Somerset beat Durham to book place in CB40 final
|CB40 semi-final, Taunton|
|Somerset 165-3 (27 overs) beat Durham 219 (38.5 overs) by 39 runs (D/L method)|
Somerset beat Durham by 39 runs in a rain-affected semi at Taunton to book their place in the CB40 final.
Arul Suppiah hit a fluent half century in his side's 165-3 as Somerset reached the final for the second successive year, under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Having won the toss, the visitors did not use up their full allocation of overs, being bowled out for 219.
But Somerset were given a flying start by Suppiah (57) and Chris Jones (33) and were always ahead on the run rate.
They put on 78 in less than 11 overs, while Peter Trego was unbeaten on 40 when rain brought a premature end to the day - and there was no doubt that the better side on the day won as nearly men Somerset booked a fifth knock-out final in three seasons.
Durham skipper Dale Benkenstein did most to bolster his side's modest total with 82, while Ian Blackwell made 41 back on his old stomping ground, Steve Kirby proving the most successful Somerset bowler with 3-31.
But, despite being weakened by the absence of Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton through injury and Craig Kieswetter, away with the England one-day squad, Somerset always looked in control.
Somerset will now play Surrey, comfortable victors over Sussex at The Oval, in the final at Lord's on Saturday 17 September - the final day of the 2011 domestic season - before they head out to India for the Champions League qualifiers.
The two sides have met once before in a Lord's final - back in Somerset's great days in 1981 when Joel Garner, Viv Richards and Ian Botham helped their side beat Surrey to lift the Benson & Hedges Cup with more than 10 overs to spare.
But, after four successive runners-up medals in finals (in the 2010 CB40 final to Warwickshire, as well as three successive Twenty20 final defeats), not to mention last summer's County Championship near miss, Somerset are now seriously overdue their first silverware in six years.
And they will be up against a Surrey side now orchestrated from on high by former Somerset chief executive Richard Gould.