Somerset will complete the line-up at this year’s Vitality Blast Finals Day after defeating Notts Outlaws in their held-over quarter-final at Taunton.
After wet conditions had ruled out any play on Sunday, play began on the reserve day with the visitors opting to bowl first after winning the toss.
Lewis Gregory, captaining Somerset, passed a late fitness test and went on to plunder an unbeaten 60 as his side made 209 for five, with James Hildreth also passing 50.
Gregory scored his runs from only 24 balls with two fours and four sixes. Five different bowlers claimed wickets for Notts but Harry Gurney wasn’t amongst them after being warned out of the attack for bowling two waist-high full tosses in the 18th over.
The Notts run chase gave cause for optimism but they slid from 133 for two to 190 all out in the final 6.2 overs, leaving Somerset victors by 19 runs.Jamie Overton did most of the damage with the ball, taking five for 47, with four of the dismissals being completed by Max Waller catches.
Gregory took two for 29 and bagged a catch to add to his earlier run spree.
The defending champions made a dream start to the match by removing Steve Davies in the first over; bowled by Matt Carter.
Peter Trego, playing his 150th domestic T20 match, also fell in the powerplay overs, mis-hitting Luke Fletcher to mid-on. Had the Outlaws’ throwing been more accurate, then Johann Myburgh would also have departed, with Steven Mullaney and Samit Patel both narrowly missing the target with the batsman short on each occasion.
Myburgh, playing his final match on the ground after announcing his forthcoming retirement, left the field to a standing ovation after departing for 27 to a catch by Alex Hales at long-on, in Ish Sodhi’s first over.
At the halfway stage of their innings Somerset were 81 for three and needed the timely acceleration of Hildreth to reach three figures. The 33-year old pulled Mullaney away for consecutive sixes to reach a 27-ball half century. Attempting a reverse sweep, the batsman then fell lbw to the same bowler for 52.
Corey Anderson departed cheaply, leaving the South Group winners on 130 for five after 15 overs.
Gregory and Tom Abell, who finished with a T20 best score of 46 not out, made the most of the closing overs, boosting their stand to an unbroken 81 from only 33 balls.
Overton removed Riki Wessels in the third over of the reply but Hales ensured that Notts enjoyed a profitable powerplay as he sped to 45 before driving to cover.
Notts were 15 runs ahead of their opponents after 10 overs and Tom Moores maintained the charge with 36 from 18 balls, with three sixes.
The contest remained close until the final quarter of the Outlaws innings with the number of dot balls steadily rising.
Fifty-four were required from the final 18 deliveries but the contest was effectively ended then as Overton removed Patel, Fletcher and Mullaney in the same over.
Carter hit a huge six but the final ball of the match saw Jerome Taylor bowl Gurney to spark the celebrations.
Somerset will now face Sussex Sharks on Finals Day, whilst Lancashire Lightning will meet Worcestershire Rapids in the other semi-final on 15 September 2018.