Somerset take Surrey to the last ball in thriller
This top of the table Vitality Blast clash went down to the very last ball as Surrey squeezed past Somerset to maintain their unbeaten record in the South Group at the Kia Oval.
Needing nine runs off the final over, the hosts saw Peter Siddle claim three wickets in the first five balls of the 20th, but Conor McKerr found the rope through extra cover off the final ball of the match to claim the four runs that Surrey required to secure the victory by three wickets.
It was a dramatic encounter with the outcome never certain until the thrilling conclusion.
After losing the toss, Somerset lost wickets in each of the first two overs as Will Smeed (1) hit left-arm spinner Dan Moriarty to deep mid wicket and Rilee Rossouw, making room as he aimed over extra cover, was bowled by Clark for six.
Tom Banton and Tom Abell led Somerset to 51 for two by the end of the six-over powerplay, but Abell’s 13 ended with a catch to deep square leg off Atkinson and Banton’s dismissal in the ninth over led to a difficult middle part of the innings for the visitors.
With six fours, including some eye-catching sweeps, reverse sweeps and clever flicks, Banton looked set to go on to a sizeable score but, attempting another scooped stroke against the pacy McKerr, he succeeded only in giving a simple catch to Atkinson at long leg.
Tom Lammonby tried to counter-attack, immediately top-edging a pull at McKerr for six and then flipping a four to fine leg, but Sunil Narine’s spin was introduced for the tenth over and the Trinidadian went on to bowl his four overs for just 18 runs, with Lammonby run out for 21.
Lewis Gregory, who would later claim three for 25, was well held for seven by Cameron Steel, the substitute fielder, off Atkinson and Ben Green skied Chris Jordan to mid on as he tried to break the shackles.
The visitors slipped to 103 for eight when Roelof van der Merwe was bowled for three by McKerr leaving Lewis Goldsworthy to lead Somerset to a defendable total. He took four fours from the last two overs of the innings, ending on 27 not out from 19 balls.
Will Jacks was the pick of the Surrey batters. The opener remained unbeaten on 66 from 58 balls and alongside skipper Chris Jordan he helped rally Surrey from 106 for 4 in the 16th over, with 15 runs being plundered from the penultimate over.
However, after Jacks had taken a single from the first ball of Siddle’s final over, the 23-year old could only watch with mounting horror from the non-striker’s end as Jordan skied a catch to Tom Lammonby running in from deep mid wicket to exit for 14.
Nico Reifer clipped his first ball to long leg for four but was then yorked by a beauty from Siddle. Gus Atkinson, swinging when he should have been tapping and running, was also bowled by a full ball and Siddle was looking for a hat-trick as well as a match-winning delivery when he ran in to McKerr.
However, the Surrey tailender, making his first Surrey appearance of the season, anticipated another full ball and hit it powerfully to the boundary.
It was tough on Somerset, who had fought hard on a slow, used surface, but they are now five points behind Surrey in second place in the South Group table.
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