SURREY V SOMERSET - NatWest T20 Blast - 8 July 2016
Surrey 154-8 (20 overs). Somerset 139-6 (20 Overs). Surrey won by 15
Surrey kept their hopes of NatWest T20
Blast quarter-final qualification alive with a hard-working 15-run win
against Somerset in front of a 25,500 full house at the Kia Oval. For
Somerset, however, defeat is a terminal blow to their own hopes of
staging a late South Group rally to get into the last eight, as their
captain Jim Allenby admitted afterwards.
Spinners Gareth Batty and Zafar Ansari put a
mid-innings stranglehold on Somerset's reply to Surrey's total of 154
for 8, and in the closing overs Jade Dernbach and Tom Curran also rose
to the challenge of defending what had seemed to be a below-par score
with a superb mix of slower balls, yorkers and other variations.
Somerset finished on 139 for 6.
Mahela Jayawardene, Somerset's former Sri Lanka
batsman, was disgusted with himself for hitting a long hop from off
spinner Batty - the Surrey captain's first ball - straight down the
throat of Jason Roy at deep mid wicket, at the start of the eighth
over. He had made batting look easy with 36 from 21 balls in the
six-over powerplay but no other Somerset batsman could match his
Batty said afterwards: "Our bowlers did brilliantly
to defend that total. Jade Dernbach is just the best at what he does,
operating in the death overs, and he's been doing that for years. But
Tom Curran, for a young lad of 21, is also a very consistent performer
in the closing overs and he's learning from Jade the master.
"We've seen before in T20 that it's amazing what you
can achieve when you get on a run. We've made a few tweaks to the side
in recent games and to get Jade back from injury, after a long lay-off
in the first half of this season, is huge for us."
Allenby, who was run out for 22 by Dernbach's direct
hit from backward point, said: "That's our competition over in terms
of qualifying and we just haven't done it this season. We've got three
group games left, though, so it's important we turn up and try to take
some better form into the 50-over competition and the rest of the
season. But it just hasn't been good enough from us."
Australian batsman Aaron Finch hit a brilliant 51
from just 26 balls, with three sixes and five fours, to give Surrey's
innings a blistering start after Somerset had opted to bowl first.
But Roy got out cheaply early on and, when Finch
fell in the eight over Surrey's innings, from 68 for two, lost its way
against some excellent Somerset bowling in which Josh Davey was
outstanding with figures of 3 for 20 from his four overs.
Dominic Sibley and Ansari were Davey's other scalps
and, when South African all-rounder Chris Morris chipped a return
catch to Jamie Overton to go for 8, Somerset were right back in the
game with Surrey 120 for 6 deep into the 16th over.
The Curran brothers, Tom and Sam, tried their best
to get Surrey's total up to something defendable but when Jayawardene
swept Somerset to 71 for 2 after seven overs the visitors looked
Dernbach's 3 for 32, however, and identical
four-over spells of 1 for 20 from both Batty and Ansari turned the
game back Surrey's way and when Lewis Gregory hit the last ball of the
19th over, a full toss from Dernbach, straight to deep mid wicket
where Tom Curran took a fine catch above his head, Somerset's last
chance had gone and the task of scoring 18 runs from the last over to
tie was always going to be beyond them.