Published: 9th August, 2019
Surrey were beaten by nine runs by Gloucestershire on Duckworth Lewis Stern calculations when a rain delay left them needing to score 52 from another 4.1 overs at the Kia Oval.
They managed 42 of them, taking their total of 52 for 2 from 7.5 overs when the rain came, in reply to Gloucestershire’s 165 for 8, to an eventual 94 for 2. When they were left needing 25 from the last over, however, the game was already all but over.
Sam Curran swung Benny Howell for six and Andrew Tye for two more maximums in the final over to reach a defiant 51 not out from 35 balls, while Ollie Pope finished on an unbeaten 13.
But Howell, fellow medium-pacer Ryan Higgins and fast bowler Tye – who between them sent down the 25 balls after the restart – kept their cool despite understandably greasy conditions to earn Gloucestershire a third win of the T20 campaign and keep them in contention for quarter-final qualification from the south group.
Gloucestershire’s 20-over total was built on a 15-ball 30 up front from Miles Hammond, James Bracey’s 25-ball 33 and 40 from 28 balls from Ian Cockbain in the middle overs, and then a useful 22 not out at the end by Jack Taylor, from 12 balls and with four well-struck fours.
Surrey suffered two early blows when Aaron Finch, their big-hitting Australian opener, edged a rising ball from Chris Liddle to keeper Bracey to depart for 12 to the last ball of the fourth over, and Will Jacks was caught at extra cover off a leading edge for 15 in slow left-armer Tom Smith’s first over.
From 42 for 2 much depended for Surrey on the youthful third wicket pair of Curran and Pope, but they had only added ten runs when rain arrived at 8.35pm to drive the players off, with one ball of the eighth over remaining. When play was able to resume, at 9.30pm, there was time only for another 25 balls and the pair faced an almost impossible task.
Gloucestershire, who won the toss, reached 48 for 1 in their initial six-over powerplay with most of those runs coming from opener Hammond who struck Imran Tahir for two fours in the opening over, took two legside fours off Sam Curran in the third over and then lofted brother Tom over long on for six in the next over
When Hammond’s violent cameo ended with a carve to deep cover off Jade Dernbach, it was left to Bracey to join Michael Klinger and add 24 for the second wicket before the Gloucestershire captain top-edged a pull at Sam Curran to deep square leg to go for 12.
Bracey played some fine shots as Gloucestershire made it to 82 for 2 at the halfway point, but he was caught at long on off Sam Curran in the 12th over and the visitors needed a busy 17 from Higgins for forward momentum until Cockbain took two straight fours and three twos off the 16th over, bowled by Dernbach and costing 15.
Cockbain then swung South Africa leg spinner Tahir for a massive six over mid wicket but, later in the same 17th over, perished to a catch at long on and Howell, Tye and Smith all fell in the frenetic final overs as only Taylor’s judicious late hitting – when he could get the strike – enabled Gloucestershire to post a competitive total.