LAST week we began our look back at Somerset’s three consecutive runners-up finishes in the Twenty20 Cup (as the Blast was then known), between 2009 and 2011.

This week we focus on 2010, a year with the most extraordinary of finishes to the T20 final - an agonising finish if you were of the Somerset persuasion.

Unlike the year before, in which Somerset had squeezed into the knockout stages after placing third in their group, they topped the South Group standings with 11 wins from 16 matches.

Northamptonshire Steelbacks were seen off by seven wickets in the quarter-finals, with Craig Kieswetter (33) top scoring.

And so Somerset were off to another Finals Day on August 14; this year the venue was the Rose Bowl, Southampton, instead of Edgbaston.

Hampshire Royals defeated Essex in the first of the semi-finals, and then it was over to Somerset and Nottinghamshire Outlaws.

Somerset made 182-5, with England stars past and future Marcus Trescothick and Jos Buttler scoring 60 and 55 not out, respectively.

West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard added an unbeaten 22 alongside Buttler, and Notts had to chase a revised target of 152 off 16 overs.

They had made it to 117-4 from 13 overs when the rain arrived, and as no further play was possible, Somerset were awarded victory by just three runs, through the Duckworth Lewis method.

If that semi-final was close, that was nothing on the final, which was delayed by rain but was anything but a damp squib.

Again Somerset batted first, but this time skipper Trescothick could only make 19.

Kieswetter and Peter Trego stepped up, putting on 56 for the second wicket before Trego went for 33.

Kieswetter lasted until the 18th over, when he was the fourth man out, and his score of 71 had pushed Somerset on to 149.

In the search for late runs, Pollard smashed 22 off seven balls, but with three deliveries left and the total on 173 he was hit in the face by a ball from Dominic Cork.

The ball snuck between the grill and peak of Pollard’s helmet, hitting him in the eye, causing substantial swelling and forcing him to leave the field.

There was no further addition to Somerset’s score, and so Hampshire were set the task of overhauling 173-6.

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Royals openers Abdul Razzaq and Jimmy Adams put together a stand of 60 for the first wicket, before Trego accounted for Razzaq in the sixth over.

James Vince soon followed, and when Arul Suppiah bowled Jimmy Adams in the 10th over, Hampshire were on 84-3.

The pendulum swung again when Sean Ervine and Neil McKenzie added 79 runs together, leaving their side needing to score 30 off as many balls.

Enter Ben Phillips, who took two wickets in the penultimate over, which also saw a spilled catch, which would prove crucial in the final reckoning.

Hampshire required eight off the last over, which was bowled by Zander de Bruyn in Pollard’s absence, and two off the final ball after Dan Christian pulled a muscle taking a second run off the penultimate delivery.

De Bruyn bowled, appealed for lbw, but a leg bye was awarded.

That meant that the scores were tied on 173, but Hampshire took the title courtesy of having lost one fewer wicket in reaching that total.


FINALS Day ended in agony for Somerset once again in 2010, but one bright spot was the emergence of 19-year-old Buttler, who many observers agreed was one of the county’s brightest young prospects in recent years.

The man from Wedmore, who attended King’s College in Taunton, reflected: “Obviously the end result was disappointing for us as a team, but the experience of taking part in the T20 finals was just fantastic and something that I will never forget.

“I am obviously very pleased with the way that I batted against Notts in the semi-final and of course I had seen their bowlers on the television, whereas they had never seen me bat before.

“When I walked out there the side was five wickets down so I just needed to score runs and had nothing to lose.

“Taking singles and twos to get six or seven an over just wouldn’t have been enough so I tried some different things and they paid off for me.

“Kieron Pollard was a great help and kept me going during our partnership.

“He talked to me about when to target the bowlers and make sure I watched the ball and didn’t try too much.”

He added: “The experience was awesome and it’s something I want to be part of with the club again, hopefully this year.

“We were talking about the treble but had to settle for runners-up in the T20, which is a great achievement, and although we are disappointed now we will reflect in the next few months that it was a pretty good effort.

“In one-day cricket we now have to focus on the 40-over competition [the Clydesdale Bank 40] where we are doing very well, so hopefully a few more group wins will push us into the semi-finals and then the final at Lord’s.

“Maybe this time we’ll come back with the trophy.”

Somerset did indeed reach the final at Lord’s... but they finished as runners-up again, despite Nick Compton’s 60, as Warwickshire won by three wickets.

As for Buttler, he has gone from strength to strength since then; now 30, the man who left Somerset for Lancashire in 2014 has so far represented England in 47 Tests, 145 ODIs and 71 T20Is.