Surrey consolidate their position at the top of the South Group after comfortable victory over Middlesex


Surrey made it seven wins out of eight and maintained their position at the head of the table by three points from Somerset after a comfortable seven wicket victory over rivals Middlesex at the Kia Oval on Friday.

The visitors total of 155-8 looked well short of par and so it proved as Surrey- despite being without three players on England white ball duty- cantered to victory thanks to a half-century from all rounder Sunil Narine.

On the hottest day of the year, with temperatures still nudging around 30% centigrade, along with a full house, the group leaders won the toss and put Middlesex in to bat.

Jordan Clarke and Will Jacks opened the bowling for Surrey, and it was Jacks who made the early breakthrough in the third over with just his third delivery, Max Holden(3) played a poor shot which resulted in a simple catch to Gus Atkinson to leave the visitors 8-1.

A bright and breezy knock of 19 from nine balls from Joe Cracknell was ended when he holed out in the deep off Dan Worrall. The prolific run scorer Steve Eskinazi was still at the crease and Middlesex’s hopes of posting a good score rested heavily on his shoulders.

The skipper had already hit 264 runs along with 35 fours and seven sixes in his eight innings so far and added another maximum to that total by depositing a full toss from Clarke into the stands.

Both Eskinazi and John Simpson were trying to rebuild the innings when disaster struck with a terrible mix up in the middle which saw the key wicket of Eskinazi(25) run out to leave Middlesex 69-3 in the ninth over.

The Surrey skipper struck with his fourth delivery when Simpson(25) mistimed a pull to get a top edge with the ball falling into the hands of Jamie Overton at mid-off.

Middlesex were certainly struggling to post a reasonable total to defend when Sunil Narine struck with Jack Davies(17) reverse sweeping the West Indian into the hands of Atkinson.

Chris Green made 14 before chipping Atkinson to Jordan at mid-off, before the Surrey captain almost hung on to a very sharp caught and bowled when Luke Hollman had made 24.

With three overs to go the visitors were getting bogged down with some  good economical bowling from the hosts with Narine bagging another wicket when Martin Andersson(6) came down the pitch and was stumped by Jamie Smith.

It was down to Hollman(31) to anchor the Middlesex innings, but he fell off the last ball of the innings when he holed out in the deep,  as the visitors finished their twenty overs on 155-8, what was a below par total.

The opening pair of Jacks and Smith were quickly in their strides when Smith(15) perished in the deep off the bowling of Jason Behrendoff. Jacks was particularly severe on Tom Helm by taking 18 of the fast bowlers opening over, including consecutive sixes.

By the time the powerplay had ended, Surrey were well on top with the scoreboard reading 7-1 with Jacks unbeaten on 40 and Ollie Pope 19.

Shortly after the powerplay expired the home side lost two quick wickets in six balls with Jacks entertaining knock ending when he was caught in the deep for a bright and breezy 43 off twenty balls.

Laurie Evans(5) stay at the crease was a brief one when he was also caught in the deep of spinner Thilan Walallawita to leave Surrey 85-3 in the eighth over.

By the half way point the home side looked favourites to complete another victory in the competition, requiring 52 from the final ten overs with Pope and Narine looking well set.

The pair added 73 for the fourth wicket, with Narine unbeaten on 51 off 29 balls  and Pope 37, as Surrey cruised to a comfortable victory with 29 balls to spare to consolidate their position at the top of the South Group and keep their unbeaten record intact. However, for Middlesex it is another defeat in the competition, their sixth in a row.

Surrey        Middlesex

                                 Vitality Blast South Group  Friday 17th June 2022

                                                   Middlesex  155-8 (20)  Surrey  158-3 (15.1)

                                                             Surrey won by seven wickets

                                                Peter Moore at the Kia Oval

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