Parsons and Turner prop up a winning innings

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The Independent Online

Somerset have a habit of leaving it to the lower middle-order. In the semi-final of the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy at Taunton, it was Keith Dutch and Rob Turner who took them to victory. Now, in the final, it was the six-wicket pair Keith Parsons and Turner who effectively beat Leicestershire.

They put on 95 from 82 balls, after the earlier batsmen had all settled in without going on to reach 50. With poor Scott Boswell being struck down by a form of fast-bowling yips, it meant Leicestershire were one bowler short. It was now, when Somerset's six-wicket pair began to find their bearings, that this deprivation was most seriously felt.

Showing great composure and good sense, Parsons and Turner kept the scoreboard moving with ones and twos, and could not have paced themselves better. Leicestershire, who have been in form, and bat well and deep, would probably have backed themselves to win by reaching 250 – always a competitive total in a final at Lord's.

Leicestershire would have been happy that the closing overs were in the capable hands of Jimmy Osmond and Philip DeFreitas. The penultimate was bowled by Osmond, and Turner suddenly produced a stroke of prodigious cheek.

He played an authentic paddle sweep to a fast ball on about the middle stump. He came half forward and, with wonderful timing, lifted the ball sweetly over short fine-leg's head to the Warner Stand for four. That stroke would have knocked the stuffing out of anyone and it took Somerset past 250.

The last over was entrusted to DeFreitas, and the first four balls produced an offside boundary for Parsons. The fifth ball was well up and off-stump-ish. Parsons swung and has never hit a cricket ball better: it sailed into the seats in front of the old Tavern, and Somerset were into the 260s.

If this was not bad enough for Leicestershire, the next ball, similarly directed and maybe a little further up, was dispatched with equally little fuss to pretty well the same place. Leicestershire slunk off the field heads down, while Somerset came out to field 10 minutes later puffed up like so many turkey cocks. Seldom can three strokes have shifted the psychological balance with such significance.

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