Marcus Trescothick smashed a stunning 56 off 32 deliveries as Somerset Sabres earned the right to take on Sussex Sharks in last night's Twenty20 Cup final at Edgbaston. Both counties will play in the Champions League in India in October, chasing a share of more than £3 million in prize money.
The 33-year-old opener, who abandoned his England career because of stress-related health problems, and last week ruled out a one-off return for the final Ashes Test at The Oval, hit eight fours and two sixes. His first five scoring strokes went to the boundary, including four in a row off Amjad Khan's opening over.
His dismissal, which came via a catch at point as he tried to slog-sweep the off spinner James Tredwell, disappointed a crowd who were eager for more entertainment, but Somerset had the momentum to overhaul Kent's total in any case, getting home with seven balls to spare for a seven-wicket victory.
Darren Stevens had scored a Twenty20 career-best 77 off 51 balls to help the Spitfires recover from a poor start. The all-rounder, who hit seven fours and two sixes, was run out off the last ball of the innings, having hit 20 off the final over, from the left-arm spinner Arul Suppiah, as Kent reached 145 for 5 in their 20 overs on a dry pitch which offered some turn.
Kent, who won this competition in 2007, had slipped to 31 for 3 in the sixth over before Stevens and Rob Key added 62 off 59 balls.
Earlier, Murray Goodwin made a timely return to form as Sussex chased down 137 to beat Northamptonshire Steelbacks by seven wickets with two balls to spare. The Zimbabwe-born batsman hit an unbeaten 80 off 67 balls, his 11th boundary seeing Mike Yardy's team home.
It was Goodwin's highest score in any form of cricket for three months, although his satisfaction was tempered by the knowledge that his previous association with the Indian Cricket League would bar him from participating in the Champions League.
Goodwin shared a partnership of 91 in 13.2 overs with Rory Hamilton-Brown for the second wicket and there never seemed a doubt that Sussex would reach their target, rewarding an excellent performance in the field.
Northamptonshire 136-6 (20 overs) lost to Sussex 137-3 (19.4 overs: M W Goodwin 80no) by 7 wkts.
Kent 145-5 (20 overs: D I Stevens 77no) lost to Somerset 146-3 (18.5 overs; M E Trescothick 56) by 7 wkts.Reuse content