Ryan ten Doeschate hits 56 as Essex beat Somerset for first T20 Blast win
Simon Harmer led a parsimonious attack in defending a total of 170 to give Essex their first win of the NatWest T20 Blast campaign.
Harmer, who has taken the red-ball domestic cricket by storm with 47 Specsavers County Championship wickets to date, added three more white-ball victims to his tally as his three for 39 from four overs ended Essex’s two-defeat start to the campaign.
The South African off-spinner was backed up by a fine spell by Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir, who posted outstanding figures of one for 17 from his 24 balls. Paul Walter took two wickets in the final over to finish with three for 28.
Somerset were undone by two wickets in five balls by Harmer mid-innings and were unable to keep up with the required run rate, falling short by 22 runs.
Essex had struggled to penetrate some outstanding Somerset fielding and were indebted to Ryan ten Doeschate’s 37-ball 56 and some lusty late hitting by Ashar Zaidi, who included three sixes in his 35, for setting what turned out to be a matchwinning total.
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Chasing 171, Somerset lost Johann Myburgh to a top-edge that lobbed to Harmer at backward point to give Jamie Porter his first T20 wicket.
Two wickets in the eighth over for Harmer knocked the stuffing out of Somerset’s reply after they had reached 47 for one. He had Jim Allenby caught in the covers by ten Doeschate and Peter Trego pouched on the long-off boundary by Tom Westley.
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Steven Davies was next to go when he swished at a wide one down legside from Ravi Bopara and was caught behind. Suddenly Somerset were 58 for four and nine overs gone.
James Hildreth was next, caught by ten Doeschate diving forward on the long-leg boundary for 27. And the wickets continued to fall as Adam Hose got a bottom edge to Amir to give James Foster his second catch behind and Lewis Gregory was caught behind for a belligerent 23 off 12 balls. Somerset required 36 from 12 balls with Amir restricting them to just eight from the penultimate over.
Craig Overton went for broke but was caught at cow corner by Dan Lawrence before Tim Groenewald was held by Zaidi to give Walter two wickets in the final over.