Surrey will almost certainly confirm a home NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final if they beat last-placed Middlesex at Lord’s tomorrow night.
Victory for Surrey over their London rivals, in front of the TV cameras and a near sell-out crowd at HQ, will edge them above Hampshire on net run-rate and into second place in the South Group.
With Hampshire’s group-stage campaign completed, Surrey would then only have to avoid a wide-margin reverse in their final game against Kent Spitfires at Canterbury on Friday night to clinch a home last-eight tie.
Their first objective is, however, to overcome a Middlesex side that have been the weak link in the South Group.
Despite boasting the likes of Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Dan Christian – whose 129 from 57 balls at Kent remains the highest individual score of the competition this term – Middlesex have won just twice and not at all at Lord’s.
Indeed, even when Christian embarked on his blistering century at the Spitfire Ground, Middlesex still came up short.
Despite that Surrey will be wary after Middlesex thumped Hampshire by 50 runs last time out at the Ageas Bowl.
Ireland opener Paul Stirling smacked 64 from 44 balls to get the ball rolling before Neil Dexter’s three wickets was the best of a choking bowling performance.
Surrey have won their past two Blast games to ensure a quarter-final place, but were dealt a blow in their five-run win over Gloucestershire last week when Jade Dernbach re-injured a hamstring problem.
They also head into the match with the disappointment of suffering an 89-run defeat to Kent today in the LV= County Championship, which undermined their promotion bid.
“There are a few tired bodies in there I won’t lie to you,” skipper Gary Wilson told the club’s website after defeat at Guildford.
“We have to dust ourselves down; we have an important game against Middlesex.
“We’re one win away from a definite home quarter-final and we know how important that is.”