Trescothick and Pollard down Sussex
Somerset 161 for 3 beat Sussex 159 by seven wickets
Marcus Trescothick's first half-century in the competition this season guided Somerset to a seven-wicket Friends Provident t20 win over South Division leaders Sussex Sharks at Taunton. A crowd of more than 6,000 watched the visitors score 159 all out after losing the toss - Chris Nash top-scoring with 44 and Matt Prior making 36. Kieron Pollard took three wickets for 16 runs for the hosts and Alfonso Thomas 3 for 29.
Somerset always looked favourites to reach their target in perfect batting conditions and did so with eight balls to spare. Trescothick led the way with 50, while Peter Trego prepared for England Lions duty by contributing 41 to a second-wicket stand of 82.
Trescothick has been short of runs in t20 cricket - but he produced some trademark power shots in a 31-ball half-century, which featured eight fours and a six. Four of the fours came in one over from Dwayne Smith, a feat repeated by Trego off Yasir Arafat as he made the most of promotion to number three to also hit his competition best of the season.
James Hildreth (37) and Zander de Bruyn (30) ensured there was no way back for the Sharks with an unbroken stand of 60 as Somerset made it three wins in succession, without big-hitter Pollard having to bat.
Sussex had made a whirlwind start to their innings as Mark Turner went for 25 off the opening over, which included a no-ball for overstepping. Prior hit him for two fours and two sixes, going on to make his runs off just 13 balls and helping to take the Sharks to 57 for 1 in the fifth over.
But amazingly five wickets then fell for 10 runs as Pollard and Zander de Bruyn both found themselves on hat-tricks, Pollard almost completing a lap of honour after dismissing fellow West Indian Dwayne Smith first ball.
Nash and Arafat repaired some of the damage with a stand of 47 in 5.3 overs before the latter, on 24, lofted a catch to long-on off Ben Phillips. Chad Keegan helped Nash add a further 26, but the Sharks had lost too many wickets to really hit out in the closing overs. Even so, Nash launched two sixes in holding the lower order together.
It was the fifth successive game in which Thomas had taken three wickets and his tally in the competition is now an impressive 19.