BIG-HITTING Corey Anderson propelled Somerset to a 32-run victory over Sussex on the DLS Method in a rain-affected NatWest T20 Blast South Group contest at Taunton.
Put into bat in a match reduced to eight overs-a-side, Somerset posted a competitive 102-3, courtesy of Anderson’s forthright innings of 41 not out from 17 balls. Required to chase down a revised target of 104 to win, Sussex failed to recover from the loss of early wickets and came up short at 71-4, despite a gutsy unbeaten 42 from Stiaan van Zyl. Unhappy at the decision made by umpires Stephen Gale and Jeremy Lloyds to play on in steady rain, Sussex captain Ross Taylor declined an invitation to speak to the media. Burly New Zealander Anderson arrived in the middle with Somerset on 27-1 in the third over and immediately took England paceman Chris Jordan to task, hoisting his first delivery back over his head for a massive six. When Jordan returned at the other end to send down the seventh over, Anderson greeted him with another huge straight six, much to thge delight of a near-full-house audience.. Somerset’s overseas hired hand dominated stands of 36 and 35 with Steve Davies and Roelof van der Merve for the second and third wickets respectively, accruing a quartet of fours and three sixes into the bargain. George Garton did his utmost to keep the scoring in check, the Sharks seamer inducing opener Lewis Gregory and van der Merve to hole out to deep mid-wicket. But Anderson remained at large to ensure the home side realised three figures, with van der Merve contributing a valuable 16 from 11 balls. Somerset struck an early blow when Chris Nash hoisted a length ball from Craig Overton to Gregory at deep backward point with the score on nine. Stiaan van Zyl and Laurie Evans did their best to keep up with the rate in pouring rain, only for the hosts to turn the screw. Sussex needed a further 79 off five overs at 15.8 an over when leg spinner Max Waller entered the attack and changed the complexion of the game. Electing to bowl medium pace in slippery conditions, Waller had Evans stumped by Davies for five off his first delivery and then pinned Sharks skipper Ross Taylor for one later in the same over as the visitors lurched to 27-3. South African van der Merve kept things tight at the other end to ramp up the pressure on Wiese and Van Zyl, who struggled to get the ball off the square as conditions worsened. Waller continued to cause problems for the batsmen, deploying clever variations of pace to keep a lid on things and leave Sussex requiring a notional 60 off 12 balls to win. Having returned impressive figures of 2-13 from two overs, Waller then held a catch at long-on as Wiesse perished at the hands of Overton. Van Zyl summoned defiance aplenty in an innings of 42 not out from 22 balls, but he lacked the support needed to make a game of it. The Cape Town-born all-rounder helped himself to 3 fours and 3 sixes in a losing cause. A third successive home win moved Somerset, who now have 10 points from nine games, into a share of second place in the South Group, two points behind leaders Glamorgan.