Buttler delivers Somerset win
Jos Buttler smashed an unbeaten 72 from 45 balls as Somerset strengthened their chances of reaching the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals with a 15-run win over Gloucestershire at Taunton.
A sell-out crowd saw the hosts, who sit second in the South Group, slip to 40 for three after losing the toss before Buttler, who hit three sixes and six fours, added 57 in 7.4 overs with James Hildreth, who made 34.
Kieron Pollard then clubbed 31 not out to help put on a further 73 in 6.3 overs in a total of 170 for four.
David Payne, who dismissed Marcus Trescothick second ball, was the pick of the Gladiators' bowlers with 2-27.
In reply, Gloucestershire were going well on 114 for two after 14 overs, Kevin O’Brien having made 34. But Hamish Marshall fell for 54 in the closing overs as the visitors collapsed to 155 for nine, with Murali Kartik taking two top-order wickets.
O’Brien and Marshall had put on 51 for the first wicket in just five overs. O’Brien hit five fours and a six in facing just 18 balls, while Marshall went on to face 44 deliveries, hitting five fours.
It was spinners Kartik and Arul Suppiah who swung the game Somerset’s way, both extracting plenty of turn from the pitch.
Pollard did his bit with 3-25 from four overs, and Lewis Gregory claimed three catches, two wickets plus a run-out.
Earlier, Buttler and Hildreth had been content to milk singles and twos as they launched Somerset’s recovery.
But once Hildreth was caught behind off Jack Taylor, having faced 35 balls, Buttler went on the attack in devastating style.
The 20-year-old has not been in the best of form this season, but that did not show as he struck the ball sweetly.
Pollard would have been run out when he had made only a single had wicketkeeper Richard Coughtrie not dislodged the stumps before Marshall’s throw reached him.
The big West Indian went on to strike one ball from Muttiah Muralitharan over long-on into the River Tone to the delight of a 7,000 crowd, who were able to celebrate a home success.