We want to create our own legacy: Tom Abell

Somerset, so often of late the nearly men of county cricket, have finally won one. Their triumph over Hampshire at Lord’s in the Royal London One-Day Cup final was their first one-day title since 2001 and their first trophy of any kind for 14 years. But far from this being a culmination of Somerset’s recent body of work, Tom Abell, their impressive 25 year-old captain, wants this title to be the start of a dominant run.
In the end, their six-wicket victory over last season’s champions was relatively comfortable. Questions about whether Somerset could handle the pressure of a Lord’s final, whether they could cope with the pressure of trying to put behind them a number of recent near-misses across all formats, were answered emphatically with a dominant display over Hampshire, the best side in the competition until today. From the first knockings with the ball, Somerset just didn’t let Hampshire breath. It was a fine performance.
Although there was an unbeaten half-century from the experienced James Hildreth, perhaps the best county batsman of the last decade not to have played for England, and a useful contribution from Peter Trego with the bat, otherwise this was a victory built on players who are approaching, or are in, the prime of their careers. There is plenty to suggest that this will not be this group of players’ last trophy.
Abell, for example, captained sharply and took the vital wicket of Hampshire captain Sam Northeast for 56 when the former Kent man looked as if he might be leading his team to a significant total after they had been reduced to 50-3 in the 13th over after winning the toss and choosing to bat. Jamie Overton, still only 25 and one of the quickest bowlers in the country, took three wickets in the middle overs and was voted player-of-the-match.
Opener Tom Banton, just 20 years of age, took 15 off Fidel Edwards’ second over on route to 69 in Somerset’s chase, laying down a marker which said there would be no wobbles today. Craig Overton, Lewis Gregory and Josh Davey, all in their mid-to-late 20s, were suffocating with the ball in the early stages and a major reason why Hampshire’s batting never got out of second gear. George Bartlett, just 21, was there at the end with Hildreth to see his side home.
For Somerset, these players give hope that this title will be the start of something bigger, the beginning of a period of domination that the squad certainly has the character and talent for. Often the first hurdle is the hardest and now that is out of the way, they can look forward in a different manner. “We were absolutely desperate to win; I’m not going to lie,” said Abell.