1st Semi-Final, Birmingham, September 18, 2021, Vitality Blast
(19.4/20 ov, T:151) 153/8

Somerset won by 2 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
11* (3) & 4/34

Josh Davey seals stunning heist as Somerset come back from the dead in first semi-final

Tailenders seal recovery from 34 for 5 after Joe Weatherley drags Hampshire to 150

David Hopps
David Hopps
Ben Green's late charge brought Somerset back into the contest, Somerset vs Hampshire, 1st semi-final, Vitality Blast, Edgbaston, September 18, 2021

Ben Green's late charge brought Somerset back into the contest  •  Getty Images

Somerset 153 for 8 (Abell 50, Green 35) beat Hampshire 150 (Weatherley 71, Davey 4-34) by two wickets
If Hampshire could have designed a pitch on which to put Somerset in their place, it would have looked something like this. Edgbaston was slow, grippy, inhibiting. Somerset might have been packed with audacious young strokemakers, but it was Hampshire who were capable at winning ugly.
After five defeats in Edgbaston semi-finals, it seemed for all the world as if Hampshire would finally win one. Somehow, in a most unlikely twist, Somerset pulled off a stunning heist.
Tom Abell, who has endured a disheartening few weeks as Somerset's Championship captain - three thrashings in a row - must have wondered when his torment would ever end. When he was the seventh Somerset player to be dismissed, they were 48 short with 20 balls remaining.
Abell's half-century had glued Somerset together, although when he reached it, he offered the most token acknowledgment of the applause, bat raised and lowered in less than a second: impressive bat speed. When he struck Scott Currie to deep midwicket later in the over, the game appeared to be up only for Ben Green (35 from 18) and Josh Davey (11 from 3 to follow his four wickets) to turn the tables.
It has been a packed season and the pitches on the international grounds are pleading for mercy, especially the pitches in line with the TV gantrys. This Edgbaston surface was sound enough but it invited speculation that batting could be even harder work by final time. What joy for Hampshire. They had defended 125 on a crabby Trent Bridge surface in the quarter-final and, with their own surface at the Ageas Bowl not exactly a batting haven, they were well versed in doing a dirty job well.
With 150 in the book, they had assembled a defendable score - and Joe Weatherley carried their fight almost single-handedly. His 71 from 50 was an impressive finish to a strong T20 season and left him with 365 runs at 36.50 and a strike rate of 143. He has grown markedly as a player this summer and slog-swept well. When a slog-sweep went awry, he was savvy, too, winning a reprieve on 20 because of his own game awareness.
Hampshire finished the Powerplay at 43 for 3. But they should have been 37 for 4. Weatherley's top-edged slog sweep against Davey was pouched in the legside by the wicketkeeper, Tom Banton, but Weatherley is clearly a sharp sort and, as Somerset celebrated, he advised the bemused umpires that Somerset did not have enough players in the circle.
With the umpires off the pace, and third umpire Neil Bainton trying to study an aerial shot that would not have been a prototype on Google Earth, Weatherley's protestations needed a fielder to fess up that he had been dozing and the suggestion was that Marchant de Lange did just that. Weatherley, by way of celebration, chipped Davey's Free Hit straight for six.
Hampshire have had a split personality in T20 this summer - abysmal in early season, yet somehow making a remarkable recovery to reach Finals Day. The old Hampshire turned up for much of their innings. Then, from 111 for 7, they roused themselves with 39 off the last three overs.
Hampshire are a thin batting side and the loss of early wickets constrained them. Two teenagers, Toby Albert and Tom Prest, were both confounded by Davey. Albert, an 18-year-old from Basingstoke, and perhaps the youngest player to play on Finals Day (although Sussex's Archie Lenham was about to trump him), perished to a ramp shot. Prest was bowled first ball by a good nip-backer.
The prize wicket, though, was Vince, the prince, and his first attempt at aggression saw him caught at the wicket, cutting. It was a relief for the bowler, Craig Overton, who had dropped a simple return catch from Vince at the end of his first over.
Hampshire's innings hung in there long enough for James Fuller and Chris Wood to provide some power at the back end. Weatherley should have been run out as he took an uncertain single to reach his fifty but Lewis Gregory's underarm throw was weak. De Lange, who bowled four overs at the death, found little to cheer him after his daydream in the field. Overton, oddly, did not bowl a final over. But Davey, the pick of the attack, added two late wickets to finish with 4 for 34. He knew it should have been five.
Somerset's Powerplay was as troubled as Hampshire's, a grind to 30 for 3. Tom Banton, willowy and long-levered, gave deep midwicket catching practice. Will Smeed, who could audition for The Incredible Hulk (Early Years) charged a few and then picked out Vince at mid-off. The pinch-hitter at No 3, Roelof van der Merwe, fell there, too, a tougher catch, Vince diving forward, rightly confirmed as clean by the third umpire.
When Lewis Goldsworthy was run out by Fuller from midwicket, sent back attempting an unlikely second, and the legspinner, Mason Crane, turned one to have the left-hander, Tom Lammonby, first ball, Somerset were 34 for 5 after 6.5 overs.
Unlike Somerset, Hampshire had two quality spinners, in Crane and Liam Dawson, to squeeze the middle. In Dawson's last over, Abell rallied spirits with a beautiful inside-out six over long off, but his contentment was shortlived as Gregory was bowled, pulling a shortish ball. By the time Hampshire's spinners were done, Somerset were 91 for 6, still 60 needed from five, and Abell on 41. It was time to find out the truth and he probably sensed it would not be the answer he wanted. How wrong could he be.
Green then turned the match on its head, taking Brad Wheal and then Wood for three sixes but holed out with seven balls to go. Somerset needed 10 from the final over, bowled by Wheal. Some of us wanted the muscular smiter, De Lange, to come in at no 10, but Davey drove the third ball over long-on before flicking off his toes for four to win it.

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

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