof van der Merwe, whose unbeaten 31 came off just 13 deliveries.
Left-arm seamer Chris Wood notched three wickets with his first eight balls at the start of the innings and at one point had figures of four for nine from 2.1 overs. He finished with a career-best T20 return of five for 32.
In reply, Hampshire were given hope by a fifth-wicket stand of 82 in 8.3 overs between James Vince (77 off 45 balls) and Liam Dawson (82 off 41 balls), but eventually fell short as Taylor claimed five for 15 from four overs and Jamie Overton three for 37.
Wood scuppered Somerset’s hopes of a good start by sending back Steve Davies for a first-ball duck and Peter Trego in the first over of the match. His second saw Johann Myburgh caught at deep square.
Somerset looked in disarray, but not for the first time this season profited from a long batting line-up. Hildreth and Tom Abell (27) launched the recovery with a stand of 60 in 6.4 overs.
Abell hit Liam Dawson for the first six of the game over mid-wicket in the ninth over, but perished next ball trying to repeat the shot.
Anderson lofted Dawson for two maximums in the 11th over, but Mujeed Ur Rahman’s off-spin proved more difficult to score off as his four overs went for 30.
At the end of the 16th over, which saw Anderson hole out to deep mid-wicket off Ryan Stevenson, Somerset were 139 for five. But after Hildreth was caught at fly slip, having reached a 40-ball half-century, Gregory and van der Merwe launched a savage late assault.
Fidel Edwards went for 24 off the 18th over, with van der Merwe hitting 3 fours and Gregory a four and a six to ensure a respectable total.
Jamie Overton then grabbed two early Hampshire wickets, dismissing Colin Munro who edged to wicketkeeper Davies and Sam Northeast, well caught by Hildreth running towards the mid-wicket boundary and narrowly avoiding onrushing team-mate Abell.
Overton also had Vince dropped on 18 by Gregory at mid-on. And when Jerome Taylor stuck with successive balls in the sixth over, sending back Rilee Rossouw and Tom Alsop, Hampshire were 37 for four.
Vince timed the ball sweetly to hit 7 fours and 3 sixes, moving to a 32-ball half-century and Dawson suffered little in comparison, getting to fifty off two fewer deliveries.
But Vince holed out to long-on off Taylor and when Dawson was run out by Max Waller off the first ball of the final over, with 22 still needed, Somerset could relax.