Hyderabad: Somerset held their nerve in a nail-biting qualifying match against the Auckland Aces, to win by four wickets in their Champions League T20 match in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
Chasing 126 to win, Somerset opener Chris Jones blasted three quick fours before a stunning catch at point by Jimmy Adams off Kyle Mills ended his innings.
RE van der Merwe and Peter Trego then took Somerset across the fifty mark but Ronnie Hira struck in the ninth over, removing the former to reduce them to 52 for two.
Auckland bow out of the qualifiers after losing off the last ball by four wickets.
Michael Bates then struck twice in two balls, dismissing Trego and Nick Compton, as all of sudden Somerset slipped to 54 for four in 9.2 overs.
Somerset found themselves in a spot of bother on 64 for five, but a 61-run partnership for the sixth wicket between James Hildreth (34) and Steven Snell (34 not out off 24 balls), took Somerset within spitting distance of a victory.
Hildreth was run-out in the second last delivery of their innings when he tried to steal an extra run but it didn't have any bearing on the results as next batsman Thomas scored the winning runs in the last ball of the match.
Earlier Somerset produced a brilliant bowling display to restrict Auckland Aces to a modest 125 for seven. Electing to bat, Auckland could never recover from their disastrous start where they lost three wickets for 14 runs in 3.1 overs and failed to put enough runs on the board in their second qualifying do-or-die match.
Lou Vincent top-scored with an unbeaten run-a-ball 47, laced with three fours and a six, but with wickets tumbling on the other hand, he was left to do very little.
Openers Martin Guptill (9) and Jimmy Adams (0) failed to give Auckland a good start as Trego trapped the latter in front of wicket in the second over itself.
First down Rob Quiney (4) also could not last long and was sent packing by Thomas in the third over after being adjudged lbw to a delivery that stayed a touch low.
Guptill, who was dropped by Waller in the second ball off Thomas, couldn't make use of the opportunity and was dismissed by Trego when his lofted shot landed in the hands of Hildreth.
Skipper Gareth Hopkins and Vincent then joined hands and brought up the fifty in the ninth over.
Vincent scored his first four with a thickish edge past the keeper, before hitting Trego for a boundary and a six in the sixth over.
Hopkins then hit a couple of fours before a direct throw from Arul Suppiah ended his innings. Colin Munro (6), Mills and Hira too failed to make any impact.
For Somerset, Peter Trego (2/26) and Alfonso Thomas (2/21) picked up two wickets each, while C Waller (1/18) and RE van der Merwe (1/25) scalped one each.
(With agency inputs)