Somerset v Worcestershire, Royal London Cup, Group A, Taunton July 31, 2015

Cooper sets up Somerset's first win


Somerset 305 for 7 (Cooper 93*) beat Worcestershire 249 (Barnard 51, Trego 3-45) by 56 runs

Tom Cooper continued his good form as Somerset overcame Worcestershire © Getty Images

Tom Cooper smacked 93 off 91 balls as Somerset picked up their first Royal London Cup Group A points with a 56-run victory over Worcestershire at Taunton.

A 4500 crowd saw the Australian follow up his century in the previous game against Durham by striking seven fours and three sixes in a total of 305 for 7. Adam Hose contributed 46 and skipper Jim Allenby 45.

In reply, Worcestershire were soon in trouble at 28 for 3 and were eventually bowled out for 249, Ed Barnard top-scoring with 51. Craig Overton, Jack Leach and Peter Trego claimed three wickets each.

Somerset were given a confident start by young openers Hose and Tom Abell after winning the toss in bright sunshine, Hose striking the ball sweetly to dominate a half-century opening stand in 8.4 overs.

The tall 22-year-old faced just 39 balls, hitting six fours and a six, before mishitting a pull shot off Barnard to Richard Oliver at deep square. Peter Trego played-on to Barnard before Abell, dropped on nought in the opening over, perished for 24, a third victim for the England Under-19 seamer, to make it 87 for 3.

James Hildreth added a breezy 33 before carelessly cutting a catch to backward point with the total 135 and Somerset were in trouble when a bold experiment to move Jamie Overton up the order saw him depart after taking a six and a four off Brett D'Oliveira.

Cooper and Allenby rebuilt the innings with a sensible stand of 70 in 14.1 overs, but after the captain was bowled swinging and Craig Overton fell cheaply, the hosts were 235 for 7 off 45 overs and in need of a big finish. They got it from Cooper, who after reaching a 75-ball half-century, cut loose with a flurry of boundaries, including a six and two fours off the 49th over, bowled by Charlie Morris.

The momentum was with Somerset and Craig Overton struck in the opening over of the Worcerstershire reply, Allenby snapping up Oliver at second slip off the fifth ball.

Tom Fell and D'Oliveira departed in successive overs to Tim Groenewald and Craig Overton respectively. When Daryl Mitchell was bowled by left-arm spinner Jack Leach for 37 the visitors were 70 for 4 in the 18th over.

Leach then had Ross Whiteley held at deep square off a skier and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, on 37, miscued a leg-side hit to Groenewald at cover off Trego's first ball of the game. Worcestershire were 122 for 6 and the outcome virtually settled.

Ben Cox helped Barnard add 60 before becoming a third victim for Leach. And when Barnard fell just after reaching a 38-ball half-century Somerset's first win in any competition since June 27 was sealed, despite some lusty late blows from Jack Shantry.