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|RE Van Der Merwe||4.0||0||35||0||8.75|
We are almost halfway through in the Vitality T20 Blast, and the points table in the South Group of the competition is not even remotely close to what it was like almost a week ago. While Kent Spitfires have managed to maintain their dominance after a terrific start, things haven't been the same for Somerset and Surrey. Somerset started their campaign with a superb win over Glamorgan in a high-scoring match, but haven't appeared to be the same in any of their subsequent fixtures. Just like Somerset, Surrey, too, are coming into the game with only one win behind them. The two sides are set to lock horns at The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton on Friday, 2nd August.
Somerset have played four games in the competition and barring their first encounter, which was against Glamorgan, they haven't looked convincing at all. They are currently placed second from the bottom with two points to their name with a net run-rate of -0.535.
In their last encounter, against Sussex, but only during specific periods. Chasing a total of 184 runs, Somerset got off to a flying start with Tom Banton, and Babar Azam got them off to a superb start. However, they couldn't keep the momentum going after the dismissal of Babar Azam; they couldn't keep up with the required run-rate as they lost the match by thirteen runs.
Earlier with the ball, they started well as they picked up Philip Salt and Luke Wright, two the Sussex's best batsmen, inside the powerplay, but they allowed their remaining batsmen to settle down. Even though they pulled things back in the death overs, Sussex ended up scoring 184 which proved to be too much to handle for Somerset.
Babar Azam, Tom Banton, JC Hildreth, TB Abell, EJ Byrom, Tom Lammonby, RE Van Der Merwe, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Jerome Taylor, MTC Waller.
Just like Somerset, Surrey are languishing in the bottom half of the table, fourth from the bottom, with one win from five matches. They've also tied a game in between which resulted in shared points between the two sides.
In their previous fixture, they were defeat by Mohammad Nabi's innings who scored 12-ball 43* in a shortened match. Batting first, Surrey scored 54 for 4 in seven overs in a game that was shortened due rain. Barring Aaron Finch, none of their batsmen could get going, and they could score only 54 runs off seven overs.
They needed something spectacular to defend the total, and even though they got rid off Daniel Bell Drummond in the first over, they could not sustain the pressure. All three of their bowlers, Imran Tahir, Curran, and Rikki Clarke, gave away plenty in their overs as Kent chased down their total in just four overs.
Aaron Finch, Will Jacks, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes, Jamie Smith, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Jordan Clark, Rikki Clarke, Gareth Batty, Imran Tahir.
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It's been a similar sort of tournament for both the sides, and there's hardly anything to separate between the two sides. Somerset have a superb team, but the lack of support from anyone other than their top two has cost them big time. Surrey, on the other hand, have done reasonably well up until now and going by the performance in their recent matches and on-paper balance, Surrey are better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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