Brendan Taylor led Nottinghamshire into the semi-finals of the Royal London Cup with a brilliant century as hosts Somerset were defeated by 24 runs in a spectacular big-hitting contest.
After losing the toss, Notts posted 429 for 9, the highest List A total ever made at Taunton, Taylor contributing 154 off 97 balls, with 17 fours and five sixes. Riki Wessels blasted 81 and Samit Patel 66, while Lewis Gregory finished with 4 for 60 off eight overs.
Somerset replied with 405 all out off 48 overs, Dean Elgar making 91 off just 63 balls and Peter Trego contributing 66, with five fours and four sixes. Harry Gurney finished with 3 for 71, but the batsmen dominated throughout and a 3500 crowd were treated to 28 sixes in all. This was the third time Notts have passed 400 in little over 12 months, after scores of 445 for 8 and 415 for 5 in the 2016 competition.
Having been invited to bat first on a sunny morning, Notts went on the attack from ball one, which saw Michael Lumb top-edge a four to third man off Craig Overton. Lumb went on to smash 47 off 28 balls and set the tone for the day before driving a catch to extra cover off the spin of Roelof van der Merwe.
Somerset had elected to go into the game without a specialist spinner and might have been ruing the decision as Wessels took up where his opening partner left off. The score had raced to 147 off 18.1 overs when Wessells drove a catch to mid-off, his runs having come off 62 balls, with eight fours and four sixes.
By the halfway stage in their innings Notts had hit 17 fours and nine sixes as Taylor took up the attack with gusto, adding 133 in less than 17 overs with Samit Patel. They took the score to 280 in the 35th over before Patel, having struck four fours and two sixes, drove a catch to mid-off to give Tim Groenewald a welcome wicket.
It had been slaughter in the sun for the Somerset seamers. Taylor was almost run out taking the single that brought up a 69-ball century, but otherwise looked invincible.
Steve Mullaney added a breezy 37 before falling to Jamie Overton, who then dropped Taylor on 124 with the total on 373 in the 45th over. A late clatter of wickets included that of Taylor, but the last five overs still saw 56 more added. Gregory was Somerset’s most successful bowler, with the best economy rate of 7.5.
What Lumb had done for Notts, Johann Myburgh did for the home side, blasting 44 off 19 balls to launch the reply. He hit 10 fours from the first 16 deliveries he faced. But when Myburgh fell with the total on 55 and was quickly followed by Steve Davies and Jim Allenby, the run chase looked set for predictable failure.
Notts dropped Elgar twice before he had made 20. James Pattinson spilled a straightforward chance at mid-on, with the prolific South African on only 2, and wicketkeeper Chris Read failed to hold an edge diving to his left after Elgar had progressed to 17.
The outcome was a fourth-wicket stand of 154 in 16 overs with Trego, who played with customary power and aggression. His 47-ball contribution ended attempting a third six in an over from Patel.
Elgar was bowled round his legs by Stuart Broad having maintained his record of scoring at least a half-century in all of his six Royal London Cup innings this season. But Adam Hose and van der Merwe kept the scoreboard moving, Hose making a useful 32 off 27 balls before being bowled by Patel sweeping.
When van der Merwe was bowled for a quick and useful 43, swinging at a slower ball from Gurney, the target was 95 from 12.1 overs. Gregory quickly followed to another big hit and, despite some lusty blow from Jamie Overton, who made 40 before being run out to end the game, for the second successive day Somerset suffered bitter disappointment at the end of an epic contest.