Somerset 184 for 6 (Gregory 60, Rossouw 54) beat Gloucestershire 177 for 8 (Higgins 43, Howell 42, Siddle 3-30) by seven runs
On a sweltering evening, the hosts recovered from a slow start to run up 184 for six, Rossouw smacking 54 off 45 balls, with three sixes and five fours, while Gregory hammered 60 from 36 deliveries, clearing the ropes five times.
All the talk before the game was about 200 being a par score on a white-looking pitch. But it gripped slightly to give the bowlers on both sides hope.
Somerset soon found that to their cost as Will Smeed swung at the first two deliveries of the game from Amir without making contact and edged the third to slip.
The Pakistan left-arm seamer went on to complete a wicket-maiden and far from making a fast start, the home side were becalmed on four for one at the end of the third over.
Tom Banton and Rossouw than upped the pace, only for Banton to fall for 23 in the sixth over, bowled by Glenn Phillips, which ended with Somerset 43 for two.
Tom Abell offered a tame caught and bowled to Howell, who bowled with typically clever variation of pace, line and length.
Tom Lammonby fell to an ugly shot off Zak Chappell and at the halfway point of their innings his side had posted only 69 for four.
Rossouw cut loose with two sixes and a four off Higgins in going to a 33-ball fifty. But when he fell to Howell in the 13th over, Somerset needed a hero.
They found one in Gregory, fresh from a confidence-boosting LV= Insurance County Championship century against Surrey. The all-rounder cleared the ropes off Tom Smith, Chappell, Howell and Matt Taylor, whose 19th over cost 23, to boost what was looking a below-par score.
The highlight of Gloucestershire’s fielding was stunning one-handed boundary catch by Miles Hammond to dismiss Ben Green.
Hammond soon signalled his side’s intentions with the bat, hoisting the first ball of their reply from Siddle over mid-wicket for six.
Somerset appeared to have learned little about the left-handed opener’s relish for scoring in that area from the reverse fixture eight days earlier and soon he was finding it again for another six off Gregory.
Ultimately, it proved Hammond’s downfall as, on 19, he miscued a catch to wicketkeeper Banton off Jack Brooks. But by then Gloucestershire had raced to 33 off 3.1 overs.
At the end of the six-over powerplay, the visitors had 51 for one on the board and looked well-placed.
But Somerset then applied the sort of mid-innings squeeze their opponents have been so effective at over the years, spinners van der Merwe and Goldsworthy sharing six overs for just 42 runs.
James Bracey (30), Glenn Phillips, Ian Cockbain and Jack Taylor all fell between the eighth and 13th over, the last of them to a one-handed boundary catch by Rossouw at long-on that rivalled Hammond’s take.
Higgins and Howell briefly raised Gloucestershire hopes, the latter hitting sixes off successive balls from Green, before Siddle’s experience saw him effectively close out the match by taking three wickets in the 19th over.
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