MIDDLESEX V SURREY - NatWest T20
Blast - 21 July 2016
196-6 (20 Overs). Middlesex 200-5 (19.1 Overs).
Middlesex won by
crowd of 27,119, a record for a domestic Twenty20 match in England,
saw Middlesex chase down Surrey's 196 for 6 to complete NatWest T20
Blast victory by five wickets on an exhilarating evening of sixes,
fours and short-form skills.
Spectators packing the stands on a balmy night were
initially thrilled by Jason Roy and Aaron Finch, who smashed 50 and 78
respectively and put on 87 in just seven overs for Surrey's first
But Surrey's scoring rate dipped after they had
reached 111 for two at the halfway mark, and 121 for two after eleven
overs, and Middlesex's top order were more than equal to an asking
rate of just below ten runs an over.
George Bailey, the former Australia T20 captain,
steered them home with 55 off 43 balls and featured in a fourth wicket
stand of 67 in seven overs with John Simpson, who batted with equal
fluency to score 43 off 26 balls with a six to mid wicket off Dominic
Sibley's leg spin and five fours.
And the innings was given huge early impetus by Paul
Stirling, whose 34 from 16 balls included a six and six fours, and
England's one-day captain Eoin Morgan, who swung a full toss from
Azhar Mahmood on to the roof of the Grand Stand in a rollicking 42
from 24 balls. Morgan dominated a third wicket partnership of 64 in
6.4 overs with Bailey before hitting a low full toss from Sibley to
long on in the 11th over.
For Middlesex, who reached 200 for 5 from 19.1 overs
to triumph with five balls to spare, it was a sixth South Group win to
take them into third place and, on 13 points, puts them in with a good
chance of quarter-final qualification with three games still to play.
It was also their highest successful T20 chase. Surrey, by contrast,
with only 10 points from 12 games, look out of contention for a last
The explosive start provided by Roy and Finch
propelled Surrey to 80 without loss in the opening six-over powerplay
and it was hitting of the highest quality by both internationals.
Roy set the tone for what was to follow by flipping
the first two balls of the innings, bowled by Tim Murtagh, past short
fine leg for fours. There was another boundary, whipped to mid wicket
in that first over and Finch was off the mark when he hit his first
ball for four, off James Fuller in the second over.
A huge six by Finch later in that over, driven over
long off, meant that Surrey had plundered 29 runs from the first two
overs. After four overs, the total was 52 for no wicket, with Roy
taking an immediate liking to Harry Podmore in the young seamer's
opening over by swinging him away behind square leg for six.
Fuller struck a rare blow, literally, for the
under-fire bowlers by skidding a sharp bouncer through Finch's
attempted pull and into the grille of his helmet. After a brief
stoppage, while the Australian inspected the damage, there was revenge
for the batsman when he drove Fuller high over long on for a powerful
Roy deposited Podmore over wide mid wicket for six
with a pure pick-up and also slashed him to third man for his sixth
four before falling to the first ball of the eighth over, Bailey
pulling off a brilliant catch as he sprinted in from long off and
dived forward to clutch a mishit lofted drive at James Franklin.
Steven Davies fell to Nathan Sowter's leg spin for 5
and Rory Burns swung a full toss from Paul Stirling for six before
top-edging a slog-sweep at Sowter and departing for 15.
South African all-rounder Chris Morris took a while
to get into his stride, pulling the suffering Podmore for six to make
himself feel better, while Finch produced an extraordinary left-handed
drive for two off Sowter when initially switching round in the crease
to get himself into position for a reverse-sweep. Next ball, a full
toss from Sowter, was clubbed in more orthodox fashion for six.
With Podmore having to be withdrawn from the attack
for bowling his second beamer of the innings, Ryan Higgins was asked
to complete the 19th over and, after being driven sweetly for six by
Morris, had the batsman caught on the mid wicket ropes for 25.
Two more wickets fell in the final over, bowled by
Fuller, including Finch caught at long off and Sam Curran at short
fine leg from a skied attempt at a ramp shot, preventing Surrey from
topping the 200 mark that had looked a certainty during the first two
thirds of the innings.
Stirling took two fours and six from an opening over
by Curran costing 16 and two of the stocky Irishman's offside
boundaries were memorable strokes through square cover off Jade
Dernbach, who had removed Nick Gubbins for 4 in the second over, and
cracked through extra cover from a 91.2mph delivery by the pacy
After Stirling skied to short mid wicket, Morgan
took charge while Bailey settled in with a reverse slap for four
against Gareth Batty's off spin and then a delightful late cut to the
boundary off Mahmood.
Both Simpson, bowled by Mahmood, and Bailey, bowled
by Dernbach, fell with the finishing line in sight but Higgins came in
to reverse hit the first ball of the final over, from Batty, for the
Middlesex captain James Franklin said: "Hats off to
our batsmen who chased down that total superbly. We are really chuffed
to win and it puts us in a good position going into our last few group
"I thought we would be chasing down almost 300 when
they got a flying start through Roy and Finch but Nathan Sowter and
Ryan Higgins did a great job with the ball and managed to bring down
their scoring rate. At half-time in the match we were pretty happy
because it was a very good pitch with some pace and bounce.
"The London derbies this season have been fantastic
occasions. Surrey turned us over at the Oval earlier this season, in
front of another full house, but we got the win this time and it was a
brilliant game of cricket and great for people to watch."
Gareth Batty, Surrey's captain, quipped: "Can we
have a third game please against Middlesex? It's 1-1 this season, so
we should really have another match to decide it! Yes, it's
disappointing to lose but it was a very good game of cricket and I
feel we should have scored more runs in total after our great start
and, with the ball, we might have been a little bit smarter at times.
But credit to Middlesex - it was a very good run chase."