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De Bruyn destroys Gladiators

Friends Life t20

Zander de Bruyn

Zander de Bruyn hit eight fours and five sixes in an unbeaten 95 as Somerset triumphed with seven balls to spare

Zander de Bruyn’s magnificent 95 not out guided Somerset Sabres to a six-wicket win over arch-rivals Gloucestershire Gladiators in the Friends Provident t20 at Taunton.

The visitors won the toss and posted an imposing 199 for eight, with Steve Snell making 50 and Hamish Marshall 45. There were three wickets each for Ben Phillips and Alfonso Thomas.

Somerset looked in trouble until Kieron Pollard, who hit 54, joined de Bruyn in a 106-run stand for the fourth wicket in only seven overs.

West Indian Pollard hit five towering sixes to help turn the match, but no-one hit harder than de Bruyn, who faced just 49 balls and smashed five sixes and eight fours to lead Somerset to victory with seven balls to spare.

It was a superb innings from a player more noted for textbook shots than murderous hitting and the partnership with Pollard will be long remembered for their clean striking of the ball.

Vikram Banerjee suffered more than most. The left-arm spinner went for 54 off four overs, while Anthony Ireland conceded the same figure off one ball fewer.

Earlier, Gloucestershire batted positively from the start of their innings and reached 61 for two by the end of their six overs of powerplay.

There was a moment of controversy when Alfonso Thomas dived to claim a caught-and-bowled chance offered by Will Porterfield on 18. The opener refused to walk and was given not out, adding six more to his score before being caught behind off Mark Turner.

Chris Taylor played well for his 29 and Marshall hit five fours and a six in facing 26 balls.

However, the best innings came from Snell, who smacked four sixes and three fours in a stunning 25-ball half-century.

Kadeer Ali added an unbeaten 17 off just seven balls at the end of the innings, with Somerset’s one moment of brilliance in the field came coming in the last over when Peter Trego dived full length to his left to hold a stunning catch at short third man to dismiss Snell.