Somerset 184 for 5 (Kohler-Cadmore 72, Mills 3-28) beat Sussex 183 for 8 (Bopara 88*, Henry 3-50) by five wickets
The game had been held up for nearly ten minutes in the seventh over of the Somerset reply when Nathan McAndrew and debutant Shadab Khan collided on the Hove outfield going for a high catch offered by Kohler-Cadmore.
Both players spent several minutes on the ground receiving treatment from Sussex’s medical staff before being helped to their feet. McAndrew was able to bowl his four overs after passing a concussion protocol but Khan, the Pakistan legspinner who was making his Sussex debut, had to leave the field.
Kohler-Cadmore, who joined Somerset from Yorkshire during the winter, relished a flat pitch and fast outfield as he shared a match-winning stand of 104 off 63 balls with skipper Tom Abell. Kohler-Cadmore hit five sixes and five fours from 42 deliveries and when he was caught off Tymal Mills trying to guide the ball over third, the target was down to 22 from four overs.
Abell was run out off the final ball of the penultimate over for 42 with both he and Lewis Gregory stranded at the same end, but Gregory hit the second ball of the final over for four to seal the deal for Somerset.
Until he lost one of his key bowlers, Bopara must have thought his innings would have been the difference. The 38-year-old had warmed up for the Blast by scoring 144 from 49 balls in a second team match against Middlesex on Tuesday, and although there was never any danger of a repeat against an experienced Somerset attack he played superbly nonetheless.
In his 440th game in the format, Bopara came in after Sussex had lost Tom Clark and Tom Alsop in Craig Overton’s first two overs and he barely played a false shot until the last over when Abell dropped a difficult diving catch at midwicket.
Bopara hit seven sixes and three fours with principal support coming from Ali Orr who scored 33 including three successive boundaries off Matt Henry before he was superbly caught one-handed in his follow through by Gregory.
Michael Burgess helped Bopara add 57 in 42 balls for the fifth wicket but the total swelled when Henry was taken for 16 off the last four deliveries of the innings as Bopara swung him over midwicket for six off a no-ball and guided the free hit to the backward point boundary.
Despite losing Will Smeed in the second over, Somerset had 50 on the board after four thanks to Tom Banton’s assault on Hudson-Prentice whose over went for 29, including successive sixes.
Banton was well caught by the diving Orr trying to help a bumper from Mills over long leg but after the delay, with a second Hudson-Prentice over costing 16 as Kohler-Cadmore hit him for successive sixes, Somerset always had the chase under control.