Derby defeat ends any hope of semi-final spot
GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S hopes of a YB40 semi-final place were ended by derby defeat to West Country rivals Somerset.
England star Jos Buttler hit 68 not out in Somerset's 258 for nine – with Gloucestershire spinner Tom Smith taking a hat-trick.
But Alfonso Thomas' three for 41 underpinned a superb bowling display from the visitors as they limited their hosts to 246 for seven.
All of Gloucestershire's top five batsmen made scores between 30 and 41, but none of them could push on and punish a Somerset side who completed a clean sweep of limited-overs victories over their neighbours this season.
A host of former Gloucestershire greats, plus ECB chairman Giles Clarke, were at Nevil Road for the opening of the club's new pavilion – and they were treated to an excellent match.
Somerset had looked set for a much greater score than 258 when Marcus Trescothick and Craig Kieswetter put on 103 for the first wicket inside 13 overs.
Skipper Trescothick, who hit seven fours and a six, brought up his 50 from 45 balls as he hit Craig Miles for four over cover.
But, to the next ball, he tried to play a similar shot and was caught by Alex Gidman.
Nick Compton was out first ball hitting a Miles full toss to Ian Cockbain at backward point. James Hildreth survived the hat-trick ball.
Kieswetter had looked in ominous form as he hit four fours and two sixes but fell for 42, edging David Payne behind to a grateful Gareth Roderick.
Buttler and Hildreth helped Somerset add 71 for the fourth wicket, with Hildreth departing for 34 with the total on 197 in the 29th over.
But from 197 for three Somerset slipped to 204 for seven.
Smith had Craig Meschede caught behind as he advanced down the pitch while Lewis Gregory was out first ball, held at short extra cover by Cockain.
Smith had to wait until the next over for his hat-trick – and he duly completed the rare feat when he bowled Piyush Chawla with one that turned.
Buttler brought up his 50 with a single off Howell before Thomas fell for 12 when he got a leading edge and holed out to Miles off Payne.
Jamie Overton was run out for 14 before Buttler scooped James Fuller for six over fine leg to finish on 68 not out from 71 balls.
Gloucestershire made a solid start, reaching 63 before Hamish Marshall holed out to Gregory at mid-on off Chawla's leg spin.
Home captain Michael Klinger survived a scare on 37, with Chawla unable to get to a high ball in the deep off Meschede, but the Australian fell in the next over – in controversial circumstances.
Off Steve Kirby's bowling, Klinger was caught by a juggling Chawla at fine leg, the diving fielder appearing to drop the ball onto his chest before securing the ball.
Klinger, who had scored 40, was given out but looked furious as he departed.
Chris Dent soon followed for 31, coming down the pitch to Thomas and hitting a slower ball to Hildreth at long-on, before Alex Gidman and Cockbain steadied the ship for Gloucestershire.
They added 72 in 11.3 overs before Cockbain departed for 39 when he tried to hit a slower-ball bouncer from Thomas over short third man but instead ballooned it up to Buttler.
That saw Gloucestershire go into the final ten overs on 182 for four, needing another 73 for victory.
Somerset retained their composure with the ball, Gidman bowled by an Overton yorker for 41 as the required rate continued to climb.
Gidman's dismissal appeared to knock the remaining wind out of the hosts' sails, and they lost Howell for 18 when he was caught behind off Overton.
Thomas showed excellent control in the closing stages as Gloucestershire fell 12 runs short.