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19/07/2024 14:00

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    Somerset's Dominant Victory Over Middlesex Propels Them to Top of South Group
Somerset's Dominant Victory Over Middlesex Propels Them to Top of South Group
Riley Meredith. Source: indiatoday.in

Somerset's Dominant Victory Over Middlesex Propels Them to Top of South Group

Somerset reclaimed the top spot in the South Group with a dominating performance, achieving their target with 45 balls remaining. Somerset's 81 for 1 (Banton 49*, Kohler-Cadmore 30*) triumphed over Middlesex’s 79 (Cornwell 15*, Helm 15, Meredith 4-12, Davey 2-13) by a margin of nine wickets.

Riley Meredith spearheaded the destruction as Somerset dismissed Middlesex for just 78 at Lord’s, marking their lowest score ever in Vitality Blast cricket history.

The 27-year-old Tasmanian, with six white-ball caps for Australia, claimed 4 wickets for 12 runs. Craig Overton, Josh Davey, and Ben Green, who leads the competition in wickets, each contributed two wickets in the comprehensive victory.

Middlesex narrowly avoided breaking their record for the lowest score, which was 80 against Kent at Lord’s three years ago. This was thanks to a resilient 10th-wicket partnership of 28 runs between Tom Helm and Noah Cornwell, who both top-scored with 15.

Tom Banton, unbeaten on 49, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, not out on 30, benefited from dropped catches as Somerset secured their third win of the season. Middlesex continues to languish at the bottom of the South Group standings.

Despite Meredith and Overton’s disciplined bowling at the outset, Middlesex’s reckless batting compounded their downfall. Martin Andersson, playing aggressively, hit two fours through the covers in the opening over after Middlesex were asked to bat first. However, he soon mistimed a shot off Meredith to mid-on, starting a collapse.

Stephen Eskinazi was dismissed trying an ungainly cross-batted shot, and Meredith had Holden caught at mid-on with an even more ill-advised attempt. Overton increased the pressure with a maiden over to Ryan Higgins, who couldn’t connect with the ball. Following this, Joe Cracknell, filling in for the unwell Leus Du Plooy, edged Meredith’s best delivery of the match to wicketkeeper Banton.

By the time the opening bowlers finished their spells, Middlesex was reeling at 34 for 6.

Ben Green, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, made an immediate impact when he joined the attack at 50 for 7, dismissing Luke Hollman and Blake Cullen with his first two deliveries.

Noah Cornwell avoided the hat-trick and celebrated his England U19 call-up by hitting Somerset captain Lewis Gregory into the Grandstand. However, this brief moment of joy was one of the few highlights for the struggling hosts.

Somerset lost Will Smeed early, caught off Helm for just one, and Middlesex had a fleeting chance when Kohler-Cadmore edged Cullen, but the opportunity was missed.

Middlesex’s troubles worsened when Cornwell left the field mid-over with a hand injury while attempting a catch off a powerful shot by Banton.

After this, Banton and Kohler-Cadmore steadied the innings, each hitting sixes into the Grandstand as Somerset cruised to victory with 45 balls to spare.

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