// LIVE BLOGGING // GLOBALSIGN SSL
The opening batsman profited from being dropped twice at first slip by Callum Ferguson before he had reached 20 – both off Rapids paceman Pat Brown - and went onto make 112 out of Somerset’s 337 for 8 from their 50 overs
Worcester: Somerset 337-8, Worcestershire 190 - Somerset won by 147 runs
Tom Banton hit his highest List A score and his century laid the foundations for Somerset’s convincing 147-run victory over Worcestershire Rapids in the Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final play-off at Blackfinch New Road.
The opening batsman profited from being dropped twice at first slip by Callum Ferguson before he had reached 20 - both off Rapids paceman Pat Brown - and went onto make 112 out of Somerset’s 337 for 8 from their 50 overs.
Then tight bowling backed up by sharp ground fielding extinguished the Rapids' hopes of reaching the last four for a third successive campaign after a flat performance as they were bowled out for 190 in 38 overs.
Azhar Ali wrapped up the second half of the innings and finished with 5-34 from seven overs but by then a considerable slice of damage had already been done to Worcestershire’s hopes.
Somerset will now face North Group winners Notts Outlaws in Sunday’s last-four encounter at Trent Bridge.
The visitors were put into bat on a fresh wicket by Rapids skipper Brett D’Oliveira.
New-ball pairing Pat Brown and Charlie Morris delivered probing initial spells, with the initial 10-over powerplay restricted to just 38 runs.
Banton, whose brother Jacques is a member of the Worcestershire Academy, survived two chances when on four and 18 off Brown to Callum Ferguson at first slip - the initial one a head high attempt and the second a low effort.
Wayne Parnell made the initial breakthrough with 66 on the board in the 14th over as Azhar Ali (29) caught via the inside edge by keeper Ben Cox away to his left.
Banton was full of inventive strokes and ramped Ross Whiteley for six to bring up the century stand in 16 overs with Peter Trego.
A single down the ground off Daryl Mitchell took the 20-year-old to three figures from 95 balls with three sixes and 11 fours.
Brown struck in his first over back in the attack as Trego (37) went for a pull and bottom edged through to Cox.
Banton went past his previous best List A score of 107 versus Kent in the opening One-Day Cup match of the season.
But on 112 he turned Parnell straight to Brown at deep square leg with the total 203 in the 35th over.
Ed Barnard accounted for James Hildreth (38) and the England Lions player held onto two sharp chances, at point and long-on, to dismiss Tom Abell (20) and Lewis Gregory (8) off Parnell and Morris respectively.
George Bartlett (4) holed out to long-on off Brown who then held onto a sharp return chance offered by Roleof van der Merwe (13) but some late hitting by Craig Overton took Somerset to a formidable total.
Parnell’s 3-50 from 10 overs took his wicket tally in this year’s competition to 22.
Worcestershire had been reliant on Riki Wessels and Ferguson in scoring contrasting centuries when overhauling a target of 352 set by Derbyshire on Monday to reach the knockout stages.
But the duo both fell relatively cheaply on this occasion.
Wessels (16) drove Craig Overton to point and, after Tom Fell (22) was lbw to Lewis Gregory, Ferguson was undone by a fine piece of fielding from Abell.
Daryl Mitchell turned Gregory on the offside and set off for a quick single but Ferguson (21) failed to beat Abell’s direct hit from point with the total 68 in the 16th over.
D’Oliveira (10) was undone by a ball from van der Merwe that straightened and Cox (25) lobbed a gentle return catch to Azhar Ali.
Mitchell (34) drilled Gregory straight into the hands of Craig Overton on the cover boundary and Azhar Ali helped to polish off the innings as Barnard (3), Whiteley (33), Parnell (3) and Morris (0) succumbed in quick succession.
Report courtesy of the ECB Reporters Network
For more outstanding county coverage, try The Cricketer for three issues free this summer. Click here to sign up today