About the Match
Going almost neck-and-neck in the tournament, Hampshire and Somerset clash on 26th July at Taunton, Somerset's home ground. Hampshire and Somerset stand at the 4th and 5th spot with 7 and 6 points respectively. Taunton is a small ground with excellent batting conditions and as was the case last time, we expect batsmen to feast on the conditions.
Somerset's start to the tournament wasn't amusing for their fans. However, the way they've bounced back into the competition has certainly raised a lot many eyebrows. After losing three of their first three matches, they're yet to be defeated as far as their run from their last three matches is concerned.
In a rain curtailed game against Middlesex, James Hildreth bettered Eoin Morgan's fifty to guide his team to victory. He scored quick 63 with ample support from Lewis Gregory who helped Somerset get off to a flying start. Despite a quick start, Somerset kept losing wickets and at one stage were 46-3 when James Hildreth counter-attack began. He smashed 63 off just 34 deliveries before getting out in 13th over. Roelof van der Merwe and Corey Anderson ensured the win with an unbeaten 36 runs stand.
Somerset have bounced back beautifully into the competition and are looking to be one of the toughest team to beat. They've scored quickly in their last few games and they'd need their batsmen as well as their bowlers to do well in this upcoming fixture too.
Exactly opposite to how Somerset's fate has been, Hampshire started off the tournament on a positive note, but have lost the plot in their last few matches. They haven't been on the winning side for the last three games, one of which was washed out due to rain.
In their last to the last match, against Essex, they failed to do well in both bowling and batting and lost the match by seven wickets. Batting first, Hampshire could score only 124 runs in 20 overs with no batsmen going on to score big. Their best batsmen for the day were James Vince and Michael Carberry who scored 29 and 30 respectively.
Defending such a low total wasn't going to be easy for bowlers and hence it proved. They had similar sort of outing in their match prior to this where they could score only 126 against Sussex. Hampshire have the services of the veterans in Shahid Afridi and George Bailey, but their out of form display is hurting their chances. For them to make a mark in their upcoming fixtures, it is imperative that at least one those regains the lost touch they had a few matches ago.
While one team is coming off a brilliant run of form, the other one has lost the plot after starting on the tournament in a flying fashion. Hampshire will have to find a way to score big if they have to challenge Somerset's batsmen. Somerset is playing at home and considering the way they've gone about their business in the last couple of games, Taunton's conditions, and small dimensions will suit them. Somerset go in as favorites to win this upcoming encounter.