Lions chase down Northants
Fifties from Jason Roy and Chris Schofield underpinned a stunning pursuit as Surrey returned to the top of Clydesdale Bank 40 Group B with a three-wicket win over third-placed Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
Alex Wakely made his best one-day score in crashing 94 off 77 balls - including seven fours and three sixes - as the Steelbacks posted 296 for seven, with captain Andrew Hall blasting an unbeaten 55 from 35 deliveries and Jade Dernbach taking 3-53.
The Lions reached their target, despite a late wobble, with seven balls to spare as Roy and Schofield, promoted to number four, made 65 and 72 respectively to end the hosts’ hopes of a semi-final spot.
Northants won the toss but they lost David Willey for 23 in the fifth over when he smashed England international Dernbach to Zander de Bruyn at deep extra-cover.
Rob Newton then bludgeoned an explosive 42 off only 22 balls before launching de Bruyn to Zafar Ansari at mid-on.
Wakely reached his fifty from 47 balls but David Sales walked on 28 when he was trapped leg before by Gareth Batty.
Wakely was to fall six short of his first one-day century when he was superbly caught at long-on by a diving Matthew Spriegel off Schofield.
Rob White was then run out for 38 by bowler Yasir Arafat before Dernbach bowled Steelbacks’ wicketkeeper David Murphy.
James Middlebrook soon chipped Dernbach to Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown at mid-off but Hall completed a half-century off just 33 balls in the final over.
Chasing 297, Hamilton-Brown flayed 46 off 30 balls before perishing by smashing Willey straight to Sales at cover.
Fellow opener Steven Davies blasted 42 off 29 deliveries until he went cheaply by slashing Willey high and Hall took the catch at cover.
Roy then clattered his way to a fifty off only 32 balls but he departed by chipping Paul Best, who matched Dernbach's figures, to Sales at mid-on.
Schofield then completed his half-century from 48 balls before Tom Maynard fell on 35 by launching Best to Wakely at long-off.
De Bruyn followed for a duck by blasting David Lucas to Sales at extra-cover and Schofield became Best’s third victim when he was caught by Hall at mid-on.
Spriegel became the fourth batsman to be caught by Sales, this time at midwicket off Lucas, but a four through midwicket by Arafat off Hall sealed it for Surrey.