Dean Elgar’s 91 couldn’t prevent Somerset from losing a high-scoring contest to Nottinghamshire in the quarter-final of the Royal London One Day Cup.
After a lengthy break in the One Day Cup schedule, due to County Championship matches, Somerset won the toss and invited the hosts to bat.
Somerset’s opening bowlers struggled to make the initial breakthrough as the South African-born duo of Michael Lumb and Riki Wessels laid a solid foundation for Nottinghamshire. They made a lightning-quick start to the innings, scoring 82 runs in less than 11 overs. A reprieve finally came for Somerset when former Proteas all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe sent Lumb on his way for 47.
Lumb’s dismissal did little to slow the Nottinghamshire run rate, however, as Wessels and Samit Patel (66) added a further 65 runs for the second wicket, before Wessels finally departed for a terrific 62-ball 81 (eight fours, four sixes).
This brought Zimbabwean Brendan Taylor to the crease. The Somerset fielders proceeded to chase leather for much of his sensational 154 that included no fewer than 17 fours and five sixes. He and Patel put the visitors to the sword, smashing 133 off just 16 overs to set Nottinghamshire up for a very strong finish. A 21-ball 37 from Steven Mullaney further compounded Somerset’s frustration.
Taylor looked like batting through the rest of the innings before his fantastic knock finally came to an end in the 48th over, with the score on 410. A cluster of wickets fell thereafter as the hosts posted an imposing 429-9.
Somerset’s reply got off to a flying start as the openers added 50 in less than five overs. The chase was dealt further blows in quick succession with three wickets falling for 12 runs. Proteas opener Elgar combined with Peter Trego (66) to keep Somerset in the hunt.
The untimely loss of Trego with the score on 221, and Elgar a little while later for 91 (11 fours, three sixes) hindered Somerset’s progress somewhat.
A series of lower-order contributions meant Somerset had a chance for much of the innings. Van der Merwe added 43 and revived Somerset’s hopes of claiming a semi-final spot. A late-innings cameo of 40 by No 10 Jamie Overton wasn’t enough, however, as Somerset came up 24 runs short.
Nottinghamshire will now face Essex in the first semi-final on Friday.
Yorkshire vs Surrey
Elsewhere, Kumar Sangakarra’s 100th century of his career led Surrey to 313 in their match against Yorkshire. Yorkshire failed to mount any significant challenge in their reply, losing by 24 runs.
Surrey will now visit Worcestershire in the 2nd semi-final to be played on Saturday.