Taylor makes instant impact
Jack Taylor marked his Friends Life t20 debut with 4-16 and a rapid 38 as Gloucestershire upset the form book with a two-wicket win over Somerset at Bristol.
The 19-year-old off-spinner included big-hitting West Indian Kieron Pollard among his victims as the visitors were restricted to 121 for nine after winning the toss.
Marcus Trescothick top-scored with 28, while David Payne took 2-4 from two frugal overs.
In reply, the Gladiators reached their target with three balls to spare on the back of Taylor’s 28-ball innings, despite Lewis Gregory’s 4-15 for Somerset.
It was Taylor's night. By the time he was run out having guided Gloucestershire from a perilous 75 for five, only 12 runs were needed.
The game was all but settled in the penultimate over when Muttiah Muralitharan hit Steve Kirby for two, followed by an edged four, leaving only four to get off the last over.
Pollard should have run out Richard Coughtrie off the second ball, but missed all three stumps from 10 yards in his follow-through. His next delivery was a full toss, deposited over mid-off by Coughtrie for the winning runs.
Ian Cockbain and Chris Taylor, with 19 and 18 respectively, also made important contributions for Gloucestershire after they had slipped to 18 for three.
Earlier, Payne put Somerset under pressure by dismissing openers Peter Trego and Trescothick, who struck four fours and a six off 17 balls.
Muralitharan helped tie down the middle order with 1-20 from four overs, but he had to play second fiddle to Taylor, who had James Hildreth caught at deep midwicket on the sweep, yorked Pollard for 15 and also sent back Jos Buttler and Gregory.
Arul Suppiah did his best to boost Somerset's total with 23, but he could take few chances and fell in the final over.
While their total looked below par, a low-scoring game ultimately provided a thrilling finish for a large crowd.
Somerset slipped four points behind South Group leaders Hampshire, who beat Middlesex tonight, while victory for the hosts – only their third of the competition – kept alive their slim chances of reaching the quarter-finals.