Ravi Patel, a 21-year-old left-arm spinner playing only his second match in the Friends Life t20, took 4-18 but was unable to prevent South Group leaders Surrey from defeating Middlesex Panthers by 15 runs at the Kia Oval.
Surrey, who have not won in the LV= County Championship this season and have only two victories to their name in the Yorkshire Bank 40, have now triumphed in four consecutive t20 games since losing to Hampshire Royals, the defending champions, in their opening match.
They did not look like winning this one when Patel, holding his nerve admirably in front of a capacity crowd of 22,000, twice claimed two wickets in as many balls to tear the heart out of their batting. However, Surrey showed their resilience by defending a modest target of 148.
Patel stopped Surrey in their tracks after Jason Roy had shrugged off the early loss of Steven Davies, caught at mid-on off Ollie Rayner, by dominating a second-wicket stand of 61 in seven overs with Ricky Ponting.
Ponting contributed only 10 off 12 balls before he holed out at deep extra-cover off Patel, but Roy had thrashed 52 by the time he fell leg before next ball.
The 22-year-old had thrilled the crowd by hitting three sixes, one of them a savage square-cut to the longest boundary off Toby Roland-Jones, and five fours but no other Surrey batsman could match his strokeplay on a slow, turning pitch.
Adam Voges saw Vikram Solanki well caught on the cover boundary before Patel struck again in quick succession. He had Zafar Ansari superbly caught by Dawid Malan, running to his left on the long-on boundary, and then claimed Azhar Mahmood lbw.
Voges picked up his second wicket when he had Glenn Maxwell caught at long-on to reduce Surrey to 104 for seven, but Zander de Bruyn kept the hosts in the game with an unbeaten 27 off 24 balls that lifted the score to 147 for nine.
That proved far too many for Middlesex once they had lost three wickets for nine runs to slump to 37 for three.
Malan was caught behind driving extravagantly at Jade Dernbach; Joe Denly fell leg before to Mahmood and Voges popped up a simple return catch to Batty.
Adam Rossington made 24 and Neil Dexter 40 to give the Panthers some respectability but they were never within striking distance of their target.