Somerset slipped to their heaviest ever defeat in the Benson and Hedges Cup at Taunton today when they were beaten by Northamptonshire by 145 runs.

Northants won the toss and batting first amassed 299 for 6, thanks to a fine 87 from their Aussie skipper Michael Hussey, that won him the Man of the Match award and an aggressive 76 from David Sales.

Facing the daunting prospect of scoring at six runs an over, Somerset never recovered from losing Jamie Cox in the first over, and despite a rearguard action from Rob Turner (33) and Simon Francis (21) they were dismissed for 154 with more than 15 overs to spare.

Somerset suffered a further setback during the Northants innings when fast bowler Richard Johnson left the field with a hamstring injury.

Despite the inclusion of England stars Andy Caddick and Marcus Trescothick for their last two remaining games the likelihood of the Cidermen qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Benson and Hedges is now almost non existent.

After the game Somerset coach Kevin Shine told me: "Of course we are very disappointed at the result and we will be looking to put things right. This was a very under par performance from a talented side, but despite the result we remain very positive."

Regarding Richard Johnson he told me: "Johnno has suffered a hamstring injury, and will certainly be missing from our game at Bristol on Sunday."

Skipper Jamie Cox told me: "We were very disappointing. It was a dreadful day for us, especially with losing Richard Johnson with a hamstring injury. With Gloucester winning today we are probably out of the cup."