Yorkshire Bank 40: Gloucestershire (246-7) lost to Somerset (258-9) by 12 runs
TOM SMITH admitted his hat-trick counted for little after Gloucestershire were beaten by Somerset and knocked out of the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition at Bristol on Monday.
The left-arm spinner, who is on loan from Middlesex until the end of the season, dismissed Craig Meschede and Lewis Gregory with his last two balls of the 30th over and then bowled Piyush Chawla with the first delivery of the 32nd over, but Somerset’s total of 258-9 was enough to see them to victory by 12 runs and top Group C.
Even a win would not have been enough for Gloucestershire to go through to the semi-finals as results elsewhere went against them, and they finished fourth behind Middlesex and Glamorgan, who progressed as the best runners-up.
The game was watched by a full house, many of which turned up early to witness the official opening of the new pavilion at the County Ground.
Smith said: “It would have been wonderful to crown such a tremendous occasion by giving our supporters what they wanted.
“It was a massive day for the club and so well supported so it was a real shame we couldn’t get over the line in a close match.”
Smith, who took 3-46, admitted he didn’t realise what he had achieved when he took his third wicket in as many balls.
He said: “I thought there had been a ball in between the wickets and I was just concentrating on the next delivery. “It was great when I realised that wasn’t the case, but today was all about the team and not personal glory.”
Somerset looked set to post a big score after being put into bat as Marcus Trescothick and Craig Kieswetter put on 103 for the first wicket inside 13 overs.
Craig Miles (2-49) then removed Trescothick (50) and Nick Compton (0) in successive balls and Kieswetter fell to David Payne, who took an impressive 3-35.
After James Hildreth (34) and Jos Buttler shared 71, Somerset went from 197-3 to 204-7 as Smith pegged them back.
However, Buttler finished unbeaten on 68 to lift their total.
Gloucestershire also made a good start to their innings with a first wicket partnership of 63 between Michael Klinger and Hamish Marshall (30).
The key moment came when Klinger (40) was given out caught by Chawla at fine leg off Steve Kirby, despite the Australian’s protests that the ball had been fumbled to the ground, and none of the top five were able to score big after getting starts.
Chris Dent made 31 and although Ian Cockbain (39) and Alex Gidman (41) added 72 in 11.3 overs, when they were both out in quick succession Gloucestershire were unable to keep up with the required run rate and they finished on 246-7.
Before the game, a ceremony hosted by Jed Pitman celebrated Gloucestershire’s ‘Past, Present and Future’ with several former county stars were present, including David Allen, Jack Russell, Mark Alleyne and Chris Broad and ECB chairman Giles Clarke opened the pavilion.
“I am very proud to be a Bristolian and just as proud to be opening this marvellous new pavilion,” said Clarke.
Gloucestershire will now concentrate solely on the County Championship and they start a game against fellow Division Two promotion hopefuls Essex at Bristol on Wednesday.
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