Somerset v Glamorgan – Natwest T20 Blast at 17:30 live on Sky Sports 2
The South Group of the T20 Blast takes centre stage in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Wednesday night, as Glamorgan take the short drive across the Severn Bridge to play Somerset down in Taunton. The Welsh outfit have started this seasons Blast in impressive fashion with three wins from four, whereas the hosts have bounced back from two early defeats with two wins. With both those wins coming at home, Somerset will be keen to continue that 100% home record with a third straight win here.
Weather is looking touch-and-go in Taunton on Wednesday night with a 40% chance of rain during the late afternoon / early evening. We should get a completed match in, it’s just a case of whether or not it will be a reduced overs affair.
It’s no secret that Taunton is a ground where bat rules ball. A flat pitch with true bounce, coupled in with much smaller than average boundaries means this is one of the highest scoring grounds used in the T20 Blast. First innings scores of 178 and 186 made in this year’s edition have been chased down with relative ease – this isn’t an easy ground to defend. Here’s recent year’s first innings scores at Taunton –
2016 – 178, 186 – Average 182
2015 – 174, 170, 167, 222, 175 – Average 181
Somerset aren’t a big bat first side, so their last 8 first innings scores go back into 2014 –
197, 174, 159, 183, 136, 175, 155, 150 – Average 166
And here are Glamorgan’s last 8 attempts when batting first –
140, 179, 164, 181, 170, 115, 191, 169 – Average 163
Any side that contains Mr T20, Chris Gayle, has to be respected. Gayle opens the batting for Somerset and looks to be in fine form despite just 85 runs in his first 3 innings this season. Last time out he smashed Surrey for 31 off 13 balls (including 4 sixes!) to ensure a comfortable run chase ensued. Jim Allenby leads the side from the front and is the counties top scorer so far with 129 runs scored at an average of 43. Experienced Peter Trego is more a batsman than an all-rounder nowadays with a batting SR of 171 this season, whilst Johann Myburgh came into the side with a match winning 86* off 53 balls last time out. Things aren’t going so well with the ball with no Somerset bowler taking more than four wickets yet. Yasir Arafat has 279 career T20 wickets and leads a bowling attack with contains the exciting Overton twins, Jamie and Craig, who are fledgling in their development. Little leg-spinner Max Waller holds his own with the ball; a career T20 economy rate of 7.3 in 70 matches is eye-catching for someone that bowls half his overs at Taunton.
Glamorgan are led by South African Jacques Rudolph, who has been strangely quiet so far this campaign with contributions of 34*, 2, 1 and 16. The runs have come from Ingram (below) and 19 year-old Aneurin Donald, who has contributed an impressive 167 runs in his second season as a professional, with a SR of 145. Two not outs in four innings points towards an old head on young shoulders. Glamorgan have four bowlers to have already taken five wickets or more, with 38 year-old left-arm spinner Dean Cosker the standout performer. The canny adopted Welshman has gone at just 6.1 runs per over this year, taking 6 wickets in the process. The seam attack is as impressive as it gets – Michael Hogan has best figures of 4/28 this year, Dutchman Tim van der Gugten has a 4/14 to his name whilst South African overseas star Dale Steyn a 3/22 – no wonder Glamorgan are 3 wins from 4.
Former South African-turned Netherlands international Roelof van der Merwe might be having a quiet time with the ball (1 wicket in 4 matches) but with the bat, he is excelling. High scores of 59 against Sussex and 39* against Surrey have helped dispel the theory that Somerset are too reliant on Gayle to deliver match winning displays with the bat. 137 career T20 wickets at 23.9 apiece and an economy rate of just 7.1 suggests better results are around the corner with the ball as well.
Colin Ingram is one of those unfashionable overseas stars that gets on with his business of run scoring without fuss. Last year saw the left-hander finish second on Glamorgan’s top run scorers list with 376 runs scored at a SR of 149. This year he’s at it again, having already hit 9 sixes in his 144 runs made to date.
Whoever bats first I recommend taking any OVER RUNS around the 171-174 mark.
Top Batsman Market
As indicated in the Teams section above, Johann Myburgh looked in great touch in his match winning 80-odd last time out. He looks the value at 5.50 to top score for Somerset here.
Jacques Rudolph top scored in his sides first match of the campaign but has been quiet since. A weak Somerset attack should provide a chance for the 4.0 shot to regain form here and top score for his Glamorgan side.
Prices correct at time of writing.
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