Surrey sweep past Sussex
Surrey booked their place at Lord’s for the Clydesdale Bank 40 final as they easily overcame Sussex by 71 runs in a rain-reduced contest at the Kia Oval.
Man-of-the-match Tom Maynard’s swashbuckling 33-ball 60 was the cornerstone of the Lions’ 228 for seven in 24 overs, with Sussex mustering just 157 in reply as Chris Schofield weighed in with 4-22.
Chris Nash managed a breezy 55 from 40 balls for Sussex, but only two other batsman reached double figures as Rory Hamilton-Brown’s side turned in a textbook one-day performance. They will face Somerset in the final on September 17.
After Hamilton-Brown won the toss and opted to bat, continued showers kept the players from the field until 3.45pm.
He opened his, and Surrey’s, account with a swivelled pull to deep square-leg off Amjad Khan, but fell for 24 from 17 balls when, cramped for room, he edged a short one from Chris Liddle behind.
Jason Roy and Steven Davies maintained the rate and the former showed disdain to South Africa seamer Wayne Parnell as he collected a pair of fours either side of the wicket before hoisting the left-armer high into the second tier of the OCS stand.
An eventful over from Michael Yardy followed: 19 runs were conceded from four deliveries before Davies was bowled by a flatter one, having made 36 from 23 balls.
Monty Panesar kept things tight as well as picking up the dangerous Roy - bowled sweeping - in the next over, but Maynard flashed two slog-sweeps high into the Peter May stand in consecutive overs from Nash, and added a third when he clumped Panesar high over long-on.
Although the left-arm spinner bowled Schofield as he aimed a leg-side heave later in the over, Maynard was undeterred and brought up a blistering 28-ball half-century with a huge six - his fourth - over deep midwicket off Yardy.
Zander de Bruyn raised Surrey's 200 with a perfect sweep to fine-leg off Amjad before Maynard’s brutal knock came to an end two balls later as Parnell held a terrific catch at square-leg from a steepling pull off Liddle.
De Bruyn continued the onslaught, picking up boundaries at will to move to 43 before he was bowled by Liddle in the last over, having faced just 28 deliveries. Matthew Spriegel was lbw two balls later as Liddle ended with a respectable 4-38.
In reply, Ed Joyce’s thumping four over mid-off opened the Sussex boundary account in the third over, but they lost Matt Prior for seven soon afterwards when he skied Spriegel to Roy at cover.
Murray Goodwin also fell to off-spinner Spriegel, who ran back and pouched a leading edge one-handed while avoiding the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
Joyce, who continually gave himself room outside off stump, found the rope with regular ease all around the wicket as Sussex passed 50, and he registered the innings’ first maximum with a towering six down the ground in Gareth Batty’s first over.
Batty had the last laugh, however, when he slid one on in the next over and had the left-hander lbw for 47 from 36 balls.
Nash began to play freely and scored at well over a run a ball, but - with the batting powerplay in operation - Yardy found things tougher. He was eventually caught after spooning a catch to Hamilton-Brown at mid-on.
Sussex continued to subside as Joe Gatting chipped Batty tamely to Schofield at deep midwicket. Schofield then had Ben Brown stumped.
Nash passed his half century from 37 balls, including seven fours, but his demise - well held by Roy at long-on off Schofield - removed any remaining doubt over Sussex’s fate.