A Look Back: Hampshire's T20 History Against Somerset

Ahead of Hampshire Hawks facing Somerset in the first semi-final at Vitality Blast Finals Day this Saturday, we’ve taken a look back at previous meetings of the two southern counties in T20s

Hampshire Hawks have qualified for Vitality Blast Finals Day - taking place this Saturday at Edgbaston - where the Hawks will face Somerset in the first semi-final to kick-off Finals Day.

Hampshire Cricket's Historian, Dave Allen, looks back at previous T20 encounters between the two counties. 

In the T20’s 19th year, the qualifying rounds of the T20 competition remain a regional tournament which then becomes national from the quarter-finals, followed by Finals Day. Oddly however this year Finals Day is entirely a southern affair – to the great delight of Sky commentator Rob Key who insisted this demonstrates the relative strength of the south’s T20 counties.

It means therefore that the four Finals teams know each other very well, with Hampshire meeting Somerset first, a team they have played 21 times in those 19 years and if at last they finally progress to an Edgbaston Final after five unsuccessful attempts, they will face either Kent who they have played 32 times or Sussex (36) – the only side they have played more often is Essex (37 games).

By contrast Hampshire have never played against Leicestershire – three times T20 winners – and only once against Derbyshire, Durham, Northants, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire; they won each of those ‘one-offs’ except Northants who beat them in a quarter-final in 2009.

Somerset have had the better of games against us, although we did of course beat them in the thrilling Final of 2010; they have won 12 of the meetings to our seven with one abandoned and one tied. A second (D/L) tie occurred in a semi-final in 2011 but Somerset then won the first-ever ‘Super Over’ conclusively. We met them for a third consecutive year in Finals Day at Cardiff in 2012, beat them by six wickets and went on to win the Trophy against Yorkshire.

In the years before the T20 we had a few valuable victories in the longer one-day knock out competitions including a 149-run victory in a Nat West Quarter-Final in 1985, a round two victory three years later by five wickets and most significantly a win by six wickets in the B&H semi-final of 1992 (Paul Terry 89*, Cardigan Connor 4-52) which led to a Lord’s Final and another trophy. Most recently of course we lost to them in the (to date) last Lord’s Final in 2019.

One of our strangest T20 records against Somerset is that our highest total is 216-5 at Taunton eleven years ago, but it was not enough to win the game because Somerset reached 220-4 with two overs to spare – it is their record against us. Our highest individual innings against them is 85 by Tom Alsop (The Ageas Bowl, 2016) and our best bowling 5-17 by Liam Dawson in the same match. Liam’s figures are our third best overall in T20 and on that occasion we enjoyed a big victory, posting 181-3 and dismissing the visitors for just 98 in 15.2 overs. A repeat in the forthcoming semi-final would be welcome.

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