GLOUCESTERSHIRE completed a T20 double over Somerset on Thursday, winning back-to-back pre-season games at the Bristol County Ground against their West Country rivals.

Tom Abell, Tom Banton, Will Smeed, Max Waller and Sam Young came into the Somerset team for the first match, with the visitors winning the toss and opting to field.

Gloucestershire's openers made their way to 35 before Craig Overton secured the breakthrough, bowling George Hankins (16), and Roelof van der Merwe trapped Ian Cockbain (2) lbw soon after.

James Bracey (3) fell to Lewis Goldsworthy as the hosts' middle order wobbled, and Abell secured the prize wicket of Chris Dent (38) for 63-4.

Ryan Higgins (6) and Jack Taylor (2) followed, to leave the home side on 74-6, only for the lower order to stage what would prove a match-winning recovery.

Benny Howell led the way with 35, as Graeme van Buuren added 22 and Matt Taylor 21*, and Gloucestershire finished on 172-8 from their 20 overs.

Goldsworthy finished with 2-23 off three overs, Van der Merwe 2-27 off four and Abell a tidy 1-7 off two.

In reply, Somerset lost Banton - back following his positive Covid-19 test and return from Pakistan - for just four runs, and when Tom Lammonby (13) and Sam Young (25) followed the visitors were 48-3.

Abell, who himself was only just out of self-isolation after coming back from Pakistan, put in a captain's performance with 61 off 33 balls, though, combining well with George Bartlett (36) to give his side hope.

But Abell was eventually caught off the bowling of David Payne, at 156-5, and the sixth-wicket pairing of Smeed (23*) and Van der Merwe (2*) could not score the 13 runs needed for victory off the final over, ultimately coming up six short.

The second T20 of the afternoon saw Steve Davies take over the Somerset captaincy, while Eddie Byrom, Marchant de Lange, Ben Green and James Hildreth also came into the line-up.

Batting first this time, the visitors lost Davies (4) and Hildreth (10) early on, but Smeed was looking in good touch again, and he and Bartlett (23) took their side up past 50.

But 81-2 became 93-5 when the dismissals of Bartlett and Byrom (7) were followed by Smeed's departure for 43 (off 32 balls), trapped lbw by George Scott (2-17).

Somerset needed a good seventh-wicket partnership and they got one, with Lammonby (33* off 24 balls) and Van der Merwe (29 off 16) taking them up from 110-6 to 177-7 at the finish.

Gloucestershire's reply was a steady one, scoring well in between losing wickets.

Van Buuren (17), Howell (29) and Cockbain (43) led them up to double figures, despite Van der Merwe claiming 2-21 off four overs for the away side.

Ultimately it was Jack Taylor who finished Somerset off, striking 62* off 37 balls as they reached 178-5 with a ball to spare.

Next up for Somerset is a three-day match against Worcestershire in Taunton, starting on Monday (March 29, 11am).