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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 July 2005, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
Somerset stun Twenty20 champions
Twenty20 Cup semi-final, The Oval: Somerset 157-9 beat Leicestershire 153-8 by four runs

Carl Gazzard
Somerset produced a remarkable comeback to reach the final of the Twenty20 Cup as Ian Blackwell stunned holders Leicestershire with a fine spell.

Batting first, Somerset produced a total of 157-9, no better than par on a wicket beginning to take some spin.

Leicestershire then got off to a superb start with the bat and it appeared they would face Lancashire in the final.

But Blackwell plucked out the top order in figures of 3-25 to get his team on top as the Foxes ended on 153-8.

Somerset elected to bat first after winning the toss and were going well early on under Graeme Smith, Matthew Wood and Marcus Trescothick, who all fell when well set.

It was really an appalling bit of batting from all of us
HD Ackerman
Leicestershire captain

A good platform at 89-1 disintegrated into a disastrous mess at 111-6 as Dinesh Mongia took 3-30 with his slow left-armers while the other spinner Jeremy Snape (2-18) was exceptionally difficult to score off.

It was left to youngsters Wes Durston and Carl Gazzard to get Somerset up to a score they could defend as they hit some late boundaries.

Leicestershire's reply was going beautifully while Darren Maddy (56) and HD Ackerman (19) added 74 for the first wicket.

But the introduction of Blackwell, bowling orthodox left-arm spin, changed everything.

He had Ackerman and Maddy smartly stumped and Mongia caught by Trescothick at long-on.

Dinesh Mongia took three wickets for Leicestershire
Dinesh Mongia took three wickets for the Foxes but they lost

Wickets continued to fall to leave Leicestershire in serious trouble at 124-6.

With 30 needed off 13 balls, Paul Nixon reverse-swept Durston for six.

But Richard Johnson, on his Twenty20 debut, took two wickets in the penultimate over to leave 17 wanted off the final over - and that was never going to be on the cards.

Foxes skipper Ackerman did not mince his words when summing up his team's batting effort.

He said: "It was really an appalling bit of batting from all of us.

"Our spinners did exactly what they have done all competition - they did brilliantly.

"Chasing 157 on a fantastic pitch like that we should doddle that but we chucked it away."


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