Cool Buttler sees Somerset home
Somerset 141 for 5 (Buttler 58*) beat Northamptonshire 137 for 5 (White 47*) by five wickets
Jos Buttler's unbeaten 58 saw Somerset to a thrilling five-wicket win over Northants with one ball to spare at Taunton. Buttler, overlooked for England's latest one-day international squad, produced two scooped boundaries off the last two balls of the penultimate over to reach a brilliant half-century off 36 balls.
Northants had posted 137 for 5 after winning the toss, Cameron White hitting 47 not out and David Willey an unbeaten 30 as George Dockrell was the pick of the Somerset bowlers with 2 for 17. The visitors defended the total tenaciously, with James Middlebrook and Jack Brooks taking two wickets each but could not contain Buttler, who received valuable support from Arul Suppiah at the death.
The result gave the hosts five points from their first three Midlands/Wales/West Group games and they look a good bet for another strong challenge in the competition. Even without overseas recruits Richard Levi and Albie Morkel, back home representing South Africa in a T20 series with Zimbabwe, Somerset were impressive, particularly in the field.
They were rewarded for their decision to use spin in the opening power play. Dockrell was introduced for the third over and soon had Kyle Coetzer caught at cover.
That encouraged skipper Alfonso Thomas to employ Suppiah's left-arm spin and he quickly accepted a return catch off Rob Newton to make it 24 for 2. There was then an all-Irish wicket as Niall O'Brien was caught by brother Kevin attempting to reverse sweep Dockrell.
It was 75 for 4 when Alex Wakely edged a catch behind off legspinner Max Waller and 85 for 5 when the out-of-touch Con de Lange was caught at long-on off Kevin O'Brien's first delivery. White and Willey were forced to exercise some caution and, while White did his best to bolster the innings, he was only able to find the boundary three times.
Somerset almost misjudged the pace of their reply and looked in trouble, when 29 were needed off the last three overs, but that presented no problem to the hugely talented Buttler.