Sam Curran’s career-best T20 score of 72* and a partnership of 104 with Laurie Evans fired Surrey to a convincing chase against Somerset.
In truth Somerset were never in it once Tom Banton departed off the fourth ball of the innings and, with Tom Abell’s 69 proving a fairly solo effort, 187 never looked enough after what Surrey did to Middlesex’s attack live on Sky on Thursday.
Surrey have not used overseas star Hashim Amla in the Blast yet and will boost their ranks with the Kiwi fast bowler Kyle Jamieson from the 25th June too. They look a formidable outfit who could well go one better than their Finals Day loss last year.
Somerset got off to a completely contrasting start to Wednesday evening, where they were 50-0 off 2.5, as Banton got away with chipping one between mid-on and mid-off second ball, then his third, Somerset’s fourth, he was caught at gully by Gareth Batty.
Will Smeed was included ahead of Lewis Goldsworthy as Roelof van der Merwe had a side strain. Smeed played a useful powerplay knock of 23 off 12 balls, including a four through the covers first ball and a couple big sixes in there.
The best bowling for Somerset in this fixture is 4-24 by Jamie Overton at the Cooper Associates County Ground in 2018. Overton lined up against his old county for the first time, having been the eighth bowling option for Surrey against Middlesex.
On his return he did not bat and bowled just one over, the last of the powerplay being taken for 15 as James Hildreth hit three consecutive fours.
Eddie Byrom scored 54* from 19 balls the last time the two sides met in August 2019. Tonight, a much more sedate 14 as Surrey’s spinners Gareth Batty and Dan Moriarty applied the brakes when five men were allowed out; just 13 runs were taken off the next three overs.
Abell surpassed 1000 career T20 runs on his way to a sumptuous 69 off 44 balls, before departing in the 18th over. This included about as elegant an offside six as you can get, one that is well worth watching on looping repeat as you would watch Ian Bell’s cover drive.
Despite top scoring on Wednesday, Ben Green again had to wait until number seven, below his skipper Lewis Gregory, and again he finished not out, this time 24* as Somerset posted 187-6.
After Jason Roy and Will Jacks took 22 off the second over, Marchant De Lange’s first, Josh Davey struck first ball of the third from the River End. Jacks was caught by Smeed at cover for eight to make it 27-1.
When Roy was also dismissed by Davey, for 30, Somerset had a sniff, but Evans and Curran soon put pay to any slight chance the 1,800 present Somerset fans could believe in.
When De Lange hit Evans in the head and then bowled him next ball, it was the 14th over and far too late when another below-par total was posted by Somerset batting first.
Curran and Evans only offered half-chances and did not even particularly have to scamper between the wickets, striking boundaries at will throughout.
Curran’s 72 off 36 was close to Jacks’ strike-rate from last night and even the more classical Evans’ 65 came off just 34 balls.
It was convincing from Surrey, but disappointing from Somerset.