In-form Buttler sets up Lancashire rout
Somerset 245 for 4 beat Lancashire 130 by 115 runs
Jos Buttler produced another innings of huge promise as Somerset maintained their 100% record in the Clydesdale Bank 40 with a 115-run victory over Lancashire at Taunton. The England Under-19 batsman hit an unbeaten 64 off 37 balls to help his side post 245 for 4 after winning the toss. James Hildreth hit 72 not out and Nick Compton 59.
Lancashire never looked remotely capable of reaching their target on a turning pitch as they suffered a sixth defeat in 10 group fixtures. Murali Kartik returned 4 for 30 as they were bowled out for 130 in 29.4 overs.
Buttler, who made a big impact at Twenty20 finals day on Saturday, produced the cleanest hitting of the match, sharing an unbroken stand of 98 with Hildreth and hitting seven fours and two sixes. Hildreth hit six fours in a 71-ball innings that took his aggregate of runs in eight Group A matches to 439 at an average of 109.75.
Craig Kieswetter had fallen early and Marcus Trescothick made only five by the eighth over, which saw him dropped at cover and then well caught off the next ball by Gary Keedy moving backwards at mid-on off the bowling of Tom Smith.
By the end of the 15th over Somerset were becalmed on 66 for 2. They then lost Zander de Bruyn (25), who top-edged a sweep off Keedy to wicketkeeper Luke Sutton. Compton was forced to be watchful and hit only two boundaries in bringing up his fifty off 59 balls as the total progressed to 130 for three. He then attempted a scoop shot off Luke Procter and only succeeded in giving a simple catch to Gary Montgomery.
Somerset took their batting power play at 167 for 4 in the 34th over as Buttler joined Hildreth in cutting loose. They scored 47 off the following four overs in swashbuckling style.
Those efforts were made to look even more praiseworthy when Lancashire replied. Alfonso Thomas removed Tom Smith and Ben Phillips accounted for Steven Croft and Kyle Brown as the visitors slumped to 23 for 3. But it was the introduction of Kartik for the 14th over that ended any doubt about the outcome. Extracting plenty of turn from his first delivery, he bowled Paul Horton behind his legs sweeping with his fourth ball to make it 64 for 4.
Leg-spinner Max Waller also enjoyed the surface and bowled Gareth Cross with a googly before Kartik pinned Procter lbw. At 73 for 6 the Lancashire innings was in disarray and there was no way back as Kartik continued to weave his magic.