50 for Lewis not enough as Surrey win rain effected match

Lewis Gregory smashed his way to 50 not out from just 23 balls but it wasn’t enough to prevent Somerset slipping to a nine wicket defeat against Surrey in the Vitality Blast at the KIA Oval.

Due to rain during the day the match was reduced to 10 overs per side and after winning the toss the home team elected to field.

The 10-overs per side match followed a series of heavy downpours in South London that prevented a start until 8.15pm, and despite more rain being forecast for late evening, a near sell-out floodlit crowd of 21,089 saw some explosive action.

The first storm appeared just after 4pm, two and a half hours before the scheduled start, and rain continued to fall at regular intervals until the skies cleared enough for the Oval groundstaff to start a mop-up operation and for umpires Neil Bainton and Ben Debenham to hold an inspection at 7.20pm and decide there could be a contest.

Surrey, who had suffered an abandoned match the previous Friday evening when rain intervened after they had posted a county record T20 total of 250 for six against Kent at Canterbury, welcomed back England white-ball international opener Jason Roy and fit-again all-rounder Tom Curran for their first Blast appearances of the campaign.

Curran had Steven Davies leg-before for 11 with his second ball and then forced Peter Trego to flip up a catch to keeper Ben Foakes to depart for a second-ball duck.

Johann Myburgh swiped legside sixes off Sam Curran and Rikki Clarke, but then Clarke held on to a return catch later in the fourth over to dismiss Myburgh for 16 and leave Somerset 29 for three.

James Hildreth was then leg-before to Gareth Batty for one and Corey Anderson was caught behind off Clarke for eight as the innings declined to 46 for five.

Sixes by Gregory off Batty and a remarkable Roelof van der Merwe heave over the cover boundary off Mat Pillans boosted Somerset’s scoring rate, although van der Merwe then lifted a catch on nine later in Pillans’ over.

The players briefly left the field when more rain began to fall with Somerset 73 for six off 8.3 overs but, on the resumption, Gregory drove Jade Dernbach for successive sixes and, in a final over of the innings also memorable for three sprinkers suddenly coming on for about 30 seconds on one side of the square, Gregory plundered another six and four off Tom Curran to give his side something more substantial to defend.

In reply Roy and Aaron Finch shared an opening stand of 69 before the former was removed for 28 off 11 balls when he was caught by Max Waller from the bowling of van der Merwe.

Finch went on to make 43 from 21 balls as he and Nic Maddison (15) saw their side to their required total for a nine wicket win.

After the match Somerset Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry said: “That wasn’t the real Somerset tonight. The boys are a proud bunch, so that hurts. But we will look to get straight back on the horse on Sunday against Middlesex.

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