Middlesex’s poor run in the NatWest t20 Blast continued when they suffered a six wicket defeat at the hands of local rivals Surrey at a half-full Kia Oval. After losing the toss and being sent into bat, the Panthers made just 117-7 from their twenty overs and although they made Surrey fight all the way, the hosts’ got home with eight balls to spare.
Middlesex made one change from the side that lost against Hampshire with Toby Roland-Jones replacing Ollie Rayner. After Dawid Malan scored a four in the opening over from spinner Robin Peterson, Paul Stirling was out to the first ball of the second over when he was caught at the wicket by Gary Wilson for a duck off Jade Denbach’s bowling. Adam Rossington came in at number three and he got off the mark with a single off Derbach followed by a four off Azhar Mahmood before he hit Mahmood uppishly and Kevin O’Brien took a diving catch at cover to dismiss him for five.
Joe Denly joined Malan and after scoring two twos in Mahmood’s second over, Denly hit the last ball of the over for a straight six. Denly also hit a four in Curran’s first over before he edged the last ball of the over to ‘keeper Gary Wilson to be dismissed for fourteen. Neil Dexter joined Dawid Malan with the Middlesex total on 33-3 after the six powerplay overs but it took Dexter twelve balls to get off the mark with a four off Kevin O’Brien. Dexter hit Curran for a two and a four in the tenth over as Middlesex reached 51-3 at the half-way point of the innings.
Gareth Batty then joined the attack and after Malan scored a single off the first ball of the over, Neil Dexter was bowled for ten (off 18 balls). Four singles came off the remainder of Batty’s over but Dan Christian was LBW for two in the next over from Curran with Tom Curran finishing with figures of 2-15 from his four overs. John Simpson joined Malan and Simpson scored three singles before be fell to a one-handed reaction catch by the bowler, Kevin O’Brien.
Toby Roland-Jones joined Malan with the total on 64-6 in the 14th over and after Roland-Jones played out the remaining two balls of the O’Brien over, two singles came off the 15th over from Batty with Roland-Jones taking five runs off the following over from O’Brien. Roland-Jones then hit Batty for a straight six before Malan, who was anchoring the innings, hit Batty for a six and a four. Jade Dernbach returned to bowl the 18th over but Roland-Jones hit the first two balls of the over for a six and a four with the Middlesex hundred coming up with a single off the next ball.
Five singles came off the penultimate over from Azhar Mahmood and after Malan scored a single off the first ball of the final over from Dernbach, Roland-Jones hit the next two balls for twos before he was caught by Peterson, running in from long-off to dismiss him for 30 off just 21 balls. After a wide delivery from Dernbach, Dawid Malan hit the last two balls of the innings for a two and a four as Middlesex totalled 117-7 with Malan finishing on 48 not out from 51 balls faced.
After just a single came in the opening over from Steve Finn, Jason Roy was quickly in his stride, scoring four fours in the first fourteen balls he faced as Surrey reached 39-0 after the first six powerplay overs. The total reached 47-0 before Roy played an ambitious paddle-shot and Ravi Patel took a well-judged catch at long-leg, off James Harris’ bowling to dismiss Roy for 26. Steven Davies joined Amla and the pair added a further fourteen runs before Davies was bowled in Paul Stirling’s first over for ten.
Gary Wilson joined Amla with the total on 61-2 in the 10th over and Amla then showed his class, playing well before hitting Ravi Patel for a six. Dan Christian replaced Paul Stirling with the total on 85-2 and after three singles were scored off the first three balls of the over, Amla was caught at long-off by David Malan for 39. Wilson scored six runs off the remainder of Christian’s over and with nine runs coming from the next over from Ravi Patel, Surrey were 103-3 after 15 overs.
Five runs came off the first four balls of the sixteenth over before ‘keeper Adam Rossington, standing-up at the wicket to Dan Christian, failed to catch Wilson with his gloves but he reacted quickly enough to trap the ball between his legs to catch Wilson for 25. Azhar Mahmood joined Kevin O’Brien with just ten runs needed from 25 balls but Middlesex made the batsmen work hard for the runs and it was not until Mahmood hit a Roland-Jones delivery over the top for a four that Surrey won the match with eight balls to spare.
Dan Christian had figures of 2-17 in 3 overs with James Harris taking 1-17 in 3 overs and Paul Stirling 1-11 in 2 overs; Steve Finn recovered from his mauling by the Hampshire batsmen in the previous game to record figures of 0-12 from 3 overs.
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