Published: 17th June, 2017
Jason Roy recaptured his form with a vengeance as Surrey overwhelmed Worcestershire Rapids by 153 runs to reach the Royal London One-Day Cup final for the third year running.
Roy top-scored with 92 as Surrey amassed 363-7 in their 50 overs after electing to bat at New Road.
The opener received excellent support from Mark Stoneman, Kumar Sangakkara and Ben Foakes as Surrey posted a total which always looked beyond Worcestershire.
Then Surrey captain Gareth Batty capped a successful return to his former county with five wickets for 40 runs – his best List A figures for the club.
Moeen Ali briefly threatened to repeat the performance of England team-mate Roy but once he had departed for 41, only Brett D’Oliveira and Ross Whiteley offered much resistance with half centuries as the Rapids were dismissed for 210 in the 34th over.
Now Batty will be hoping his side can make it third time lucky at Lord’s against Notts Outlaws after losing the 2015 and 2016 finals to Gloucestershire and Warwickshire respectively.
Worcestershire will be disappointed they failed to reproduce the form that had seen them top the North Group.
Surrey elected to bat and Stoneman set the tone for their innings by collecting two fours in the opening over from John Hastings which cost 13 runs.
The former Durham batsman did the bulk of the early scoring but Roy gradually started to flourish and brought his half century up off 37 balls.
He hoisted Hastings over square leg for six and the uncertainty and lack of confidence evident when at the crease in recent weeks gradually disappeared.
Roy also had the slices of luck that may have evaded him when on international duty as twice mistimed shots evaded going to hand by a few inches.
But there was much to admire about his strokeplay and the opening stand was worth 114 in just 14 overs when Stoneman (41) aimed a blow over mid wicket and was bowled by Moeen.
Roy was joined by the in-form Sangakkara who continued on where he left off in making a century in the play-off victory over Yorkshire Vikings on Tuesday.
The medium pace of Daryl Mitchell denied Roy his century when he was trapped lbw eight runs short after striking 12 fours and one six.
Then in the next over Rory Burns, a late replacement for Scott Borthwick who injured an ankle in the warm-up, was bowled by a fine delivery from D’Oliveira.
It was when the pace was taken off the ball by Mitchell and Moeen that there was a relative lull in the scoring rate.
Sangakkara moved effortlessly onto 73 from 72 balls but then exited after a superb legside catch by Ben Cox off Hastings.
He had added 73 in 12 overs with another in form player in Foakes who helped to pick up the momentum again during the final 10 overs.
He eventually departed in the final over for 86 – made off 70 deliveries with two sixes and eight fours – as he was run out by Ross Whiteley’s direct hit from deep mid wicket.
Hastings had a day to forget in conceding 98 runs in his 10 overs on his return to the side from Champions Trophy duty with Australia.
Worcestershire had to achieve their highest ever List A total against first class opposition if they were to triumph and those hopes quickly evaporated.
Mitchell (0) was caught behind in the second over from Sam Curran and Tom Fell (2) was run out after a mix up with Moeen.
Moeen threatened briefly, striking two sixes and four fours off Jade Dernbach, but on 36 he went for another big hit against the same over and holed out to mid off.
Batty then took centre stage with four wickets in five overs against the county he spent eight seasons with.
Joe Clarke (15) nicked through to Foakes, Hastings (3) was caught at deep mid wicket, D’Oliveira, having made 53 off 46 balls, was lbw and Cox (13) was taken at long off.
Batty completed his five wicket haul as Leach (7) provided catching practice for Ollie Pope at long on.
Whiteley offered some resistance with some typically big hitting in reaching 50 off 33 balls with four sixes – but by then the game was long over over as a meaningful contest.