Roy and Finch could just be the best opening partnership in world cricket at the moment. 28 off 10 and an unbeaten 43 off 21 balls respectively left Somerset no chance of defending their meagre 99-6 after Dernbach won the toss and inserted the visitors. Surrey chased it down with nine wickets and 20 balls remaining.
Torrential, treacherous thunderstorms in the 30-degree heat in the capital this afternoon did not allow this match to start until 8.15pm, in what was eventually a 10-over-a-side thrash.
Myburgh and Davies struggled to get Somerset off to the scintillating start they have so often had the past couple of seasons. Davies was lbw to Tom Curran for 11.
Trego went very tamely, having smoked his first ball at backward point, he plopped a short ball from Curran over his head to the alert Ben Foakes. 23-2 off the three over power-play. Myburgh launched a second six over mid-wicket off Rikki Clarke’s first short ball, the medium-pace man not quite quick enough to bowl that length, but next ball showed great reactions to have Myburgh caught and bowled for 16.
Hildreth tried to reverse-sweep Batty but departed for one. Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson’s knock came to a close the ball after pulling Clarke for 4, edging him behind for just 8, Somerset 46-5, down to just their all-rounders and bowlers in the sixth over.
Van der Merwe hit a remarkable shot over extra cover for six with his supremely fast bat-speed, then played his falling over shot for one off Mat Pillans, before skying one to mid on to go for 9.
Gregory then came in and transformed the Somerset innings, scoring 50 off 23 balls with four sixes. His partner Tom Abell was merely a runner, scoring one run off the one ball he faced in their 35-run partnership. 99-6 off 10, over half of which were scored by fast-bowling captain Lewis Gregory.
10 minutes later, 21,089 then saw Jason Roy skip down the track and flick Jerome Taylor for three off his first ball for Somerset, the first delivery of the reply. Finch cover drove for four and Roy hit a gargantuan six over long on in the same over – not the best start for Taylor at Somerset – Surrey 20-0 off the first, on course to win in five overs then.
Gregory took the next over himself, twice hit over the leg-side rope for six by Finch. “Aaron, hit it harder mate” crowed from the crowd provided almost as much of a chuckle as when the sprinklers went off mid-first-innings.
90mph bowler Jamie Overton started with a slower ball which Finch duly deposited over extra cover, then a ludicrously high skier was dropped by the most surprising of culprits, usual gun-fielder Max Waller. In his defence it did go miles into the night sky up and above the floodlights. Cue Finch continued to smash Overton to all parts, 17 coming off his first over. 56-0 off the three over power-play, well over double what Somerset had at the same stage.
The sensational striking from Surrey did not stop when Somerset turned to van der Merwe’s spin. Five wides in the over helped the Dutchman’s figures to eight off four balls, but he did get his man, Roy caught by Waller at long on for 28 off 10 balls. 69 the two had hit, off just 23 balls-even my maths can see that’s a 300 strike rate!
Nic Maddinson got going with two fours off Waller, then Van der Merwe had a very good shout of caught behind turned down before another five wides dented the Dutchman’s figures again. Roelof still Somerset’s best bowler on the night nonetheless.
Jerome Taylor did not get to finish his second ever over in a Somerset shirt, bowling 1.4 overs for 29.
Somerset cement their unwanted record of being the worst performers in the county game from T20 matches further reduced by rain.