A blistering innings from Surrey’s Will Jacks of 70 from only 24 balls was the foundation for a comprehensive Surrey victory over Middlesex in both sides opening match in the Vitality Blast South Group campaign.
Jacks bludgeoned 66 of his runs in boundaries to all parts of the square and looked set for a century. The opener set Surrey on their way to posting a match winning score of 223.
The hosts started off by keeping up with the run rate, but steadily lost wickets. Once Eoin Morgan was dismissed their chances of pulling of a fine victory were quickly extinguished.
Middlesex won the toss and inserted their near neighbours in to bat. Youngster Ethan Bamber-playing just his second T20 match- opened the bowling and went for 14 runs including three boundaries. Sharing the new ball with Bamber was Blake Cullen who was making his debut in the competition.
Openers Jason Roy and Will Jacks tore into Bamber and Cullen by scoring 58 of the opening four overs. Bamber- who conceded 33 off his opening two overs was replaced by South African Chris Green. The off spinner tried to keep a break on the scoring along with Steve Finn who replaced Cullen, but all to no avail as Jacks raced to his half century off only 15 balls.
The youngster was in blistering form and looked likely to race to a very quick century before disaster struck for Surrey when a horrendous mix up in the middle saw Jacks run out for 70 off just 24 balls including nine fours and five six’s with 66 runs of his knock coming in boundaries.
Middlesex had used five bowlers before turning to Nathan Sowter who struck with his first delivery when Laurie Evans holed out to long off for five. Sowter bagged his second victim of the night by bowling Jason Roy for 45.
Green- who was the best bowler for Middlesex- got his just rewards when he had Sam Curran caught at deep midwicket for 21. Jamie Overton(27) followed shortly afterwards when he became Steve Finn’s first victim. The former England paceman struck again in the same over when Jordan Clark went for 7.
Cullan’s miserable night with the ball continued when he was removed from the attack after two head high no balls, at the time he had the expensive figures of 18.104.22.168.0, with Bamber completing the final five balls of his over.
Some late fireworks from Surrey, including a cameo innings of 25 from Tom Curran, enabled Surrey to finish on 223 for 7 off their allocated 20 overs, which is the highest T20 total posted at Lords.
Facing a stiff target of almost 12 an over to win openers Stevie Eskinazi and Paul Stirling started the reply in a positive manner by posting 73 in the powerplay including a half century for Stirling off just 22 balls. Captain Batty decided to bring himself on in the 8th over to put a brake on the scoring.
However, Stirling’s fine knock was ended when he was run out by Tom Curran for 58 off 28 deliveries. Eskinazi went for 36 to a blinding one handed catch on the run at deep backward point from Tom Curran to leave Middlesex 109 for 2 in the 12th over.
It was down to England’s one day captain Eoin Morgan to continue the fightback for the hosts. He took two six’s of the first couple of deliveries from Dan Moriarty’s third over before holing out in the deep for 32. Once Morgan had departed from the scene along went Middlesex’s chances of pulling of a sensational victory, as Sam Curran polished off the end of the Middlesex innings by taking the wickets of John Simpson(4) Luke Holman(0), Chris Green (17) and Steve Finn(1) to finish with figures of 4 for 29 to complete an opening victory for Surrey in this seasons competition.
Middlesex vs Surrey
Vitality Blast Thursday 10th June 2021
Peter Moore at Lords
Surrey 223 for 7 Middlesex 169 for 9
Surrey won by 54 runs