Ton-up Babar Azam best blitz boosts Somerset in Blast
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Babar Azam scored a career-best 114 not out from only 62 balls as Somerset to ease to a comfortable 66-run victory over Glamorgan and give then an outside chance of qualifying for the Vitality Blast T20 quarter-finals.
The visitors also improved their net run rate, with Glamorgan being bowled out with 25 balls of their innings remaining.
The Glamorgan bowlers were not at their best and the fielding was sub-standard, with Azam dropped twice. He then made the home team suffer as he guided his team to a total (183-3) far beyond the par score at Sophia Gardens this season.
Glamorgan’s reply was a pitiful affair from the moment they lost their first two wickets in nine balls, with the game over as a contest when they collapsed to 47-5, and then were 62-6 at the halfway stage.
Somerset, who were put in on the same slow pitch where Glamorgan defeated Northamptonshire on Sunday, lost two wickets in the opening three overs and were 39-2 after the power play.
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Steve Davies was the first to go when he was stumped from Prem Sisodiya’s quicker ball, and in the following over 18-yar-old Will Smeed, a product of King’s College Taunton School who made 82 against Gloucestershire last week, mistimed an intended pull to give mid-on a simple catch.
Azam, who was dropped from a difficult chance to cover on 10, scored freely on either side of the wicket, and reached a rapid fifty from 34 balls, and put on 52 with Tom Abell for the third wicket before the Somerset captain lifted Andrew Salter’s off-spin to long-off.
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Azam was reprieved on 67, when Marchant De Lange, whose first over went for 18 runs, had him dropped at third man, where Owen Morgan misjudged a top-edged cut. He was well supported by Lewis Goldsworthy, an 18-year-old all-rounder who was making his T20 debut.
Azam reached his century in the 19th over, the second fifty coming from just 23 deliveries, with the partnership for the fourth wicket yielding 110 in 10.4 overs.
Roloef Van Der Merwe started Glamorgan’s demise by having David Lloyd and Chris Cooke caught at backward point in his opening over, both by the substitute fielder George Bartlett.
Although they were 38-3 – one run behind Somerset and for a wicket more – the rot then set in as the batsmen found ways of getting themselves out.
Morgan top-scored with 24, but there was little resistance from the others, with the margin of victory testament to Somerset’s superiority as Craig Overton (3-36) finished as the pick of the bowling.