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Gregory, Davies mayhem sets up Somerset victory

Somerset 204 for 9 (Gregory 43, Berg 3-35) beat Hampshire 190 by 14 runs

Somerset moved into third place in the NatWest T20 Blast South Group with a 14-run victory over Hampshire in front of a 6,000-plus crowd at Taunton.

Opener Lewis Gregory led the way after the hosts had won the toss, smacking 43 off 20 balls, with nine fours, in a total of 204 for 9. Jim Allenby contributed 37, while Gareth Berg claimed 3 for 35.

In reply, Hampshire were bowled out for 190, Lewis McManus top-scoring with 34. Tim Groenewald was the pick of the home attack with 2 for 28 from his four overs.

Somerset made a whirlwind start to their innings thanks to some sweet timing from openers Gregory and Steve Davies and some woeful Hampshire bowling that saw the second over from Kyle Abbott feature two over-stepping no-balls and cost 25.

By the end of the fourth over Gregory and Davies had taken the score to 61, the former being dropped on 24 by Berg off Brad Wheal, a tough chance, with the skied ball arriving over his shoulder.

It was a relief for Hampshire when James Vince produced a good catch above his head at mid-on to dismiss Davies for 32, made from just 13 balls, Shahid Afridi the successful bowler.

Man-of-the-match Gregory holed out to deep midwicket off Berg, having looked in prime form and by the end of the six-over Powerplay Somerset had raced to 83 for 2.

Allenby took time to play himself in before producing some cracking shots. Peter Trego fell cheaply, but James Hildreth ensured there was no let-up for the bowlers with a breezy 25 off 18 deliveries.

Allenby drove a catch to extra cover off Berg, but Michael Leask hit Wheal for six and two more maximums in the same over by Roelof van der Merwe, including a ramp shot, had Somerset on course for 220.

But the 18th over saw van der Merwe run out and Abbott strike twice to dismiss Leask and Groenewald, forcing last pair Craig Overton and Max Waller to exercise caution.

Hampshire replied positively despite losing Rilee Rossouw to only the eighth ball of their innings, bowled by Overton, whose opening over still coast 14.

Vince cracked 33 off 15 balls, with seven fours, before being bowled by a full ball from Gregory. But George Bailey quickly followed, a victim for Groenewald, who put an early brake on the scoring rate.

Carberry was dropped on 2 by Hildreth at short fine-leg off Overton as Hampshire ended the Powerplay on 51 for 3. He and Sean Ervine added 49 in good time before the latter was bowled by van der Merwe for 19 attempting a scoop shot.

Carberry had progressed to 30 and was looking dangerous when run out by Groenewald in a mix-up with Lewis McManus over a second run. At 93 for 5 in the 11th over, the visitors were in trouble. McManus lofted successive sixes off van der Merwe in the 13th over, but the next saw Waller beat Afridi's defensive shot and bowl him for 18.

When McManus was caught by Allenby at extra cover off a skier to give Waller his second wicket, Hampshire were left needing 53 off four overs, with only three wickets in hand.

Despite the best efforts of Berg (31 off 21 balls), they were always falling short and when he was run out the innings ended with three balls remaining.