Somerset limp past Unicorns
Somerset 169 for 7 beat Unicorns 166 for 9 by three wickets
Somerset limped to their seventh Clydesdale Bank 40 win in seven games by beating the Unicorns by three wickets at Exmouth.
Marcus Trescothick's side shook off the loss of their skipper to a second ball duck to chase down their target of 167 with two overs to spare. A second-wicket stand of 67 in 14 overs between Nick Compton (64) and Craig Kieswetter (30) broke the back of the semi-professional team's resistance. The result was rarely in doubt after the Unicorns made just 166 for 9.
Trescothick was bowled by an inswinger from Neil Saker for a duck, but the ex-Surrey seamer's opening partner Jonathan Miles then received some punishment from Kieswetter and Compton as they took advantage of the powerplay.
Kieswetter eventually pulled medium-pacer Glenn Querl to deep backward square-leg and Devon star Neil Hancock forced Zander de Bruyn to play on in the next over. Compton reached his 50 from 66 balls with four fours and one six, a lofted cover drive off Miles. And Compton and James Hildreth took the game away from the Unicorns with a stand of 58 in 13 overs before the latter was adjudged lbw to Tom Sharp for 29.
Jos Buttler has developed a reputation as a one-day finisher in his first full season at senior level and he and Compton took the powerplay in the 34th over. Buttler smashed Querl straight for six but Compton attempted the same shot and picked out long-on. Pete Trego and Ben Phillips then both popped up catches off Querl but by then the game was already over as a contest.
De Bruyn had been the pick of Somerset's bowlers with 3 for 27 from his eight overs. Alfonso Thomas had Jackson Thompson caught behind in the third over before Josh Knappett pulled Trego to square-leg. Chris Murtagh cut de Bruyn to Compton at point before home captain Keith Parsons edged Murali Kartik to Trescothick at first slip for 20.
Sean Park flayed de Bruyn high to Trego at third man before top-scorer Michael O'Shea's 40 came to an end when he skied leg-spinner Max Waller to deep mid-off. Waller had a second wicket in as many balls when Hancock went back and missed a cut to be bowled for 19.
De Bruyn's third wicket saw Sharp edge him behind and Kieswetter also caught Saker to give Phillips a third wicket before Querl (28 not out) helped reach respectability.