Somerset tame Lions
Somerset ended Surrey’s unbeaten home record in this season’s Friends Life t20 with a convincing 38-run victory over the Lions at the Kia Oval.
After winning the toss, the visitors compiled 169 for seven thanks to a well-fashioned 58 off 49 balls from James Hildreth.
In reply, Surrey had no real answer to a disciplined display from Somerset’s trio of spinners, of whom Arul Suppiah was the pick with 3-22 from four overs, as they were limited to 131 for eight.
Since crashing to defeat against Sussex at the PROBIZ County Ground, last season’s runners-up Somerset have been in destructive form in the competition and this result saw them climb to second in the South Group.
The foundations of Somerset’s total were laid in an opening stand of 58 in five overs between Marcus Trescothick and Peter Trego.
Trescothick brought up the fifty partnership with the third of three successive fours. Two balls later, the Somerset captain was bowled by Yasir Arafat for 35 from 17 balls, though not before he had slapped the same bowler back over his head for six.
The visitors’ progress was then checked by Zafar Ansari, who conceded just 19 runs from four overs. Trego departed for 27 in the 13th over when the 19-year-old left-arm spinner picked up his first t20 wicket.
Jos Buttler launched Rory Hamilton-Brown into the pavilion for a maximum but, before the 20-year-old could cause any more damage, he was caught behind for 19 looking to hook a short ball from Stuart Meaker.
Kieron Pollard went cheaply after lofting a pull off Meaker to Tom Maynard at midwicket before Hildreth, having moved to 42-ball half-century, departed to a catch by Dirk Nannes at backward point off Arafat.
With Craig Meschede and Lewis Gregory contributing little before each falling to Nannes, Somerset were restricted to only six off their last two overs.
Despite the efforts of Jason Roy, Surrey’s innings lacked momentum. Somerset’s attack was backed up superbly in the field as they defended their total with relative comfort.
Hamilton-Brown went leg before to Gregory and Steven Davies lifted Max Waller’s first delivery high to Steve Kirby at short fine-leg to depart for 22.
Between Maynard picking out Pollard at deep midwicket off Suppiah and Arafat lifting the same bowler straight down the ground for six, Surrey failed to find the boundary.
During that near three-over spell, Roy, who was dropped on 29 when Waller spilled a sharp return chance, was stumped off Suppiah for 32. Matthew Spriegel then lofted the left-arm spinner to long-on, where Gregory took the catch.
When Zander de Bruyn was stumped by Buttler off Waller, the hosts were left needing an unlikely 95 off the last seven overs with four wickets left. They duly slumped to a defeat that leaves them plenty to do to progress to the quarter-finals.