Somerset all-rounder Keith Parsons described the pitch on which the Sabres tied their latest Twenty20 Cup match at Northamptonshire as 'dreadful'.
The veteran top-scored with 40 on a surface highly conducive to the home spinners as Somerset stumbled to 151-9.
But the holders then looked set to record a second straight win after reducing Northants to 21-4 and 53-5.
However, an unbroken 50-run partnership between Usman Afzaal and Andrew White gained Northants a tie in controversial circumstances.
With four to win needed from two balls, White crashed the ball towards the mid wicket fence where Matt Wood initially misfielded before scooping back near the boundary.
The home side felt it had touched the rope but, after much consultation, the umpires ruled it was only a two meaning White needed two more for victory from the last delivery.
The Irishman could manage only a single so the teams took a point apiece. Afzaal finished 64 not out with White on 27.
It was all a contrast from Somerset's resounding success against Gloucestershire earlier in the week but sets them up for tonight's trip to Glamorgan.
Defending what looked a meagre total of 151-9, Somerset's comeback was founded on a 12-ball spell that saw four wickets fall for just two runs early in the Northants reply.
Charl Willoughby and Richard Johnson were the instigators of the recovery, bowling impressively in the continued absence of Andrew Caddick.
Willoughby had Sourav Ganguly and Riki Wessells caught behind while Johnson had David Sales taken in the gully before Billy Shafyat edged to the keeper to reduce Northants to 21-4.
When Justin Langer's direct hit from short third man ran out the dangerous Lance Klusener for just nine Somerset looked home and dry.
But three successive sixes from Ben Phillips off Wes Durston kept the hosts in the hunt and opener Afzaal stayed calm under pressure as Somerset's less experienced spinners were given harsh treatment.
Parsons said: "The wicket was dreadful to be fair. It was so used and it was really dry and it was always going to be difficult against the spinners."
The hosts employed four spinners who bowled 14 overs in total, claiming six wickets for 81 runs.
In comparison the home seamers' six overs disappeared for 62.
The local paper, the Northampton Chronicle, had trumpeted the fact that the record breakers were in town and Wood and Justin Langer looked to be setting Somerset on their way to another huge total.
But left-armer Monty Panesar, discarded by England's misfiring one-day side, obtained prodigious turn from the off after the first five overs of seam had left Somerset 51-0.
Off-spinner Jason Brown removed Langer for 23 from 18 balls as the Australian's heave saw the ball sky to mid-off.
Then Panesar, perhaps inspired by Mushtaq Ahmed's assertion in the Chronicle that he should be taken to next year's World Cup, drew Wood down the pitch and beat his outside edge to have him stumped for 27 from 17.
Cameron White could produce no repeat of his cup record score of 116 not out of two nights before in the home match against Gloucestershire as he holed out to deep mid wicket for 15 and, not for the first time, it was left to Parsons to launch a salvage mission.
The veteran all-rounder showed composure to start his innings carefully and he had little option after a diabolical run out of James Hildreth for a single.
The youngster is enduring a tough time. He played in the second eleven on Wednesday in a bid to rediscover form but was instead dismissed cheaply, handled the ball.
Parsons opened out when he swept Brown for a six and a four from successive balls but Arul Suppiah, the recalled John Francis and Carl Gazzard all went cheaply.
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