Surrey secure back-to-back victories
Surrey made it two wins from as many Friends Life t20 South Group matches and claimed local bragging rights after securing an unlikely 28-run win over Middlesex amongst the showers at Lord’s.
Having slumped to 32 for four within 37 balls of their innings, Matthew Spriegel and Gary Wilson, with unbeaten half-centuries, helped Surrey regroup after two short rain breaks to post an unbroken club-record fifth-wicket stand of 117 in a workmanlike total of 149 for four.
However, the pair were upstaged under the lights when off-spinner Gareth Batty bagged four wickets to restrict the hosts to 99 for eight when the wet weather returned - putting them out of their misery with four scheduled overs remaining.
Sporting red bowling shoes which clashed with his black and fluorescent green kit, Batty struck in his opening over of the night and went on to knock the stuffing out of the Panthers top-order with figures of 4-13 from his four overs.
He trapped Dawid Malan leg before wicket with a sliding arm ball, then bowled Middlesex dangerman Paul Stirling with a delivery which turned as the right-hander advanced to drive.
In his third over, Batty had Chris Rogers caught at long-on and, with his next ball, pegged back Gareth Berg’s off-stump as he pushed from the crease.
Neil Dexter survived the hat-trick but soon went lbw to Zafar Ansari and when Rory Hamilton-Brown picked up two more in the space of four balls, the game was as good as over.
It was all a far cry from the start of the evening when Surrey were soon left to regret their decision to bat first in cool, overcast conditions.
Surrey skipper Hamilton-Brown had made just four when, aiming to drive on the up against Steven Crook, he played outside the line of an off-cutter to lose his middle stump.
Then, to the next delivery, a Toby Roland-Jones loosener from the Nursery End, Steven Davies wafted at a wide one and toe-ended a catch to wicketkeeper John Simpson.
Gareth Berg snared Zander de Bruyn leg before on the back foot as he attempted a run down to third man and the first ball trend continued when left-arm spinner Smith clung on at the second attempt to a powerful back-foot drive from Jason Roy.
The brief rain breaks allowed Surrey time for a rethink and they came out firing through Spriegel and Wilson, who boosted the run-rate with the first six of the night over extra cover off Smith.
The fifth-wicket duo successfully quadrupled the Surrey total with 117 in 13.5 overs.
Wilson launched his second maximum by clipping a Berg full-toss into the Grandstand, then Spriegel went even better by depositing a delivery from Roland-Jones into the top tier.
Wilson reached his half-century from 38 balls with three fours and a brace of sixes in a career-best unbeaten 54, as was Spriegel’s 53 not out, which came off 46 balls with two sixes.
The pair matched the competition best fifth-wicket record set by Kent’s Martin van Jaarsveld and Matt Walker against Leicestershire at Grace Road in 2006.