Jos Buttler produced an innings of outrageous class and eye-popping innovation to light up the Rose Bowl yesterday and propel Somerset into their second consecutive T20 final.
In the end, Nottinghamshire were beaten by a combination of one terrific boundary catch and heavy rain, an untimely downpour halting their pursuit of an already revised target and giving Somerset victory by three runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system.
Had the 6ft 5in West Indian Kieron Pollard not leapt high at long-on to catch Samit Patel off the bowling of Peter Trego, Notts would most probably have won since they were ahead of the par score at the time. Just five balls later and with only six runs added, the heavens opened to end the match.
There were internationals everywhere in this second semi-final, yet it was Somerset's 19-year-old reserve wicketkeeper, playing as a specialist batsmen, who stole the show by crashing 55 off 23 balls, transforming his team's innings.
Given his chance in the first team earlier this season while Craig Kieswetter was playing for England, Buttler powered Somerset from a shaky 107 for 5, scoring 50 of the 64 runs which he and Pollard plundered off the last four overs.
Somerset, beaten by Sussex in last year's final, had begun well through Kieswetter and Marcus Trescothick – after he had been hit on the helmet by Dirk Nannes. But then they stumbled against the spin of Graeme Swann and Patel.
The two slow bowlers conceded only 44 runs from eight overs. Not only that, they picked up three big wickets along the way and looked to have put Nottinghamshire back into control before Buttler cut loose.
Rainfall between innings changed Notts' target to 152 from 16 overs. And they were always in contention, especially once Patel began to find the boundary. But, having made 39 off 26 balls, he tried to clear the rope only to be foiled by Pollard's leap.Reuse content