SOMERSET'S first, last and so far only T20 title came in 2005, and the last two seasons have seen them edged out at the group stage.

The closest they came to landing a second title was in a three-year sequence between 2009 and 2011, when they reached three consecutive finals.

Over the next three weeks we are dipping into our archives to look back on those finals, starting with 2009's showdown with Sussex Sharks at Edgbaston.

Somerset Sabres (as they were then known) progressed to the knockout stages that year by finishing third in the Midlands/Wales/West Division, behind Northamptonshire Steelbacks and Warwickshire Bears.

The quarter-final away to Lancashire Lightning became something of a farce, with rain preventing play on July 28, 29 and 30.

The solution was a 'bowl-out' - which Somerset captain Justin Langer compared to the tension of a penalty shoot-out, describing it as "a little bit of a lottery" - and the visitors won 5-1.

Alfonso Thomas hit the unguarded stumps twice for the Sabres, with Peter Trego, Charl Willoughby and Ben Phillips on target once apiece.

Steven Cheetham was the only Lancastrian to hit the stumps, with VVS Laxman, Stephen Parry and Mark Chilton all missing.

Unorthodox their win might have been, but Somerset were off to Finals Day on August 15.

Sussex defeated Northamptonshire by seven wickets in the first semi-final, so awaited the winners of the second match - Somerset v Kent Spitfires - in the final.

Again seven wickets was the margin of victory, as Somerset chased down Kent's 145-4 for the loss of three wickets, with more than an over to spare.

That was in large part thanks to 56 off just 32 balls from Marcus Trescothick and 36 from James Hildreth.

Yeovil Express:

TOP SCORER: Somerset's Marcus Trescothick

Having won the toss in that semi-final, Australian Langer repeated the trick and asked Sussex to bat first in the final.

Willoughby made the early breakthrough the Sabres were looking for when he had Murray Goodwin caught behind by Craig Kieswetter with the score on 16.

Kieswetter then helped run out Luke Wright, before Max Waller and Trego reduced the Sharks to 80-4.

Dwayne Smith counter-attacked, striking 59 off 26 balls before being stumped off Waller, and so the score was 126-6 when Chris Nash and Yasir Arafat came together.

The pair stayed together until the last ball, when Nash (28) was bowled by Thomas, and Sussex closed on 172-7, with Arafat unbeaten on 20.

An imposing total it may have been, but there was little sign of the disaster to come as Somerset's run chase got off to a flying start.

Trescothick thumped two sixes and a four off the third over of the innings, but in going for another big hit in the next over, he holed out to deep cover off James Kirtley.

Still, the Somerset vice-captain's 33 off 15 balls looked to have laid a good platform, and Langer brought up the 50 with a four off Arafat in the sixth over.

The skipper was clean bowled next ball, however, and the Sussex bowlers restricted their opponents to just 11 runs from three overs, during which Hildreth fell with the score on 57.

At the halfway point Somerset had 65-4 and needed 118 to win off 60 balls, but just as the game looked to be slipping away, Trego helped them score 19 off the 14th over.

He was caught off Rory Hamilton Brown for 27 (off 14 balls), though, and the Sabres required 66 runs to win off the final 30 balls.

Time was running out and the Sabres succumbed to the pressure, tumbling from 104-4 to 109 all out by losing their last six wickets for a mere five runs.

Reflecting on the defeat, Langer said: "We didn't bowl as well as we did in the first game and they probably got a few too many runs.

"It was a bit different batting under lights because the ball spun a bit.

“But I am very proud of Somerset. They have done really well all year.

"We lost the Friends Provident quarter-final to Sussex, we have done well in the Pro40 and we have done well in this competition.

“We have done better than last year and that is all you can ask."

Trescothick added: "It was a very entertaining day, like the finals day always is.

“But it was disappointing that we got so close and yet in the end so far away.

"We were outplayed in the middle part of the game.

“I enjoyed my batting in both games, but didn’t really do quite enough in the second one to get us into a good position."