Middlesex won a thrilling Friends Life t20 match at the Kia Oval where they beat Surreyby one wicket with a ball to spare.
Needing 155 runs to win, the Panthers had slipped to 106-7 before they were rescued by a partnership of 46 for the eighth wicket between the two Ollie’s, Rayner and Wilkin. However, Rayner was out to the first ball of the final over and Wilkin to the third before Tim Murtagh scored a single off the fourth ball. Last man, Tom Smith stroked the fifth ball of the over through the covers to seal a Middlesex victory before a noisy crowd in excess of 15,000.
Middlesex made two changes from the side defeated at Chelmsford the previous evening with Paul Stirling and Tim Murtagh coming in for Joe Denly and Toby Roland-Jones respectively. Having won a rare toss at Chelmsford, things got back to normal when Neil Dexter lost the toss and Surrey elected to bat first on a wicket in the middle of the huge Kia Oval square.
Kevin Pietersen and Steve Davies gave Surrey a good start with fifty runs coming off the six power-play overs with Davies outscoring his more illustrious partner hitting five spanking fours in the first five overs. Pietersen hoisted a Paul Stirling delivery for a straight six and the pair took Surrey to 76-0 after ten overs before Davies was bowled by Tom Smith for 37 (off 30 balls), off the first ball of the 11th over.
Jason Roy joined Pietersen at the wicket and Roy brought up the hundred in the 14th over with a six off Neil Dexter. Dawid Malan was the eighth Middlesex bowler tried and he got the prized wicket of Pietersen with his third delivery when he had him caught at the wicket for a run-a-ball innings of 42.
Chris Wilson joined Roy and the former scored two fours in the 16th over bowled by Neil Dexter. Malan bowled a second over but twelve runs came from it with Roy hitting a Malan delivery for six.Roy hit a further six in the following over from Dexter as Surrey reached 143-2 with two overs remaining. Steven Crook bowled the penultimate over and he bowled Roy for 40 (off 26 balls) with the fifth ball of the over.
Tim Murtagh bowled the final over and after Ansari scored a two and a single off the first three balls of the over,Wilson was unable to score off the remaining three balls of the over which ended when Ansari was run out attempting a bye to the keeper and John Simpson’s throw hit the stumps.Wilson was 21 not out in a Surrey total of 154-4; Tom Smith had figures of 1-20 from 4 overs.
In reply, Neil Dexter got Middlesex off to a flying start by hitting the first three balls of the innings from Murali Kartik for fours through the covers. Paul Stirling hit the first ball of the second over for four through the covers but he holed out to Gareth Batty at mid-off from the next delivery from Chris Tremlett to be dismissed for five. Steven Crook came into bat as a pinch hitter at number three and he hit Dirk Nannes for a huge six over mid-wicket and hit the next ball for six over long-on before hitting the next two balls for fours, through the covers, Nannes’ over going for 21 runs.
A further nine runs came off Tremlett’s second over before Crook was caught at wide mid-on by de Bruyn, off the last ball of the over for 25 (off just 10 balls). Murali Kartik replaced Nannes at the Pavilion End and he had Adam Rossington stumped by Davies for a second ball duck to leave the Panthers on 52-3. Dawid Malan struck the second ball he faced for a straight four off Kartik and with Dexter took Middlesex to 70-3 after eight overs.
Malan (9) was bowled by Ansari off the first ball of the ninth over and John Simpson joined his skipper at the wicket. After Batty bowled two overs at the Vauxhall End, he brought Zander de Bruyn to bowl and he had Dexter caught at deep mid-wicket by Pietersen for 41 (off 34 balls, 6 fours) off the last ball of the over. Gareth Berg and John Simpson took the score to 106-5 before Simpson was bowled by Batty for sixteen. When Gareth Berg (3) was caught by Pietersen at extra-cover off the next ball, bowled by Murali Kartik, Middlesex were struggling on 106-7.
Rayner was joined by Wilkin and the pair took Middlesex to 119-7 with four overs remaining. Twelve runs came off the 17th over, bowled by Ansari, with Wilkin hitting the bowler over long-on for a six before Wilkiin hit two fours through the covers in the 18th over to leave Middlesex needing twelve runs off the final two overs for victory. Five singles came off the first five balls of Tremlett’s over before Wilkin drove the final ball of the over to the extra-cover boundary for four.
Just three runs were needed off the final over from Dirk Nannes but Ollie Rayner got underneath the first ball and Gareth Batty took a well judged catch at mid-off to dismiss Rayner for a run-a-ball innings of fourteen. The batsmen crossed and after Wilkin failed to score off the second ball, he was run out off the next ball when he attempted a suicidal run and Batty collected the ball and ran to the bowlers’ end and broke the wicket to run out Wilkin for an excellent innings of 28 off just eighteen balls.
Tim Murtagh scored a single off the fourth ball before Tom Smith hit the first ball he faced through the covers for a four to win the match with a ball to spare. Murali Kartik had figures of 2-29 from 4 overs, Chris Tremlett 2-27 from 4 overs and Gareth Batty took 1-19 from 4 overs.
Middlesex CCC are pleased to announce the following 13-man squad to play against Surrey at the Kia Oval this evening, Friday 6 July, starting at 6.30pm:
Neil Dexter (captain)
The Middlesex Panthers final Friends Life t20 match is taking place this Sunday 8 July at Uxbridge Cricket Club, starting at 2.40pm.
Tickets are still available to buy on the gate on the day, priced at £15 for adults, £8 for over 65s and just £5 for under 16s, so head on down and cheer on the Panthers!
Gates open at 1pm, with the match starting at 2.40pm.
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