A century from Brendan Taylor helped take Notts Outlaws through to the semi-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup competition.

The former Zimbabwe captain made a brilliant 154 as Notts defeated Somerset by 24 runs at Taunton, thereby setting up a trip to face Essex at Chelmsford on Friday.

Taylor scored his runs from 97 balls and hit 17 fours and five sixes as the Outlaws reached 429 for nine, after being asked to bat first.

Taylor was keen to give thanks to opening pair Riki Wessels and Michael Lumb after his century: "All credit goes to our openers Michael Lumb and Riki Wessels for setting the platform for the rest of the batsmen to build on," he said.

"It took the pressure off me. If anything I have been trying too hard with my batting and getting tense. I felt I owed the team that innings.

"I was almost run out on 99, but thankfully the ball missed the stumps. We would have chased if we had won the toss and it worked out well because it was a great pitch to bat on and we were able to set a very big target.

"Even then we could never afford to relax because at 35 overs Somerset were on course and we had to take wickets.

He added: "In the end it's a great win for us. As Notts players we expect to challenge for trophies and now it is on to Chelmsford for what should be another fantastic game against Essex.

"We weren't at our best in the field today and will need to sharpen up for the semi-final."

There were also sizeable contributions from Riki Wessels, who scored 81, Samit Patel hit 66, Michael Lumb made 47 and Steven Mullaney punched his way to 37. Lewis Gregory returned figures of four for 60 for the home side.

Dean Elgar made 91 in the Somerset chase but wickets fell steadily throughout the innings and the home side were eventually dismissed for 405 in 48 overs.

Harry Gurney, with three for 71, returned the best analysis for the Outlaws.

The start of the match could hardly have been more explosive. Lumb pulled Craig Overton’s first delivery of the contest down to the fine leg fence for four.

Lumb took a further single in that over before unleashing a flurry of brutal shots in the next as Jamie Overton struggled to contain the left-hander and went for 20 runs in the six deliveries.

After leaking a slashed boundary from the first, the next disappeared over the ropes at backward point. A further maximum in the same over took Lumb to 25 before Wessels had got off the mark.

Wessels struck back, with some clean hitting of his own, which included a straight driven four and a scoop over his left shoulder to the fine leg fence, both off Craig Overton.

The openers were still together at the end of the initial powerplay, with 79 runs on the board, but then added three more before Lumb drove Roelof van der Merwe to point for 47, made from just 28 balls with six fours and two sixes.

Wessels’ first maximum, launching van der Merwe high over midwicket, took the team total past 100 and brought the 31-year old to within four of his half century, reached from 47 balls with six fours and a six.

He immediately celebrated by launching Tim Groenewald for another towering six. Runs were flowing like the River Tone as Wessels sped along towards a century but his fun was ended when a drive off Groenewald picked out Adam Hose at mid-off.

Patel had moved along serenely into the 40s without any trouble and then rubbed salt into the Somerset wounds by top-edging a six to reach his 50 from 53 balls.

His partnership with Taylor gathered pace as the Zimbabwean hit Groenewald for two sixes in an over.

Cutting, driving and reverse-sweeping – the home attack couldn’t find a way to stem the flow of runs as the two Outlaws put on 133 in 16 overs before Patel hit Groenewald to mid-off for 66.

There was no respite for the bowlers as Mullaney’s second shot went for six as he helped add 75 in only 7.3 overs.

Taylor brought up his hundred from 69 balls, with 11 fours and three sixes and his joyous celebration was warmly appreciated by all who had witnessed an innings of the highest quality.

With 10 overs remaining Notts had piled on 349 for three and had two set batsmen at the crease but then Mullaney slapped Jamie Overton to backward point.

With 115 to his name Taylor had a scare as Hose caught the ball at deep square leg but had to throw the ball back into play as he toppled over the ropes.

Jamie Overton then spilt a routine offering at long-on, with Taylor on 124 and tiring.

His last one-day century had been the 138 he had scored at Auckland against India in the 2015 ICC World Cup. Since then 24 matches for Notts had produced a best score of 62.

With a second wind in his sails he powered past his previous best score in the format, a knock of 145 for Zimbabwe, before falling to Gregory, as he mistimed the ball to Dean Elgar at midwicket.

Taylor’s departure – at 410 for five – proceeded a flurry of wickets as Notts tried to maximise their position.

Billy Root was caught behind for nine, Chris Read went first ball and both Stuart Broad and James Pattinson picked out fielders looking to find the ropes.

Notts’ total of 429 was their second highest in one day cricket and their highest away from Trent Bridge.

In pursuit of a challenging target, Somerset set off in confident style. Johann Myburgh blazed his way to 44 from just 18 balls, courtesy of 10 boundaries.

Harry Gurney ended the first wicket stand of 55 by bowling the right-hander middle-stump.

Luke Fletcher then removed Steve Davies, as the batsman lifted him straight into the hands of Gurney at third man.

Gurney continued to inflict pain by bowling Jim Allenby, to leave the home side on 67 for three.

Elgar had a couple of lives but made his intentions clear by twice hitting Broad over the ropes for six.

The South African international engaged with Peter Trego in a punishing partnership of 154 in only 16 overs to keep their side in the contest.

Trego made 66 but having hit Patel for two maximums, in the same over, went for another big hit and picked out Lumb at deep midwicket.

Broad’s second spell ended Elgar’s innings as a full-pitched delivery clattered into the leg peg, with the batsman moving across the line.

Patel bowled Hose, also round his legs, for 21 and then Gurney’s slower delivery did for the dangerous van der Merwe, who made 43 from 31 balls.

Gregory made 24 but then hit Broad to Mullaney at long on, leaving the last two wickets to muster 77 from the last 10 overs.

Notts felt that they had run out Jamie Overton when a direct hit from Root seemed to have him short of his ground but a wicket fell immediately afterwards as Pattinson had Craig Overton caught behind, for his first wicket of the match.

Jamie Overton played some lusty blows as the innings drew towards a close but on 40 he was involved in a mix up with Groenewald and Broad’s throw to Gurney saw the bails flipped off for the winning moment.

Amidst scenes of great jubilation Notts were able to celebrate a rare Taunton win and a passage through to the last four.


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