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Van der Merwe puts Surrey to the Sword

A maiden List A century by Roelof van der Merwe enabled Somerset to pull off a remarkable four wicket win over Surrey in the Royal London One-Day Cup with 37 balls to spare.

Surrey were restricted to 290 for eight and in reply Somerset looked out of it at 22 for five. However, van der Merwe and Dean Elgar came together to lay the foundation for this stunning victory.

Somerset Captain Jim Allenby won the toss and elected to field. Surrey opener Mark Stoneman looked in great form and along with Dominic Sibley saw up the 50 in the 11th over, but soon after reaching his half century he was caught at third man off Lewis Gregory.

Kumar Sangakkara kept the total moving and saw up the Surrey 100 whilst Sibley moved on to 37 before he went down the wicket and was caught by ‘keeper Steve Davies for 37.  Josh Davey then changed ends and immediately had Rory Burns sharply caught at short mid wicket by Jim Allenby and two overs later had Sangakkara caught by Davies.

Ben Foakes impressed with the bat and brought up the Surrey 200 with a single off Craig Overton but two balls later the bowler accounted for Scott Borthwick, caught at mid wicket for 19.  Foakes went to 50 with a straight drive and all the while he was at the wicket Surrey looked to be heading for a big total. The Somerset bowlers had other ideas though and both Sam and Tom Curran went cheaply.

Foakes had moved onto 92 when he was caught at deep mid wicket before Surrey ended on 290 for eight.  Overton ended with three for 57, Gregory three for 71 and Davey two for 45.

The Somerset innings got off to the worst possible start as the hosts were reduced to 22 for five at which point the game looked over.

Elgar and van der Merwe then came together and gradually started the recovery. The pair kept up with the run rate and saw up the 100 in the 19th over. In the next, Elgar hit the first six of the innings off Batty which brought a loud cheer from the home crowd.

Two balls later van der Merwe went to his 50 with two off the back foot shortly after which Elgar followed.  Van der Merwe went to his century with a drive to the square cover boundary off Tom Curran, his runs coming off 77 balls. The partnership was worth 213 in 30 overs, a new List A Somerset record, and brought Somerset right back in to the game. Elgar was eventually bowled by Borthwick for 68.

Van der Merwe was then joined by Gregory and the pair stayed in the middle to see Somerset home.  Van der Merwe finished unbeaten on 165 off 122 balls with 24 fours and a six.

His innings is the highest ever in domestic List A cricket for a number seven and is the fourth highest scored by a Somerset player in List A cricket.

Afterwards van der Merwe said: “It was great for the team and fabulous to have been part of that partnership.  At 22 for five we were basically dead and buried and you had that freedom just to go out there and bat. Suddenly we needed a run a ball with not too many left, so we could just bat and keep the ball on the floor.

“We did put the Surrey fielders under pressure and it was tough for them to pick it up. There were also a few throws that went awry and we took a few extra singles and kept up that intensity.

“I don’t think that I have ever played better, especially at Somerset so it was awesome. I’ve been involved in a few games that have gone up and down but none quite like this one. This was something different and right now I feel very happy.

“The Royal London One-Day Cup is only eight games and you are into the play offs, so you have got to make every one count. Before you know it, the first round is over and you are into the knock outs so it’s awesome stuff and we have got a bit of momentum going now.”

“We started slowly with the ball, we know that but it’s amazing what wickets do to the team. Once you get them at regular intervals it puts the breaks on and that’s what we did today, so I think we did well to limit them to under 300.”

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