• Friends Life t20 round-up

Kieswetter carries Somerset past Northants

June 26, 2012
Craig Kieswetter smashed 51 off 35 balls

Craig Kieswetter's explosive half-century helped unbeaten Somerset to an easy seven-wicket win over a desperate Northamptonshire side in the Friends Life t20 at Wantage Road.

After being made to bat, the winless Steelbacks feebly made 115 for six - at one point going 62 balls without hitting a boundary - with Steve Kirby, George Dockrell and Arul Suppiah taking two wickets each.

Somerset reached their target with 38 deliveries to spare as England's limited overs wicketkeeper-batsman Kieswetter smashed 51 off 35 balls and South Africa international Richard Levi hammered 35 off just 18 deliveries.

Somerset did not have to wait long for a breakthrough after taking to the field when Kirby bowled Kyle Coetzer for nine in the second over.

Chaminda Vaas then departed for the same score when he gifted Kirby his second wicket by launching him high into the air and Nick Compton waited underneath it at point to take the catch.

Cameron White fell on 14 when he smashed Ireland spinner Dockrell to Jos Buttler at deep extra cover. Rob White then threw his wicket away by chipping Dockrell straight to Somerset captain Alfonso Thomas at short extra cover.

Steelbacks captain Alex Wakely eventually perished after crawling to 34 off 43 balls when he was stumped by Kieswetter off Suppiah. Kieswetter then repeated the trick two Suppiah deliveries later to dismiss David Willey as it took the hosts until the penultimate over to reach 100.

Chasing a meagre 116, Somerset got off to a terrific start as Levi bludgeoned four huge sixes during the powerplay with the visitors halfway towards their target by the end of it.

Levi had departed by then, however, when he smashed fellow South African Con de Lange to Coetzer at deep midwicket to end an opening partnership with Kieswetter of 61.

Kieswetter hung around to go past 50 off just 33 balls with a four through extra cover off Oliver Stone but he walked when he was bowled by de Lange in the 11th over.

De Lange, who finished with figures of 3-22 then trapped Peter Trego lbw for eight before the match came to a farcical end with the winning run coming from a James Middlebrook wide.

Meanwhile, Kent lost four wickets in four balls as they collapsed to a 48-run defeat in their Friends Life t20 clash with Middlesex at Canterbury.

Joe Denly (90no off 66) came back to haunt his former club as Middlesex piled up 207-2, but Kent looked well placed to overhaul them on 120-2 before their innings rapidly subsided.

Sam Billings (43 off 29) and Sam Northeast (60 off 43) had put on a quickfire 90 for the first wicket in the Kent reply. Billings and Darren Stevens (1) fell in quick succession but Kent were still in the game on 120-2 when the extraordinary collapse took place.

Northeast and Azhar Mahmood (13) fell in consecutive balls, Matt Coles picked out Tom Smith off Paul Stirling from his first ball, and then the hapless Alex Blake was run out without facing a ball.

Kent could only reach 159-7, well short of the Middlesex effort led by Denly, who batted all 20 overs for his 90no. He and opening partner Stirling (who hit a brilliant 63 off 37 balls) put on 127 in 71 balls.

There was also a terrific cameo from England batsman Eoin Morgan, who scored 36 off 18 balls, including three sixes.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.