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Trescothick seizes the initiative

Friends Life t20

Marcus Trescothick

Marcus Trescothick went after Middlesex's attack with a blistering assault on the legendarily friendly surface at Taunton

Marcus Trescothick blasted 83 off 38 balls to lead Somerset Sabres to a 79-run Friends Provident t20 win over Middlesex Panthers at Taunton.

A 7,000-strong crowd saw the former England opener smash 11 fours and 4 sixes as his side ran up 204 for five after losing the toss. James Hildreth hit 48 and there were two wickets each for Owais Shah and Tom Smith.

In reply, Middlesex were never up with the required rate as their former player Murali Kartik claimed 3-37 to check their progress. Jackson Thompson top-scored with 32 and the visitors slumped to 125 all out in 17.4 overs.

Mark Turner returned 2-23 from four overs and Kieron Pollard 2-20 from 2.4.

Somerset’s lively fielding was characterised by a brilliant running catch taken by Alfonso Thomas, racing in from long-on to dismiss Gareth Berg.

Opener Thompson hit six fours in his 22-ball innings, while Shah offered brief hope with 26 off 15 deliveries before being stumped off Kartik, departing with an exchange of words with Somerset’s celebrating players.

Earlier, Trescothick had been clearly intent on making up for lost time in a competition which had previously seen him average less than 18. His first scoring shot was a six over extra cover off the opening over sent down by Tim Murtagh.

Further sixes followed off Pedro Collins, Smith and Shah as, after the early loss of Nick Compton, Trescothick and Hildreth added 108 in eight overs of sparkling strokeplay.

Somerset were flying along at 11 an over when Shah interrupted their progress by having Trescothick caught at deep-square leg sweeping and Pollard taken at mid-on off a skier, having made only a single.

Zander de Bruyn was bowled by left-arm spinner Smith and Hildreth followed having hit seven fours in a fluent 35-ball innings.

Jos Buttler and Arul Suppiah saw Somerset past 200, but it was not as big a score as looked likely when Trescothick and Hildreth were in full flow.

The result left Somerset with 14 points from 11 South Division games and still well positioned for a quarter-final place.

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