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|RE Van Der Merwe||4.0||0||43||0||10.75|
The top-half of South Group's points table of Vitality T20 Blast is panning out in a rather interesting manner with as many as four teams still in the hunt to qualify for the playoffs. It's only Somerset and Gloucestershire that have qualified and while it could be an encounter of no major interest for Somerset, Kent would have everything to play for in their next. The two teams meet each other on 16th August at Canterbury. Unless they want to leave things till their last match, the Spitfires will be itching to go out on the field and score a win here. They'll then move to 18 points and will have a confirmed spot in the playoffs. Somerset are already in and would not like to part with the momentum they have with playoffs coming closer.
The Spitfires have perhaps been the unluckiest of all the sides in the competition as four of their matches were washed out due to rain. They've still managed to stay in the third spot with six wins in eight completed games, which is a commendable effort. They survived a last-over finish in their last match, against Middlesex, while chasing a tall-total.
Alex Blake had a performance to remember against Middlesex as he held his nerve to chase down the target in the last over. Although it was a decent batting surface, Middlesex did well to get to 191 against accurate Spitfires' bowlers.
Spitfires didn't get off to a start they were after as they lost Joe Denly for a personal score of four in the opening over. Heino Kuhn and Daniel Bell-Drummond combined extremely well to take the attack to the opposition completing the team's fifty in just 4.1 overs. With small, but quick and important cameos from everyone else in the batting order, the equation was reduced to 40 needed off 18 deliveries which was eventually achieved, thanks to Blakes 57 from 27 balls and Bell-Drummond's enterprising innings of 62.
Joe Denly, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn, Sam Billings, Alex Blake, Sean Dickson, Grant Stewart, Calum Haggett, Adam Milne, Mitchell Claydon, Imran Qayyum.
Somerset became the first team in South Group to qualify for the knockouts, thanks to brilliant counter-attacking innings by Corey Anderson. Max Waller picked up four wickets thereafter to ensure the targets stays outside the reach of Glamorgan's reach. It was their seventh consecutive win and they'll be looking to keep the momentum going for them.
At the halfway stage through their innings, Somerset never looked like getting to even 180, let alone 210, but Anderson and Hildreth combined in an important partnership which propelled Somerset into a match-winning position. Corey Anderson scored 72 runs off just 30 deliveries as Somerset added 124 runs in nine overs after Abell was dismissed. However, despite Anderson's knock, the vulnerabilities in their top-order were clearly highlighted by Glamorgan's bowling.
Their bowlers never allowed Glamorgan to get going as Waller rocked their chase by getting Donald and Ingram within the three overs into their innings. Taylor also bowled well as he returned with the figures of 4-0-30-2. Overton and Gregory were a tad expensive and Roelof van der Merwe failed to dismiss any batsman. They struggled to pick wickets in the middle-overs and death-overs as Glamorgan succeeded to get to 181 despite being six down for just 94 runs on the board.
JG Myburgh, SM Davies, PD Trego, JC Hildreth, TB Abell, Corey Anderson, Lewis Gregory, RE Van Der Merwe, Jamie Overton, MTC Waller, Jerome Taylor.
While Somerset will be looking to keep their winning streak intact, Kent are certainly going to go hard at them with everything to play for. Kent have been one of the best teams in their group winning six out of their eight completed games. Playing at home could play to Kent's advantage and with a match-winning top-order coupled with the motivation to qualify for the playoffs, they are well placed to win the upcoming encounter and end Somerset's winning streak to progress into the playoffs.
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