Middlesex condemned to rain-affected defeat as Blast chances die
Somerset maintained their push for a top four finish in the Vitality Blast South Group with a five-run win over Middlesex under the DLS method at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
Already without four key players, Somerset were dealt another blow when skipper Lewis Gregory pulled out with a calf injury in the warm-up. But, despite the early loss of George Bartlett, the home side prospered in the powerplay. Conway looked in great touch from ball one, which he cover drove for four.
The New Zealander uppercut a six off Tom Helm, while Smeed collected a maximum off Mujeeb Ur Rahman as they took the total to 53 for 1 after six overs.
Smeed then dispatched Cullen over mid-wicket for six before the the ninth over saw Conway was run out by Stevie Eskinazi’s throw, sent back attempting a second run following Smeed’s pull to the mid-wicket boundary.
Conway’s impressive knock had come off 26 balls and his dismissal proved a major turning point. The next over saw Smeed caught at deep mid-wicket off Cullen, having faced 23 deliveries, and suddenly Middlesex took a grip.
From 95 for 2 in the middle of tenth over, Somerset lost eight wickets for 57 runs Cullen leading the way by removing Lewis Goldsworthy, Ben Green and Marchant de Lange.
Overton, captaining his side in the absence of Gregory, fell for a first-ball duck, but atoned in the opening over of the Middlesex reply by scattering Eskinaszi’s stumps.
Soon it was 15 for 2 as Max Holden skied an attempted pull off Jack Brooks, to Conway, keeping wicket following Tom Banton’s call into the England one-day squad.
Overton and Brooks shared the first six overs, which ended with Middlesex 45 for 3, Overton having removed Joe Cracknell.
Marchant de Lange, Ben Green and Tom Lammonby then provided excellent support as Daryl Mitchell, John Simpson and Luke Holman perished to aggressive seam bowling on a pitch with plenty of pace.
Sowter did his best to revive Middlesex hopes, hitting a six off Max Waller and 4 fours before the rain intervened. But Overton had led his troops shrewdly and passionately to mastermind an important win.