Stunning debut from Corey can't prevent defeat at Surrey
An explosive 81 from 45 balls from Corey Anderson and a dramatic 12-run penalty, could not prevent Surrey from squeaking home by four runs in a remarkable NatWest T20 Blast match at the Kia Oval.
Led by stand-in captain Jade Dernbach, Surrey go top of the embryonic South Group table with two wins from two games, with the run out of Anderson in the final over the key moment in a game which had seemed all over before the award of penalty runs for not bowling the 20 overs in the allotted time.
Dernbach shot out Jim Allenby and James Hildreth for first ball ducks in the first over of Somerset’s reply, which ended with Somerset one for two after Surrey posted 181 for seven, in which Australian batsman Aaron Finch hit 61 from 42 balls.
Somerset eventually made it to 177 for nine thanks to some magnificent hitting from New Zealand all-rounder Anderson, who struck Tom Curran for successive sixes at the start of an 18th over which, before the penalty runs were added, had begun with 51 needed.
Suddenly, the equation was down to 23 from two overs, and Anderson ramped up the excitement by flicking Dernbach over mid wicket for six in the 19th over. But then, after a four to mid wicket and attempting a two to long on, Anderson failed to beat Finch’s throw to the keeper. Curran then held his nerve to allow just two runs from the final three balls at Josh Davey and Max Waller.
Besides Finch’s fine effort, Surrey’s total also owed much to their two 19-year-olds, Sam Curran and Ollie Pope, who played some spectacular strokes of their own in quickfire innings of 39 and 25 not out respectively.
It was then the turn of Sam and Tom Curran, with the ball, and well-supported by fellow seamer Ravi Rampaul, to cause Somerset further problems at 49 for six.
A crowd of more than 15,000 lapped it up as Tom Curran had Steven Davies leg-before for 15 with his third ball, in the fifth over, before bowling Peter Trego for 10 in his next over. By then Rampaul had dismissed Adam Hose for five, caught at short fine leg, and soon afterwards Sam Curran returned for a second spell to pin Roelof van der Merwe leg-before for 10.
Rampaul had Lewis Gregory caught on the cover ropes for six in his second spell and Craig Overton (11) offered a blow or two in support of Anderson before swiping a Sam Curran full toss to deep mid wicket.
Surrey’s innings was given a good start by Finch and Jason Roy, who took 45 from the first four overs. Roy, who had clubbed Craig Overton to long on for six, swished his bat in annoyance after pulling Josh Davey straight to deep mid wicket for 15 in the fifth over, but Finch continued to attack and the initial powerplay ended with Surrey on 59 for one.
Finch had warmed to his task by plundering two fours and a pulled six from the first three balls of the third over, bowled by Davey, and then took two offside fours from Roelof van der Merwe’s second over before swatting Max Waller’s first ball to wide long on for another six.
Mark Stoneman chipped van der Merwe to extra cover to go for 8 but, at halfway, Surrey were 92 for two and on course for a 200-plus total.
That ambition looked less likely when Finch, after a third six driven wide of long on from van der Merwe, hit the same bowler to Lewis Gregory on the long on boundary three balls later.
Rory Burns went cheaply but Sam Curran, with a competition-best 39 from 21 balls did his best to keep up the tempo. Dom Sibley could not quite clear Adam Hose at deep square leg when, on seven, he scooped van der Merwe high into the South London sky.
Curran squeezed a full, wide ball from Davey to cover before Pope hit 25 in the closing overs. His brother made eight before being caught at mid wicket from the final ball of Surrey’s innings.
Van der Merwe was the pick of the Somerset bowlers finishing with three for 27 from his four overs. Josh Davey claimed two for 37 from three whilst there was a wicket each for Lewis Gregory and Max Waller.
UPDATE: Johann Myburgh picked up a slight hand injury and therefore wasn't considered for selection in this match#SURvSOM
— Somerset Cricket (@SomersetCCC) July 9, 2017
Somerset Captain Jim Allenby revealed that Anderson had suffered a stiff back after bowling the first over of the game, which is why he later left the field for treatment and could then only come into bat at number seven.
Jim said: “He’s been flying a lot around the world recently, so we just wanted him to take it easy and not make it worse – especially right at the start of the tournament. When he comes in at number five, which he should in future games, he will give us even more firepower and especially if we bat better as a team.
“Today, those of us at the top of the order let us down because we made a terrible start. But Corey’s was a special innings and it deserved to win the game. If we had batted better up front, it would have been a match-winning innings.”
The match scorecard can be viewed here
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