Somerset v Northamptonshire

Riki Wessels plundered 24 off a single Simon Francis over to lead Northamptonshire to a five-wicket Twenty20 Cup win over Somerset at Taunton.

The game was in the balance until Francis conceded 27 in all from the 17th over of Northants' reply to the home side's 189 for five, in which skipper Graeme Smith made 105 and Matt Wood 54.

Wessels finished unbeaten on 49 from 22 deliveries as the Steelbacks made 191 for five with exactly an over to spare. Martin Love contributed 53 and Bilal Shafayat 40.

It was a bad night for Somerset's opening bowlers. Francis went for 57 off his four overs and Andy Caddick 29 off two.

That meant a lightning start to the innings for Northants, who had 71 runs on the board after only seven overs.

Love hit seven fours in making his runs off 37 balls, but Ian Blackwell, Gareth Andrew and James Hildreth all bowled tidily to put a break on the scoring rate in mid-innings.

Wessels and Shafayat, who faced 28 balls and hit five fours, batted sensibly. But when Shafayat was caught on the boundary by Andrew off Hildreth it was 137 for four and Somerset were well in the game.

With four overs to go the Steelbacks needed 10 off each.

Then came the Wessels assault on Francis, strangely recalled to the attack by Smith when Hildreth was bowling well at the Old Pavilion End.

Hildreth was left with an over to bowl at the end and his figures of two for 23 were in sharp contrast to those of Francis and Caddick.

Earlier, Smith and Wood had produced an opening stand of 129 for the Sabres in 13 overs. Wood hit five fours in his 42-ball innings, while Smith went on to look increasingly dominant.

The South Africa captain smashed five sixes and nine fours to claim the man-of-the-match award, even though he finished on the losing side.

Somerset had reached 180 for two when Smith was dismissed, the Proteas skipper having faced just 56 deliveries.

A clatter of wickets at the end of their innings stopped the Sabres reaching 200 and gave Northants a chance on what is always a high-scoring ground.

The result meant the Steelbacks stay top of the Midlands, West and Wales group, while Somerset slip to third behind arch-rivals Gloucestershire.


Twenty20 Cup, 2005, Midlands/West/Wales Division
Somerset v Northamptonshire
County Ground, Taunton
2 July 2005 (20-over match)

Result: Northamptonshire won by 5 wickets
Points: Northamptonshire 2, Somerset 0

Toss: Somerset
Umpires: NL Bainton and P Willey
Somerset innings                                                R   M   B  4 6
*GC Smith             c Phillips         b Jones              105  68  56  9 5
MJ Wood               c Afzaal           b Shafayat            54  49  42  5 0
ID Blackwell          c Brown            b Jones               18  17  15  2 0
JC Hildreth                          c & b Louw                 2   2   2  0 0
KA Parsons                               b Louw                 1   2   2  0 0
+CM Gazzard           not out                                   5   1   2  0 0
WJ Durston            not out                                   1   0   1  0 0
Extras                (w 3)                                     3
Total                 (5 wickets, 20 overs)                   189

DNB: AV Suppiah, GM Andrew, SRG Francis, AR Caddick.

FoW: 1-129 (Wood), 2-180 (Smith), 3-180 (Blackwell),
     4-183 (Hildreth), 5-186 (Parsons).

Bowling                      O      M      R      W
Jones                        4      0     32      2 (1w)
Louw                         4      0     34      2 (2w)
Phillips                     4      0     39      0
Brown                        4      0     37      0
Shafayat                     4      0     47      1

Northamptonshire innings (target: 190 runs)                     R   M   B  4 6
ML Love                                  b Blackwell           53  44  37  7 0
U Afzaal              c Caddick          b Andrew              24  19  15  4 0
*DJG Sales            c Durston          b Andrew               1   6   2  0 0
BM Shafayat           c Andrew           b Hildreth            40  25  28  5 0
+MH Wessels           not out                                  49  26  22  2 4
BJ Phillips           c Durston          b Hildreth             3  10   5  0 0
TW Roberts            not out                                   6   5   6  0 0
Extras                (b 4, lb 1, w 8, nb 2)                   15
Total                 (5 wickets, 19 overs)                   191

To Bat: TB Huggins, J Louw, PS Jones, JF Brown.

FoW: 1-49 (Afzaal), 2-72 (Sales), 3-111 (Love), 4-137 (Shafayat),
     5-176 (Phillips).

Bowling                      O      M      R      W
Caddick                      2      0     29      0 (2w)
Francis                      4      0     57      0 (1nb)
Andrew                       4      0     32      2
Blackwell                    4      0     28      1
Parsons                      2      0     17      0 (2w)
Hildreth                     3      0     23      2
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