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Kieswetter continues stellar form

Craig Kieswetter

Craig Kieswetter continues his fine form by hitting a half-century as Somerset beat Worcestershire with relative ease

Craig Kieswetter returned to the Somerset team with a half-century as the Group A leaders maintained their 100% Clydesdale Bank record with a 71-run win over Worcestershire at Bath.

A festival crowd of around 3,000, basking in hot sunshine, saw the England World Twenty20 hero hit 52, with three sixes and three fours, in a Somerset total of 235 for nine. Zander de Bruyn made 55 and Ben Phillips 51 not out, his first one-day half-century.

That proved too much for the Royals on an unpredictable pitch, as they subsided from 63 for one to 164 all out, Mark Turner taking a career best 4-36 from 7.4 overs.

Somerset have now won all five of their group matches, and already look hot favourites to reach the semi-finals.

Kieswetter received a warm ovation from spectators when opening the Somerset innings after they had lost the toss, and soon helped them make up for the early losses of Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton.

He shared a third-wicket stand of 86 with de Bruyn, and was soon demonstrating the clean hitting that had earned him the man-of-the-match award in the World Twenty20 final seven days earlier.

He eventually perished via a leading edge off Imran Arif to be caught at cover.

When the in-form James Hildreth followed for a duck and de Bruyn was caught behind having hit five fours and two sixes, Somerset were 125 for five.

Worcestershire continued to claim wickets, but the match was taken away from them by 34-year-old Phillips, who hammered seven fours and a six off just 34 balls.

Daryl Mitchell was the pick of the visitors' attack, with 2-30 from eight overs.

When Vikram Solanki fell to the first ball of the Worcestershire reply, a sharp lifter from Turner, their struggles in the competition looked set to continue.

Phil Jaques and Moeen Ali briefly raised hopes with a stand of 63, but once Jaques was well caught by Murali Kartik attempting to pull Turner, there was a steady procession of batsmen.

Peter Trego produced a delightful slower ball to york Alexei Kervezee for 19, and soon it was 141 for eight.

Although Somerset's victory was rarely in doubt, Kieswetter's glovework was nowhere near as impressive as his batting.