SOMERSET’S perfect start to their T20 Blast campaign came to an end last night as they narrowly went down by just five runs to champions Hampshire Hawks at the Ageas Bowl.

The Cidermen headed to Southampton having won their opening six matches in the South Group, but were edged out in a thriller on the south coast.

Hampshire made 178-4 in their 20 overs with Joe Weatherley (59no) and skipper James Vince (50) making half centuries. Somerset’s best bowlers were Kiwi Matt Henry, who took 1-28 from his four, and Ben Green who took 2-29 from his allocation.

Somerset got off to a flyer as openers Tom Banton and Will Smeed put on 70 before Banton (31) fell in the seventh over.

Smeed departed off the final ball of the tenth over for 52 off 32 balls, leaving the West Country outfit needing 81 off the final ten.

However the hosts are the champions for a reason and put the squeeze on despite Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s 43 off 28 deliveries, and eventually ran out winners by five runs.

Somerset are back in action tomorrow night when they visit big rivals Gloucestershire in the same competition (6.30pm).