Alfonso Thomas topples four wickets in a row to hasten Sussex's demise
Sussex 214 & 178 Somerset 289 & 107-4 (Somerset win by six wickets)
Wednesday 11 June 2014
Somerset paceman Alfonso Thomas hastened Sussex to a six-wicket defeat with a day to spare at Taunton by taking four wickets in four balls. It is an achievement that had not been performed in a first-class match since 2000, when Gary Butcher did so for Surrey against Derbyshire.
The 37-year-old Thomas is the first Somerset player to do so. The victory temporarily took Somerset to the top of First Division in the County Championship.
Thomas, who finished with 5 for 40, dismissed James Anyon, Rory Hamilton-Brown and Ed Joyce with the last three balls of the 17th over to achieve his hat-trick.
With the first ball of his next over he made it four from four in emphatic fashion by clean bowling Matt Machan. No bowler has taken five first-class wickets in consecutive balls, and Ben Brown managed to block the fateful delivery.
Peter Trego (3 for 27) had grabbed the wicket of Chris Nash in the intervening over as Sussex collapsed from 33 for 0 to 33 for 5 in 10 balls. Sussex did at least go on to reach 178 but that left the home side with a target of just 104.
The South African-born Thomas, who arrived as a Kolpack player in 2008 and is renowned as a one-day expert, induced Anyon to edge on to his stumps, then had Hamilton-Brown lbw. Joyce, who had made a century in the first innings, edged the next ball to the wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter for another duck.
Nash was induced to snick a delivery from medium-pacer Trego to James Hildreth in the slips. Thomas then sent Machan's off stump flying in dramatic fashion.
Luke Wright (35) and Ben Brown (35) restored some vestige of order, putting on 71, but it was Thomas who returned to end Wright's unlikely vigil as Marcus Trescothick held on to a catch. Only a ninth-wicket stand of 56 between Steffan Piolet (30) and Will Beer (29) frustrated the home side.
The Irish left-arm spinner George Dockrell (2 for 37) dismissed both, and Somerset seemed determined to ensure the target was reached by the end of the day's play as they set off in rapid fashion.
Johann Myburgh raced to 27 off 12 balls before he was out in the fifth over with the score on 41. Trescothick fell soon after but Nick Compton produced a more measured, unbeaten 38 before Kieswetter (15 not out) hit the winning runs to seal a memorable victory.
Royal Rumble 2015: Roman Reigns triumphs after The Rock returns to set-up Wrestlemania showdown with Brock Lesnar
Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Gabriel Paulista to Arsenal, Chelsea target Raheem Sterling, Manchester United want Benzema
Royal Rumble 2015: Watch The Rock return to the WWE to rescue Roman Reigns
Transfer talk: Chelsea plan shock move for Raheem Sterling; Real Madrid open to selling Karim Benzema; Spurs target £5m Danny Ings
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now