GLOUCESTERSHIRE V SURREY - NatWest T20 Blast - 6 July 2016
Surrey 151-9 (20 overs). Gloucestershire 152-4 (19 Overs). Gloucestershire won by 6 wickets.

Gloucestershire increased their lead at the top of the T20 Blast South table courtesy of a six wicket victory over Surrey at the Brightside Ground, Bristol. Having won six of their opening nine games in the competition, they opened the gap to four points, over second placed Glamorgan, thanks to competition best figures from Andrew Tye and an unbeaten 73 from Ian Cockbain.

Batting first, Surrey lost their first wicket in the third over when England's Jason Roy (11) pulled a short ball from Matt Taylor to Benny Howell at mid wicket. Taylor helped himself to career best T20 figures in each of his previous two games and certainly bowled well early on as Surrey struggled to get going.

The visitors kept wickets in tact during the first half of their innings, but progressed slowly with both Aaron Finch and Dominic Sibley finding life increasingly difficult.

The former was second out, for 31, at 65 for 2 in the 10th with Rory Burns departing for a single, at 73 for 3 in the 11th.

Sibley (32) struck one or two lusty blows before holing out to Tom Smith off the excellent Tye, who would finish with 3 for 16 off four overs.

Surrey's middle order showed signs of recovery as brothers Sam and Tom Curran struck 20 and 16 respectively.

Taylor picked up the valuable wicket of Tom, at 118 for 6 and when brother Sam departed, run out, at 148 for 8, Gloucestershire once again found themselves in a strong position.

Two wickets in Tye's final over left Surrey on 151 for 9 with Taylor weighing in with 3 for 31 off his allotted overs.

Having struck Sam Curran's first two balls of the innings, for boundary fours, Hamish Marshall pulled the fourth ball of the innings to Tom Curran at mid wicket to leave Gloucestershire on 10 for 1.

However, captain Michael Klinger is always happy to take up the challenge and he, along with Cockbain, set about the task in hand with great purpose. Helped by one or two mis-fields, the second wicket pair ran well between the wickets and progressed quickly.

Jade Dernbach, who had not bowled a ball since taking a hat trick in the Royal London Cup final against Gloucestershire last September, conceded 11 runs off his first over as Gloucestershire kept themselves ahead of the required run rate.

Unfortunately, any hopes captain Klinger had of leading his side to victory, from the crease, were dashed when Finch took the most audacious one handed catch at mid on, off the bowling of Tom Curran, to leave Gloucestershire on 49 for 2 in the sixth over. Cockbain and Chris Dent punished anything too full or wide with Cockbain posting his half century off 32 balls with five fours and a six. They added a match-winning 78 for the third wicket before Dent was stumped by Ben Foakes off the bowling of Gareth Batty for 39.

Gloucestershire pushed on regardless and despite the loss of Benny Howell (13), reached their target with six balls to spare.

Surrey captain Gareth Batty said: "I think it was a combination of things tonight. We didn't get enough runs and we didn't field as well as we might have done. But Gloucestershire played well too, so take nothing away from them.

"We felt anything around 165 or above was a good score and a score that would give us a real chance. But we didn't get there and it was always going to be hard to defend.

"we are not far away, that's the good thing and we will go again in the next game. We just need to start building some partnerships with bat and ball and to field better than we did tonight."

Gloucestershire Ian Cockbain said: "I thought we bowled really well. everyone contributed and that was great. It was good that Andy picked up three wickets cheaply too.

"When we batted, it was about being a bit patient, I suppose. It wasn't a wicket on which you were going to score quickly straight away. The ball wasn't coming on that well.

"You have to be patient and thankfully we were and we batted well with some decent partnerships. Obviously, we are very pleased with another win because it keeps the momentum going."