Kieswetter still gives Somerset hope
Somerset 155 (Kieswetter 60, Petersen 38*) beat Hampshire 116 by 39 runs
Craig Kieswetter continued his superb form in the NatWest t20 Blast with a half-century to help Somerset claim a vital 39-run win over second-placed Hampshire in the South Division.
Kieswetter, who this week signed a new three-year contract with the county, passed 50 for the sixth time in 10 matches in this season's competition and his 60 guided Somerset to a score of 155 for 4 batting first at the Ageas Bowl.
That was less than the visitors looked like getting at one stage, but proved more than enough as tight bowling and good fielding helped them dismiss Hampshire for 116 with 22 balls to spare.
It was only Somerset's fourth win of the season but it still enabled them to complete the double over 20-over specialists Hampshire and move up to fifth in the standings.
Somerset chose to bat first on a blameless wicket but lost captain Marcus Trescothick in the second over, nicking Chris Wood to wicketkeeper Michael Bates for two.
Hampshire could hardly have wished for a better start, but Kieswetter then shared stands of 55 for the second wicket with Peter Trego (25) and the third with Alviro Petersen, who was 38 not out at the conclusion of the Somerset innings.
Kieswetter's 60 - which left him second only to Surrey's Jason Roy in the NatWest t20 Blast runscoring charts - came off 44 balls and included five fours and two sixes before perishing to Matt Coles while attempting another extravagant drive.
That left Somerset on 115 for 3 but Petersen and James Hildreth saw their side somewhat sedately through to the last ball of the innings at which point the latter was caught on the mid-wicket boundary to leave Hampshire needing 156 for victory.
The hosts would have fancied their chances of chasing that target down but suffered a nightmare start as captain James Vince went to the first ball he faced, playing around a Trego delivery to be trapped lbw.
The wickets then continued to tumbled as Hampshire's top order collapsed in an uncharacteristic panic, and midway through the eighth over they were 41 for 6.
Jimmy Adams fell to a catch at mid-on, Will Smith lifted Alfonso Thomas to Petersen at midwicket and then came a double run-out catastrophe in the sixth over to swing the match irreversibly Somerset's way.
First Glenn Maxwell was left stranded going for a second and then Michael Carberry, who might have been responsible for Maxwell's exit, went the same way, beaten by a throw from short fine-leg chasing a cheeky single.
When Sean Ervine strayed from his crease when facing leg-spinner Max Waller's third delivery and was stumped by Kieswetter, Hampshire were as good as finished, and so it proved despite a lower-order fight.
Coles and Wood battled bravely in an innings-best stand of 42 for the seventh wicket before Coles holed out to Waller, also at mid-wicket and Hampshire were 88 for 8 when Wood lifted Thomas to Dirk Nannes in the deep.
Abbott and Bates took Hampshire past the 100 mark but the end was not long in coming, to the dismay of a large home crowd, as Nannes wrapped things up with the wicket of Bates