Somerset in pole position to land a Bob Willis final berth
- Credit: Archant
Somerset are in pole position to take one of the two Bob Willis Trophy final places.
This comes after the Cidermen completed an emphatic Taunton triumph over Gloucestershire.
On the same day that Jimmy Anderson bowled his way into the record books, claiming his 600th wicket in Test cricket, one of a number of players looking to ultimately replace the fast bowling star in the England ranks, Craig Overton, was claiming a ‘fivefer’ as the Devon lad finished with match figures of 9-51 to wrap up a 314-run for his county who hold a five-point lead above ‘the rest’ in the race for those two coveted Lords sports in early September.
After a delayed start at Taunton, play did not begin until 1.45pm after heavy overnight rain, the home side needed just 15 minutes to claim their opponents’ last two wickets and move to the top of the Central Group.
Overton took one of them and the last fell to Jack Brooks to complete a game dominated by Somerset’s potent seam attack.
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The hosts took 20 points to boost increasing hopes of reaching the Lord’s final, while Gloucestershire had to settle for three, having been comprehensively outplayed.
Storm Francis put paid to any hope of finishes in four of the eight matches – with no play possible on the final day of the games at Arundel, Worcester and Headingley.
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It’s to Worcester and their New Road home that Taunton will travel on September 6 to see if they can ‘finish’ the job and make it to Lords for the final that is set to be played over five days starting on September 23.
Of the three North, Central and South Group winners, it is only the best two that will contest the final - and Somerset, on 76 points, will start the final round of fixtures five points better off than their closest rivals among the other seven teams which can still make it.
There will now be a 12-day break, however, before the final round of fixtures as the T20 Blast prepares for its late start in this Coivd-19 affected 2020 season.
The final round matches (September 6-9) are: North Group - Lancashire v Derbyshire (Aigburth), Notts v Durham, (Trent Bridge), Yorkshire v Leicestershire (Leeds); South Group - Essex v Middlesex (Chelmsford), Kent v Hampshire (Canterbury), Surrey v Sussex (The Oval); Central Group Glamorgan v Warwickshire (Cardiff), Gloucestershire v Northants (Bristol), Worcestershire v Somerset (Worcester)