Defeat for Somerset at Surrey
Somerset fell to a six wicket Vitality Blast defeat against Surrey at the KIA Oval tonight meaning that quarter-final qualification will now go right down to the wire.
Aaron Finch made 102 not out from 53 balls as Surrey kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the knock-out stages.
Chasing Somerset’s 157 for nine, in which openers Tom Banton and Babar Azam put on 80 in 8.2 overs, Finch’s innings settled matters and brought Surrey their fifth win of the campaign.
Surrey now have 12 points and Somerset, in fourth place with 13, need to beat Middlesex in their final group game on Friday to secure advancement in the competition.
Imran Tahir was the pick of the home bowlers with four for 25 from four overs.
After choosing to bat first, the Somerset innings got off to a great start thanks to Banton and Babar in front of a 25,000 sell out crowd.
Banton’s 28-ball 47 was by far the most fluent of the Somerset batting efforts, with legside sixes off Curran and Clark and five fours besides – the pick of them a reverse flip for four off Tahir in the game’s very first over. Babar Azam hit three fours, but played his part too in an opening partnership which hinted at an eventual Somerset total of around 200.
Once Banton had fallen in the ninth over, however, the innings lost its forward momentum and soon James Hildreth followed, stumped off Batty in the next over for one when he advanced to a delivery outside off stump.
Worse was to come for Somerset, though, with Babar chipping a return catch to Tahir to go for a 31-ball 37 and, in the same 11th over, Ed Byrom (3) gave the South African leg-spinner a caught and bowled off a looping leading edge.
Four wickets had gone in 17 balls, for the addition of only 13 runs, but from 93 for four a mini-recovery was stifled as Gareth Batty removed Abell for 14, stumped as he attempted a reverse sweep, and Tahir had van der Merwe leg before for two.
That was 114 for six, in the 15th over, and from there, the lower order did its best to get Somerset up to a defendable total with Tom Lammonby reaching 19 before being caught behind in a nine-ball Jade Dernbach over, the 18th, costing 12 runs.
Clark and Curran grabbed the wickets of Overton and Groenewald in the closing overs and Somerset needed their tenth wicket pair of Taylor and Waller to make sure they batted through their 20-over allocation.
Finch then caught the eye in the hosts reply but Sam Curran skied van der Merwe’s left arm spin to Tom Abell in the ring, having contributed just nine to a second wicket stand of 61 in 5.1 overs, following Mark Stoneman’s departure for 18 to the last ball of the sixth over, caught behind off the bowling of Tim Groenewald. Ollie Pope was then run out by Craig Overton for seven in the 15th over.
After the match Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “Our total was never going to be enough, but you have to give a lot of credit to Aaron Finch. He’s a superb striker of the ball.
“It is now a must-win game for us against Middlesex on Friday, but we can beat anyone when we get things right. Banton and Babar were outstanding tonight but there’s no doubt we need more from the rest of our batting.”
Tom Banton image courtesy of Getty ImagesBack to News