Surrey surpass Somerset atop the T20 Blast South Group in the battle...

Surrey surpass Somerset atop the T20 Blast South Group in the battle of the favourites at Taunton.

Chris Jordan’s late striking (36* off 12 balls) and 2-31 added to Will Jacks’ 60 saw 195 defended thanks to England’s World-Cup-winning-death-specialist Sam Curran’s 5-26.

Massive kudos to Somerset’s fielding though as they took all nine Surrey wickets through outfield catches and saved what should have been another 200+ night for the Surrey slickers (who announced Dan Lawrence as a 19th capped international player to join their squad for next season).

Lewis Gregory won the toss, and unlike Ben Stokes earlier in the day, chose to chase.

But before play thoughts for the sell out crowd in the ground and the tens of thousands watching on the stream turned to Nottingham/Bishops Hull and particularly one of three lives tragically lost this week-Barnaby Webber previously of Bishops Hull CC and Taunton School who did not make it home from a night out with fellow cricket lover Grace O’Malley Kumar. Ian Coates was also murdered the same night. A moments applause before tonight’s match and Somerset club matches tomorrow pay further respects to these three and their friends and families.

Craig Overton and Matt Henry started well, the first boundary not coming until the eighth ball. They continued straight through for the first five overs, Surrey serene as they have been in the powerplays this Blast campaign, stroking enough boundaries to keep it ticking before unleashing later on.

The first two balls of the night bowled by Ben Green, in the ninth over, both could have been caught by Tom Abell at deep midwicket. Understandably after seeing the horrible collision between Shadab Khan and Nathan McAndrew t’other week, Abell chose not to dive to attempt a screamer for the first, and fortunately next ball came far easier, straight into the breadbasket. Evans gone for 28, 71-1.

The most expensive T20 player in the world came in next to start off the all rounders or ‘tail’ whichever tinted glasses you may be looking at this Surrey line-up with (3-9 are all quality bowlers when fit!)
80-1 after 10 ‘not extreme striking from Surrey yet’ was my commentator’s curse again…next ball saw another six over extra from Will Jacks, this time off Roelof van der Merwe (1-34 off just three).
50 from 37 balls for Jacks, four fours, three sixes.

15 off 11 for Sam Curran before holing out to Abell off Henry in the thirteenth bringing a certain frenemy to the crease.

With twin brother Craig at long on already, Jamie Overton came out to accelerate on a typically flat Taunton white-ball surface!
Third ball Jamie O struck van der Merwe beautifully straight into the Trescothick sight sheet. Jacks emulated him two balls later, this time into the DJ tent at cow corner. Now the acceleration coming.
But! Jacks (60) then hit a full toss high to Henry at long off, 120-3 6162W1 went the 14th.

Local fans’ favourite Tom Curran chipped Henry straight to Craig Overton at long on for two and Surrey really were struggling at 123-4, well short of where I thought they’d be after 14.3 on a 200-par pitch.
133-5, Sean Abbott for two, brought skipper Chris Jordan to the crease surprisingly before Sunil Narine-you really could pull Surrey’s 3-11 out of a hat.

Overton (20) timed some beautiful strokes around his old stomping ground, but unfortunately for the neutral (though maybe not for Dad-Mark) Abell took a great diving catch at midwicket before Craig got a chance to bowl at his brother again. Green winning this battle of the Devonshire men. 140-6.
Sean Dickson joined the catching party, Jamie Smith-harshly relegated to eight after his heroics at Canterbury three days ago, out for 5, 147-7.

Narine – another talent wasted down at nine (opened multiple times in the IPL), pulled Josh Davey (3-32) for six first ball, a superb full-length dive from Dickson declined him four two balls later.
Henry’s penultimate over was taken for four sixes and a four, 31 for Jordan who finished on 36* off 12 balls!
Blast top wicket-taker Green took the last over-Narine gave Abell another catch before Atkinson also found Dickson (Green finishing with 4-33). 195-9.

Banton (who was snicked off for two by Malcolm Marshall’s son Mali in Newton Abbot last night) took Abbott for two sixes behind the wicket in the first over. Smeed hit two fours off Tom Lawes before skewing to deep cover-point.

Narine dropped Abell on 0 and was then taken to the cleaners by the same man, Abell consecutively slog sweeping for six into the Somerset stand.
Atkinson had him caught behind for 39 off 23 in the 11th though.

Another monstrous six off Narine saw Banton to 50 off 33.
The 14th over bowled by Sam Curran knocked the stuffing out of Somerset’s middle order.
Banton caught by Jacks at mid off for 53 the killer blow, then Dickson did the criminal thing of running to a misfield, before Gregory pulled to deep cow corner. 119-3 became 121-6, Curran 4-18 off three.

Narine continued to look the worst bowler in the game tonight, Green took him for successive sixes-the overseas superstar going for 55 off his four wicketless overs!

But van der Merwe could not provide any Bristolian heroics, and Craig gave his twin another catch to add to the copious amount of long on catches for the Overton pair this tournament.

Somerset 167-9 lost by 28 runs.


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