Somerset proved too strong for Northamptonshire 2nd XI as they won both T20s at Taunton Vale Sports Club.
In the first of the two games, Northamptonshire won the toss and elected to bat in very overcast conditions in Somerset.
Trialist Justin Broad and Hassan Azad opened the batting and immediately took advantage of the powerplay.
By the end of the fourth over, Northamptonshire were already hitting at over ten an over, before Hassan Azad was dubiously deemed out after a direct hit by James Rew at cover. Azad was dismissed for 25 off 11 balls, including four 4s after a positive start for the visitors, leaving them 47-1 off four overs.
After another quick wicket fell, Gus Miller, who was captaining the side, was in at four to try to stabilise the Northamptonshire innings.
Miller and Broad picked up from the positive start and immediately began to display some impressive power hitting.
Miller posted a quick-fire half century off just 23 balls at the crease, continuing from his strong start to the season. The all-rounder posted four 4s and four 6s before his was caught on 58 by Rew, ending Miller and Broad’s 89 run partnership.
14 overs in, Northamptonshire were 160-3, scoring at more than 11 an over but unfortunately couldn’t end the innings in the same way they began it.
Broad fell in 16th over for 63 after another commanding performance from the trialist and Northamptonshire crumbled from 170-4 in the 16th over to 189-8 in the 19th.
11 runs off the last over meant that Northamptonshire went into the field needing to defend 200 from the Somerset innings.
Somerset took the game straight to Northamptonshire at the start of the powerplay, matching the required 10 an over run rate. Trialist Ramon Bailey took the first wicket of the innings in the 5th over, removing Lewis Goldsworthy for 26. Northamptonshire quickly took advantage of a breakthrough, as they quickly reduced Somerset from 41-1 to 75-5.
A rare bowling appearance from Hassan Azad also proved to be key, as he removed fellow opener George Thomas for 17.
Involved heavily in the first innings, James Rew was in at four at provided some much needed stability to the Somerset innings. Wickets fell around the 19-year-old, courtesy of Bailey Wightman who skittled through the Somerset 2nd xi middle order, taking three wickets in his four overs.
Rew and Ned Leonard brought Somerset back into the game, hitting a partnership of 73 of just 25 deliveries.
After a remarkable recovery, it came down to the final delivery, with Somerset needing two to win and one to draw.
Unfortunately, the momentum was with Somerset as Leonard hit the final ball through mid-wicket to the boundary for 4, giving Somerset a victory by three wickets in the first game of the day.
Heading into the second game and once again it was Northamptonshire who won the toss and elected to bat.
It was a much-changed batting line up from Northamptonshire and it showed as they stumbled to 10-3 off just four overs, as Miller, Aadi Sharma and Richardson fell in quick succession.
Northamptonshire slowly managed to pick up the pace with promising performances from Arush Buchake and AJ Khunti who put on a well earned 50 partnership in the crucial middle overs. The pair put on 40 and 25 respectively to steady the ship for the away side.
Justin Broad was in at 6 this time for Northamptonshire and quickly built on his performance earlier on in the day.
Broad hit nine 4s on his way to 57 not out, ending up as the top scorer across the two fixtures on the day.
Broad and Academy player Charles Hood put on a much needed 31 partnership from 15 balls towards the back end of the innings as the away side managed to put on 172-7 from their 20 overs
In what would be a tough total to defend for Northamptonshire, they needed a quick breakthrough and Ramon Bailey provided that, dismissing opener Lewis Goldsworthy as he edged it into the keepers’ hands in the first over.
Bailey struck again in his 2nd over of the game and Miller struck in the fourth over, reducing Somerset to 42-3.
However, Somerset managed to recover thanks to George Barlett, who hit an unbeaten 73 from 51 deliveries, guiding Somerset to the 172 target with nine balls to spare and five wickets in hand to give them the second victory of the day on a tough day for Northamptonshire.