Online Desk :
New Zealand’s Matt Henry and Ish Sodhi took seven wickets between them as Somerset beat Essex by 14 runs to win English cricket’s Twenty20 Blast final at Edgbaston on Saturday.
With southwest side Somerset defending a relatively modest total of 145, paceman Henry led the attack with 4-24 from 3.3 overs, while leg-spinner Sodhi took 3-22 from his maximum four overs as Essex were dismissed for 131 with nine balls to spare.
Adam Rossington and Dan Lawrence made a rapid start to Essex’s pursuit of a target of 146 only for Henry to dismiss both batsmen before bowling Michael Pepper with an excellent delivery.
Essex were struggling at 55-5 and were 80-6 when Sodhi bowled Paul Walter.
Daniel Sams, however, threatened to win the game off his own bat for Essex with a rapid 45 off 26 balls.
But just when the east of London club were eyeing a remarkable victory, Sams slashed Henry towards third man for what looked like another boundary only to be brilliantly caught one-handed by a diving Tom Kohler-Cadmore as Somerset won their first Blast title in 18 years.
“[It feels] pretty damn good, I’ve been to finals day many, many times, and this is a special feeling to get over the line tonight,” Somerset captain Lewis Gregory told Sky Sports.
Essex skipper Simon Harmer said: “At the end of the day we were outplayed. I think they (Somerset) bowled exceptionally. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s a loser and that’s us tonight.”
Earlier on finals day in Birmingham, Somerset beat Surrey by 24 runs in their semi-final while Essex defeated defending champions Hampshire by five wickets under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method for rain-affected matches.