Somerset 183 for 7 (Lammony 90) beat Gloucestershire 160 for 6 (Cobain 72, Overton 2-18) by 23 runs
Tom Lammonby, one of county cricket's breakout stars of 2020, thrust aside a miserable follow-up season to play one of the most scintillating innings of this season's Vitality Blast and dump Gloucestershire out of the competition in the process. Somerset were ailing before Lammonby infused them with life with a freewheeling 90 from 36 balls which turned the likelihood of defeat into a 23-run victory.
Until Lammonby transformed the mood, Gloucestershire had everything under control. Their disciplined bowling performance had restricted Somerset to 89 for 5 after 14.2 overs, the run out of Will Smeed for 39, the one batsman to muster any sort of resistance, pointing towards the win they needed to secure a quarter-final place alongside Somerset.
Instead, Somerset secured a home quarter-final in late July while Gloucestershire were left to reflect on final-day heartache which has seen them fail to qualify for the latter stages of both the Championship and the Blast in the space of a few days. Ian Cockbain fought valiantly with 72 from 46 balls, but the big over never quite came.
How Taunton deserves that quarter-final. Cold-shouldered in the Hundred, they can at least look forward to a home tie against Lancashire, followed by a possible Finals Day at Edgbaston and they are still in the hunt for a first Championship title, too.
Lammonby, 21, long limbed and wristy, evidenced why there was such excitement over his entry into county cricket last season. Discriminating judges were prone to a touch of fantasy. Talk was more of his Test potential rather than white-ball - and how England must yearn for a touch of class in their top order. As for white-ball, the queue is a long one, but perhaps this was the night when Lammonby signalled his intention one day to join them.
This innings - a veritable one-man show - was the evening that a bright flash of sunlight finally flashed through the clouds. A demoralising second season in the Championship led to his omission at the start of the Blast, but that was hard to credit as he appeared to be intent on exhibition cricket, running through his repertoire with a game-changing confidence.
At one stage a 12th man seemed about to bring on a drink, but Lammonby waved him away, a batter back in the zone, desperate not to lose his uninhibited mood. His whiplash wrists enabled him to find gaps in the field. He was masterful behind square, his speciality the paddle and reverse paddle. All but 14 of his runs came in the arc between midwicket and third. If there was a defensive shot, it must have been an accident.
David Payne and Dan Worrall, who had the game where they wanted it with the new ball, ran into a young upstart of high ambition. "It was a special knock," said Gloucestershire's captain, Jack Taylor, "but our execution was a bit wanting." Somerset's stand-in skipper, Craig Overton, was obviously more ecstatic. "He will be the first to admit he has struggled this year, but I think that's the best I've ever seen him play."
Sixteen from three balls from Worrall - paddle against a head high full toss, reverse paddle from the free hit, and a no-messing long-on six, took him to his first Blast fifty at the 26th attempt, a reminder that not all nights have been like this. But another 20 came off Payne's penultimate over and Ryan Higgins, charged with controlling things at the death, spilled 45 from three overs.
Gloucestershire had set the tone with an excellent Powerplay during which they drew pace and a little movement from an excellent surface. Somerset were restricted to 32 for 2 for the loss of Devon Conway and Steve Davies.
Conway has had a plentiful season, averaging more than 60, his moderate strike rate of 124 also illustrating how he has glued this Somerset side together. Payne had bowled only four overs in July after his inactive spell with England's ODI shadow squad, but he outfoxed him with a widish delivery as he tried to make room to hit over the off side. Davies, who has been brought back late in the tournament as injury cover, trod on his stumps as Payne took a second wicket. Benny Howell's sleight of hand removed James Hildreth in his first over.
Somerset's innings descended into a succession of scrambled runs and what felt like endless TV adjudications. Gloucestershire finally got the run-out they had threatened when Higgins, alert and well in from the rope at deep midwicket, defeated Smeed's second run.
Somerset's most pressing need in the field was to curb Glenn Phillips, the leading six-hitter in the tournament, well ahead of the Nottinghamshire pair of Alex Hales and Joe Clarke. Phillips added two more to his total - he finishes on 35 for the season - but he miscued Ben Green to deep mid-off on 29.
Overton and Brooks both delivered spells for under 20, and the medium-pacer Green hit his yorkers in the closing overs, one of them bowling Taylor. Cockbain was left needing to hit the last four balls for six, but nobody was about to steal Lammonby's thunder.