Auckland Aces were eliminated from Champions League Twenty20 after they went down to Somerset by four wickets in a thrilling last-ball finish in a Pool B qualifying match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here Tuesday.
Opting to bat first, Auckland Aces riding on Lou Vincent's unbeaten 47 made 125. Somerset, who landed in India only Monday, achieved the target in the last ball after James Hildreth made 34 while Steve Snell remained unbeaten on 34.
Both the teams had trouble batting on a sluggish surface. Vincent and skipper Gareth Hopkins (22) helped Auckland Aces recover after Somerset's slow bowlers made the best use of the slow surface and reduced them to 14 for three.
The 49-run stand between Vincent and Hopkins was the only notable partnership for Aces, who lost wickets at regular intervals. Kyle Mills (10) and Andre Adams (13 not out) made valuable contribution.
Somerset made a steady start but one of the top-order batsman, barring Hildreth, could convert the good starts that they got. Hildreth and Snell stitched a crucial 61-run partnership to take Somerset home to a thrilling win.
Somerset needed 20 runs off the last two overs but both Snell and Hildreth held their nerves to score 15 runs off the penultimate over.
Snell edged the first ball for a four and a single in the second. Hildreth cut Mills for another four between keeper and short third man for another four. Mills spilled a return catch in the next ball and Hildreth edged another four before ending the over with a two off the last bowl to put Somerset on the threshold of a win.
Hildreth was run out in the penultimate bal off the innings and Alfonso Thomas took a single off the last ball to give the team a win.