Somerset suffered yet more heartache on Friends Life t20 finals day after they fell to a six-wicket defeat against Hampshire in their semi-final. After losing the past three finals Marcus Trescothick's side were again left empty-handed as Hampshire, the 2010 champions, comfortably chased down their 125 for six with an over to spare.
Hampshire will now play Yorkshire in tonight's decider - the first time they have ever met competitively in Twenty20 cricket - after the Tykes beat Sussex by 36 runs in the earlier last-four tie. Somerset struggled on a slow SWALEC Stadium pitch with only England wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter firing with an unbeaten 63, from 58 balls, to at least give them a fighting chance.
Hampshire suffered a slight wobble in pursuit, after opener Michael Carberry was needlessly run out for 33, but veteran Simon Katich (32) and Sean Ervine (34) steered them home in an unbeaten 54-run stand. Hampshire got off to a flyer in their chase as Carberry hit three boundaries in the opening over, although his first went between keeper and slip, before a more forceful cut off Peter Trego in the fourth.
While Jimmy Adams and James Vince failed to get into double figures the chase looked in hand with Carberry at ease as he reached 33 from 27 balls. The game tightened though when he was run out, after being sent back by Neil McKenzie, before the South African was then trapped lbw to leave Hampshire dangerously-placed at 72 for four in the 13th over.
But Katich and Ervine supplied the required cool heads to steer their side to victory, in a 52-run stand from 40 balls. Somerset were indebted to Kieswetter's patience on the tricky surface as they lurched to their below-par total after being sent in to bat first. Early wickets thrust Kieswetter into a recovery role as Somerset lost their key men to be 58 for five in the 13th over.
Veteran Dimitri Mascarenhas caused the early problems, removing Richard Levi and Trescothick in his miserly two for 11 from four overs, before James Hildreth was bowled attempting to sweep. Ervine then showed the effectiveness of the medium pacers on the slow surface as he prised out Jos Buttler and Peter Trego with deliveries that held slightly in the surface.
With the recovery mission on his shoulders Kieswetter scrapped and nudged before finally finding the boundary for the first time in the 14th over - albeit a huge six off Liam Dawson into the River Taff. That loosened the shackles slightly as he brought his half-century up off 51 balls but it was not enough to prevent another finals day defeat for Somerset.