Buttler steers Somerset to victory
Jos Buttler's unbeaten 58 saw Somerset clinch a thrilling five-wicket win over Northamptonshire with one ball to spare in the Friends Life t20 Midlands/Wales/West Group match at Taunton.
Buttler, included in England’s squad for the NatWest International T20 with West Indies, produced two scooped fours off the last two balls of the penultimate over to reach a brilliant half-century from 36 deliveries.
Northants had posted 137 for five after winning the toss, Cameron White hitting 47 not out and David Willey an unbeaten 30 as George Dockrell was the pick of the Somerset bowlers with 2-17.
The visitors defended the total tenaciously, with James Middlebrook and Jack Brooks taking two wickets each but could not contain Buttler, who received valuable support from Arul Suppiah at the death.
The result gave the hosts five points from their first three games as they attempt another strong challenge in the competition.
Even without overseas recruits Richard Levi and Albie Morkel, back home representing South Africa in an unofficial T20 tri-series in Zimbabwe, Somerset were impressive, particularly in the field.
They were rewarded for their decision to use spin in the opening powerplay.
Dockrell was introduced for the third over and soon had Kyle Coetzer caught at cover.
That encouraged skipper Alfonso Thomas to employ Suppiah's left-arm spin and he quickly accepted a return catch off Rob Newton to make it 24 for two.
There was then an all-Irish wicket as Niall O'Brien was caught by brother Kevin attempting to reverse-sweep Dockrell.
Alex Wakely edged a catch behind off leg-spinner Max Waller and out-of-touch Con de Lange was caught at long-on off Kevin O'Brien's first delivery.
White and Willey were forced to exercise some caution and, while White did his best to bolster the innings, he was only able to find the boundary three times.
Somerset almost misjudged the pace of their reply and looked in trouble when 29 were needed off the last three overs.
But that presented no problem to the hugely talented Buttler.