HAMPSHIRE Hawks suffered a heavy defeat as a Tom Abell and Sean Dickson-inspired Somerset eased to a 63-run win in the Vitality Blast at Taunton.

The pair produced a stunning fourth-wicket stand of 144 in 11.2 overs to lead Somerset to a big victory over the Hawks.

Abell smashed an unbeaten 96 off just 47 balls and Dickson hammered 65 off 32 deliveries to help the hosts post 241 for five, their third-highest ever Blast total, after losing the toss. 

Hampshire replied with 178 all out, with opener Ben McDermott hitting 46 off 28 balls and Ben Green claiming a career-best equalling five for 29. 

Somerset did not allow the loss of three early wickets to affect their momentum, reaching 58 for three by the end of the sixth over, despite the dismissals of Will Smeed, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, and Tom Banton.

If Hampshire were pleased to see the back of those three big hitters, two of them to Michael Neser, their satisfaction soon turned to concern as Abell and Dickson set about their attack.

Abell hit the first six of the game to bring up the 50-stand in 31 balls and the pair required only a further 18 deliveries to take their partnership to three figures.

The 13th over, bowled by James Fuller, went for 21 as Abell crashed three successive fours through the off-side and Dickson ended it with two more boundaries.

Both players reached half-centuries in the 15th over, Dickson’s occupying 25 balls and Abell’s 30.

The stand had overtaken Somerset’s previous best for the fourth wicket in Blast cricket – 110 between Babar Azam and Lewis Goldsworthy against Glamorgan at Cardiff in 2020.

Lewis Gregory smacked 18 off eight balls and Abell ended his majestic knock with a straight six off Turner as Somerset completed their highest-ever Blast total against Hampshire.

Abell struck 12 fours and 3 sixes as only Benny Howell of the Hampshire bowlers went for less than ten an over.

McDermott and James Vince began the Hampshire reply well and brought the fifty up in just 4.4 overs.

By the end of the powerplay, they had increased the total to 65 as McDermott dominated with some big blows.

Green made the vital breakthrough for Somerset in the eighth over, bowling McDermott with his second delivery as he advanced down the pitch.

He then struck again with his fourth ball as Vince lofted a catch to long-off to make it 78 for two.

Soon Hampshire were requiring more than 15 an over and Green picked up another wicket when Joe Weatherley launched a catch to deep mid-wicket.

James Fuller hit a straight six off Josh Davey but perished the next ball trying to repeat the feat.

Howell cleared the ropes off successive Roelof van der Merwe deliveries, but when he and Toby Albert fell in the same Riley Meredith over Hampshire’s cause was lost.

A clatter of wickets, including two for Green, followed ensuring Somerset would comfortably come out on top.

The defeat leaves the Utilita Bowl side seventh in the Vitality Blast south group after two wins and two losses in their opening four matches.

They are. though, level with four other teams on four points so will still believe they are in with a strong chance of having another successful season.

They next travel to Glamorgan on Thursday, June 13 before hosting Middlesex a day later.