Kieswetter leads Somerset to quarter-final
Somerset 175 for 5 (Kieswetter 76) beat Warwickshire 165 for 3 (Maddy 67*) by 10 runs
Edgbaston may be the most popular venue for Twenty20 finals day but when Warwickshire host the occasion for a fifth time next month they will again do so without their own team after Somerset beat them for a second time in 10 days to book their own place in the quarter-finals.
The margin was closer -- 10 runs as opposed to 10 wickets at Taunton -- but that was of little consolation to Warwickshire and in particular to Darren Maddy, in his last match in the competition that has made his name, whose 67 not out was a brave effort in vain.
For a while the home crowd could see Maddy, all of 39-years, earning himself another chance to hog the spotlight as he notched his 15th half-century in the format and took his career aggregate past 2,500 runs. Aided by Laurie Evans, who batted despite dislocating a finger in the field earlier in the evening, Maddy kept what had always looked a tall target just about in reach.
After an expensive final over from Steve Kirby had cost 18 runs, 52 were needed from the final five overs, which clearly would have been achievable had the fourth-wicket pair been able to maintain that momentum. The requirement came down to 22 off the final 12 balls.
But if Warwickshire had a man for the occasion in Maddy, then Somerset had a couple in Alfonso Thomas and Yasir Arafat, both in the all-time top five Twenty20 bowlers.
Warwickshire needed boundaries but neither man conceded one in his final over, Arafat effectively ending the contest with two dot-ball yorkers from his first two deliveries. Evans completed his half-century when he took a single from the next ball but Warwickshire's hopes were dashed. It was Arafat who brought about their downfall at Taunton on July 21, finishing with a staggering analysis of 3-0-5-4 as Warwickshire were dismissed for 73.
Somerset - finalists for the last four years and runners-up in three of those - thus ensured that Craig Kieswetter remained man of the match after 76 provided the bedrock of their 175 for 5. If Maddy - twice a T20 Cup winner with Leicestershire - has been the man of the age in T20 then Kieswetter has been the star of this season. He hit four sixes and four fours in his 53-ball innings, passing fifty for the fourth time in this year's competition and becoming the first man to pass 400 runs in total, overtaking Michael Carberry as the top scorer so far.
Warwickshire had restricted Somerset to 36 from the Powerplay overs but Kieswetter had strong support first from Peter Trego and then Nick Compton, both of whom in their contrasting styles hit 32 off 23 balls, in setting up a challenging total after home captain Varun Chopra had opted to chase on winning the toss.
For once, there was the odd question asked about Chopra's decision-making. He has been an efficient stand-in for the injured Jim Troughton but it seemed odd that he should limit his leading T20 wicket-taker, Ateeq Javid, to one over at the start of the innings, while he somehow managed to get only three overs from his best bowler on the night, Boyd Rankin.
It all went awry when Kieswetter launched a 24-run barrage against Maddy's bowling in the 17th over, including consecutive sixes and two fours. Chopra could not have seen that coming - Maddy's first two overs had gone for only 13 and would have contained a wicket had Evans not dropped Compton at deep midwicket - but in bringing Chris Woakes back on at the City End for the 18th he left himself with only one more from Rankin.
It was an excellent over, too, which only compounded the error, Rankin bowling full and straight to dismiss Kieswetter and James Hildreth with consecutive balls before thumping Craig Meschede on the pad with the hat-trick delivery, although it was clearly missing leg stump. The last two balls conceded only a single each. Woakes, by contrast, went for 13 in his last over.