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Moeen on fire as county on charge
7:20pm Sunday 1st July 2012 in Sport
MOEEN Ali and Daryl Mitchell were the stars as Worcestershire recorded a 54-run victory over Somerset in the Friends Life t20 clash at Taunton.
Moeen set the tone for his side’s 173-7, which included six penalty runs for a slow Somerset over-rate, with a rapid 47 after the hosts had won the toss.
Phil Hughes contributed 41, while Alfonso Thomas was the pick of the home bowling attack with 1-24 from his four overs.
Then skipper Mitchell claimed 3-13 with his medium pace as Somerset’s batting fell apart from a promising 51-1 after six overs.
They were eventually bowled out for 119 to suffer a second heavy defeat in as many games in front of another packed crowd.
From looking to have a grip on the Midlands/Wales/West Division, Somerset are suddenly under pressure following a slump in form that began with Friday’s nine-wicket home defeat by arch-rivals Gloucestershire.
Worcestershire, however, have two games in hand in third place and are now only a point behind their opponents and local rivals Warwickshire.
The New Road side’s bowlers were far more effective on a slow pitch, with David Lucas and Brett D’Oliveira (3-20) backing Mitchell with economical spells.
Richard Levi was the only home batsman to time the ball, hitting three fours and two sixes in his 27 before holing Mitchell out to Moeen at long-on.
After that it was a sorry procession, with only Lewis Gregory (22) showing any semblance of form.
Somerset’s new plan of opening the bowling with left-arm spinner George Dockrell failed to pay dividends as Moeen attacked from the outset and the total after one over was 14.
The six power play overs yielded 53 for Worcestershire and by the time the impressive Moeen was stumped advancing to Dockrell, having hit six fours and two sixes in facing 23 balls, the total was 73-1 in the eighth over.
Vikram Solanki had made 33 at a run-a-ball before he was caught by James Hildreth at long-off — Dockrell again the bowler — and it was 127-3 when former Somerset player Gareth Andrew was taken by Nick Compton at long-on off Steve Kirby for 19.
Hughes was dropped on three and 15 before going on to bolster the second half of the innings, hitting four fours in his 32-ball stay.
From 153-3 in the 18th over, Worcestershire lost four late wickets, but were boosted by the bonus of the extra runs as the home side paid for bowling their overs too slowly.