Somerset regain top-spot by beating Unicorns
Somerset 213 for 4 beat Unicorns 208 for 5 by six wickets
Somerset regained the leadership of Group C with a comfortable six-wicket victory over the Unicorns in the Clydesdale Bank 40 match at Taunton.
The visitors posted 208 for 5 after winning the toss, Michael Thornely becoming the first Unicorns player to score a century in the competition this season. The opener was unbeaten on 105 at the end of the 40 overs, while captain Keith Parsons contributed 38. George Dockrell was the pick of the Somerset bowlers with one wicket for 24 runs from his eight overs.
The total was never likely to test Somerset's strong batting line-up. Marcus Trescothick (53) and Craig Kieswetter (45) put on 99 in 14 overs and after both departed James Hildreth (50 not out) ensured victory with more than five overs to spare.
Spinners Bradley Wadlan (two for 39) and Luke Beaven, who conceded only 34 from his eight overs, did their best to tie the home side down, but the Unicorns were 50 runs short of a competitive total. That was despite a tremendous effort from Thornely, who hit 11 fours in facing 115 balls. He gave one chance in the final over when he was dropped by Jos Buttler at deep midwicket off Alfonso Thomas.
By then Thornely was on 104, having paced his innings well. Former Somerset favourite Parsons leant good support in a fourth wicket stand of 53 and will have been disappointed to sky a catch to deep midwicket with his team 115 for three in the 26th over. Dockrell, who opened the bowling with his left arm spin, showed excellent control and variation to go for just three an over.
Trescothick and Kieswetter looked set to make light work of their target. But, on 45, Kieswetter drove a catch to cover off Luis Reece and it sparked a blip in the Somerset innings.
Trescothick soon followed, having hit seven fours in his 42-ball innings, bowled trying to reverse sweep Wadlan. And when Peter Trego was caught at cover to give Wadlan another wicket it was 116 for three. Nick Compton celebrated the award of his county cap at the interval with a steadying 25 off 43 balls, allowing Hildreth to go for his shots as he moved to a half-century off 50 deliveries.
When Compton was bowled by Andy McGarry with 27 runs still needed, Jos Buttler marched out to hit 23 of them off just eight balls, ending the game with a big six over midwicket off Glen Querl. A victory in one of their two remaining games should now be enough to put Somerset in the semi-finals.