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Afzaal stuns the Sabres

Usman Afzaal smashed 32 off a single over from Andrew Caddick to lead Northamptonshire to victory by 24 runs in a rain-affected Twenty20 Cup match at Taunton.

Chasing 201 to win, the visitors had reached 92 for one off only seven overs, thanks largely to Afzaal's amazing assault.

The 30-year-old Rawalpindi-born opener blasted four sixes and two fours off the fifth over of the innings sent down by Caddick, on his way to a 19-ball half-century.

That put Northamptonshire 24 ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis system and, despite an attempt to restart, no further play was possible.

Earlier, Marcus Trescothick had top scored with 76 off 35 balls, hitting seven sixes and five fours, in Somerset's 200 for seven.

A sell-out 6,000 crowd saw the Sabres suffer a second successive defeat in a competition they were fancied to win. For the Steelbacks it is now three points from two games and a decent start.

Lance Klusener was unbeaten on 33 when the rain came, having shared an opening stand of 92 with Afzaal, who was caught at long-on for 54 just before the end.

Caddick conceded 44 from his three overs - with his third reading 4, 6, 6, 6, 4, 6 - and Gareth Andrew 41 from three.

Justin Langer had earlier scored the first 15 runs of the Somerset innings before having his middle stump uprooted by David Lucas in the second over.

Trescothick was then content to play second fiddle to Cameron White, who hit two sixes and three fours in contributing his 41 to a second wicket stand of 69 in seven overs.

It was only after White was out that Trescothick cut loose, smashing four sixes in an over from Graeme White, the second of which brought up his half-century off 28 balls.

Two more sixes followed off the next over from Jason Brown before the opener was caught at extra cover by David Sales.

The acceleration had taken Somerset to 160 for three after 15 overs, but the hosts could not keep it going.

James Hildreth (22) and Peter Trego (20 not out) were the other main scorers, but the last two overs -

sent down by Klusener and Johannes Van Der Wath - produced only nine runs.

Van Der Wath was the most economical bowler, with 27 off his four overs, while Klusener finished with two for 30.

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