Buttler polishes off Lancashire
Jos Buttler produced another innings of huge promise as Somerset maintained their 100% record in the Clydesdale Bank 40 with a crushing 115-run win over Lancashire at Taunton.
The England Under-19 batsman hit an unbeaten 64 off 37 balls to help the hosts post 245 for four after winning the toss. The consistently excellent James Hildreth made 72 not out and Nick Compton 59.
Lancashire never looked remotely capable of reaching their target on a turning pitch as they suffered a sixth defeat in 10 group games. Murali Kartik returned 4-30 as they were bowled out for just 130 with 10.2 overs unused.
Buttler, who made a big impact at Friends Provident t20 finals day on Saturday, produced the cleanest striking of the match, sharing an unbroken stand of 98 with Hildreth as he hit seven fours and two sixes.
Hildreth managed six fours in a 71-ball innings that took his aggregate of runs in eight Group A matches to 439 at an average of 109.75.
Craig Kieswetter had fallen early and Marcus Trescothick made only five by the eighth over, which saw him dropped at cover and then superbly caught next ball by Gary Keedy running towards the boundary at mid-on off Tom Smith.
By the end of the 15th over Somerset were becalmed on 66 for two. They then lost Zander de Bruyn for 25, top-edging a sweep off Keedy to wicketkeeper Luke Sutton.
Compton was forced to be watchful and hit only two boundaries in bringing up his fifty off 59 balls as the total progressed to 130 for three. He then attempted a scoop shot off Luke Procter and only succeeded in giving a simple catch to Gary Montgomery.
Somerset took their batting power play at 167 for four in the 34th over as Buttler joined Hildreth in cutting loose. They scored 47 off the following four overs in swashbuckling style.
Those efforts were made to look even more praiseworthy when Lancashire replied. Alfonso Thomas removed Tom Smith and Ben Phillips accounted for Steven Croft and Kyle Brown as the visitors slumped to 23 for three.
But it was the introduction of Kartik for the 14th over that ended any doubt about the outcome. Extracting plenty of turn, he bowled Paul Horton, sweeping, behind his legs with his fourth ball to make it 64 for four.
Leg-spinner Max Waller also enjoyed the surface and bowled Gareth Cross with a googly before Kartik pinned Procter lbw. At 73 for six the Lancashire innings was in disarray and there was no way back as Kartik continued to weave his magic.