Abell asks Somerset to build on cup final win
PUBLISHED: 20:30 25 May 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
Captain Tom Abell has challenged Somerset to turn their Royal London One Day Cup triumph into an era of dominance.
Rising star Tom Banton's 69 set Somerset en route to a first major trophy since 2005, to end a run of 10 second-place finishes in as many years.
Old hand James Hildreth's unbeaten 69 then took Somerset to their six-wicket win over defending champions Hampshire, who had only been able to muster 244-8 from their 50 overs.
Abell chipped in with two vital wickets before insisting Somerset could even complete a domestic treble this term, now that runners-up monkey is off their backs.
"It's a vitally important win for us and now we want to go on and create a new legacy for Somerset," said Abell.
"At the start of the season we set out to win every competition. This is the first that was up for grabs and we've managed to do that.
"We're just so pleased we could get over the line today, it means so much to the team and the club.
"We were absolutely desperate to win, I'm not going to lie. I guess it does break the shackles a little bit.
"And hopefully now people will be talking about us as winners, and not runners-up."
Banton's tone-setting innings kick-started Somerset's comfortable victory chase, the 20-year-old starring to boost still further his burgeoning reputation.
Michael Vaughan has already compared Banton to Kevin Pietersen, while Somerset batting coach Marcus Trescothick believes he plays with no ounce of fear.
Abell marvelled at Banton's stunning match-winning ability, hailing the opening batsman's increasing poise.
"You've got to just let him play, let him be," said Abell, of Banton.
"He has a huge amount of talent. He's started thinking a little more about his innings as well.
"We've seen a far more mature version of him as well, and he's got that much ability can take games away from opposition.
"He was on the big stage today and he performed once again."
Jamie Overton scooped the official man of the match award with a pivotal three-wicket haul that stymied Hampshire at every turn.
The 25-year-old admitted Somerset's younger contingent were delighted to claim the silverware, with all those near-misses and their elder team-mates in mind.
"It's just an unbelievable feeling," said Overton.
"We've fallen short a few times, but it's a great group of lads, we've all worked so hard to get this and it's incredible."
Hampshire captain Sam Northeast refused to point to missing England man James Vince and Liam Dawson as any source of defeat, insisting his side were beaten by the better team.
"We were going to need a good start and we didn't get it," said Northeast.
"We wanted 280-plus and if it wasn't for James Fuller we would have been well short of that.
"I felt we just had to rein it back a little and just keep building partnerships.
"It would have been nice to go on and get a big one and lead the team to a more competitive total, but we just didn't fire."
Hampshire sit second behind Somerset in the County Championship table, and must refocus quickly with a four-day game at Yorkshire starting on Monday.
"The Championship's got to be our focus now," said Northeast.
"The schedule at times is unfair on everyone but we can't make excuses.
"If we want to go on and win the Championship we're going to have to turn up on Monday."