Gayle leaves Taunton with half-century as Somerset keep T20 Blast campaign alive

Somerset got their T20 Blast campaign back on track with a resounding six wicket win over Hampshire at Taunton

Gayle leaves Taunton with half-century as Somerset keep T20 Blast campaign alive
Somerset celebrate taking a Hampshire wicket (image via: Getty/Harry Trump)

Somerset returned to form in the T20 Blast competition, beating Hampshire by six wickets at Taunton

Max Waller and Jamie Overton claimed four wickets apiece as Hampshire were dismissed for just 133, before Somerset reached their target with more than four overs remaining thanks to 52 from Chris Gayle and 45 from Mahela Jayawardene.  

Max Waller celebrates taking one of his four wickets (image via: SomersetCricket/Getty)

Hampshire's top order fails against swinging ball

With poor weather circling, Somerset made the obvious decision to field first, and made the most of the muggy conditions in the powerplay overs, restricting Hampshire to 35-3 after six. 

The first wicket came in just the 2nd over, with T20 Blast debutant Tom Alsop run-out for four. Having slapped the ball to Overton, Alsop decided to set off for the single, but his partner Michael Carberry had other ideas and remained unmoved at the non-strikers end. Unfortunately for Hampshire, Alsop had continued with his running and was half-way down the track before turning which was much too late to get back in his ground. 

Carberry went about making up for his part in the run-out, hitting a pair of strong boundaries off Tim Groenewald, before he was caught by the South African in the following over bowled by Overton. Having reached 17, Carberry played an uppercut to Overton's bouncer but could only find Groenewald at third-man to give Somerset their second wicket. 

It was soon 32-3 when Overton grabbed his second wicket, and it was the important one of England's James Vince. Having reached ten, Vince flayed at a wide delivery from Overton but could only edge through to Ryan Davies behind the stumps in the sixth over. 

Waller and Overton claim four as Hampshire dismissed for 133

Having been left out of the side in the defeat to Gloucestershire on Friday evening, leg-spinner Max Waller returned to Somerset's lineup with a bang, claiming four wickets. 

Two of his wickets came via stumpings from Davies, the first a stunning piece of work to dismiss fellow-wicketkeeper Adam Wheater for ten off a wide delivery, with Will Smith then trapped LBW for a golden duck with the very next delivery. 

A strong partnership between Sean Ervine and Liam Dawson set Hampshire back in the right direction, before Ervine danced down the track and was nowhere near the ball, allowing Davies to pull off his second stumping of the game. 

Pakistan blaster Shahid Afridi was the next man in, and he threatened for a while before becoming Waller's fourth victim, making 21 from nine deliveries including one huge blow towards the River End for six before being bowled. 

Just before the players left the field for a rain break, the mainstay of the innings Dawson equalled his career best in T20 cricket of 46 before being run-out following excellent work from Johann Myburgh close in. 

Returning after 40 minutes of delays, Somerset took no time at all to finish off Hampshire's innings, with Overton cleaning up the tail, dismissing Darren Sammy for a duck, and Gareth Berg for four, as the visitors ended up posting 133, wasting nine deliveries. 

Gayle leaves mark on Taunton as wickets fall around him

With rain in the air, the Somerset batsmen knew that as soon as five overs had been reached that a result would be in the books. Staying ahead on duckworth/lewis was always the main target, and Chris Gayle played the perfect innings to do so. 

Disappointingly for the hosts, they lost two needless wickets in the powerplay, with captain Jim Allenby caught for four off the bowling of Berg, and Peter Trego dismissed by Sammy for eight off just four balls. 

In his final match at Taunton this season, Gayle started in his usual circumspect manor, before launching some boundaries to always keep Somerset ahead of the rate. 

Gayle made 52 from before his entertaining innings was bought to an end by Smith as the rain intensified. The big West Indian hit four fours and three huge sixes in his innings which edged Somerset towards their total. 

Mahela Jayawardene then took Somerset home with an unbeaten 45 from 32 balls, taking over the mantle at the fall of Gayle's wicket, completing a very one-sided victory which all-but ends Hampshire's hopes of reaching the knockouts.