Essex claim last-ball victory
Surrey, playing their first match since the death of Tom Maynard earlier in the week, suffered a three-wicket defeat against Essex in a thrilling Friends Life t20 South Group match at Chelmsford.
Surrey’s total of 144 for nine was surpassed with the game’s final delivery to leave Essex celebrating their third successive victory in the competition.
The home side’s hero was opener James Franklin, who compiled an unbeaten 63 off 51 deliveries with two fours and three sixes.
Even when he lost three partners in the first six overs with only 36 on the board, Franklin remained unruffled and shared in a fourth-wicket stand worth 57 in seven overs with James Foster to put his side back on track.
Surrey rallied though, and they sent back Foster for 23, Adam Wheater for six and Graham Napier, who failed to score, in quick succession to leave their opponents on 102 for six at the end of the 14th over.
Michael Comber was then dismissed for 12 but Franklin stayed cool at the other end before joining forces with Tim Phillips to see Essex across the finishing line as the pair took the 15 runs they needed off the final over from Dirk Nannes for victory.
It was hard on Surrey, who were missing captain Rory Hamilton-Brown on compassionate grounds because of the death of his great friend Maynard.
The visitors started brightly enough with Steven Davies and Jason Roy taking 38 from the first four overs.
But once they were separated, wickets fell steadily, and Reece Topley did the major damage with 3-28. He received good support from Ryan ten Doeschate, who collected 2-20 from four overs.
Roy top-scored with 36 from 20 balls, all but four of his runs arriving in boundaries, before Topley had him caught by ten Doeschate on the midwicket boundary.
Matthew Spriegel was the visitors’ other main contributor with 35 but was never able to accelerate as he wished, his runs coming from 33 balls.
Surrey managed only 28 from the final five overs and their failure to add impetus in that period proved to be their downfall.
Essex donated 50 pence from each of their matchday programme sales which resulted in them being able to give £320 to the charity of choice of the Maynard family.