Tom Lawes starred with bat and ball as Surrey won a rain-affected Royal London Cup victory by 43 runs against Somerset at the Kia Oval on Duckworth Lewis Stern regulations.
Nineteen-year-old Lawes hit a quickfire 60 from 49 balls in Surrey’s 50-over total of 302 for 9 before taking 2 for 20 from five new ball overs as Somerset struggled to 68 for 3 in reply before the heavens opened just before 4pm.
No further play was possible and, with Somerset some way behind the running DLS score, Surrey ran out comfortable winners. It was Surrey’s second Group A win but neither they nor Somerset, who now have an unwanted record of six defeats from six group games, can reach the knock-out stages.
In Surrey’s case, however, this ultimately rain-ruined contest was still a hugely beneficial exercise with Lawes’ fellow youngsters Nico Reifer and Sheridon Gumbs also impressing with the bat, scoring 70 and 66 respectively, and 23-year-old keeper-batsman Josh Blake making a solid 36 to help resuscitate the innings after a poor start.
The 98 added for the fourth wicket by Reifer and Gumbs, and the 94 put on for the fifth wicket by Gumbs and Lawes, were both Surrey List A partnership records against Somerset.
That made it a day to remember in particular for 18-year-old Gumbs, in just his second List A appearance, and the left-hander batted with poise and maturity beyond his tender years after coming in when Blake had his off stump knocked back by a near-yorker from Jack Harding, a left-arm paceman making his List A debut for Somerset.
Somerset had made a good start with the ball, after putting Surrey in, with Kasey Aldridge – who finished with the excellent figures of 5 for 50 – removing both openers Ben Geddes and Ryan Patel to leave Surrey wobbling at 27 for 2.
Geddes nicked a good one behind on 6 and Patel (13) fell to a spectacular diving catch from Matt Renshaw, flinging himself from first slip to where a third slip might have been.
But Blake then joined Reifer in a stand of 58, hitting successive free hits against Alfie Ogbourne down the ground for six and four when the 19-year-old left-arm seamer was penalized first for a no ball and then for having too many fielders outside the circle.
Reifer pulled Ollie Sale’s medium pace over mid wicket with nonchalant power for six, bringing up the 100 in the 22nd over with perhaps the shot of the innings, and he also slog-swept Lewis Goldsworthy’s left arm spin for four as he and Gumbs went past Surrey’s previous fourth wicket best List A stand against Somerset of 93 between Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe at Taunton in 1991.
And, after Reifer’s fine 85-ball knock was ended by a flick to deep square leg off Harding, the 87-run partnership between Mark Butcher and Adam Hollioake at the Oval in 1996 – Surrey’s previous fifth wicket List A best against Somerset – was also erased from the record books as Lawes arrived to drive Goldsworthy over long on for six and then ramp both Ogbourne and Jack Brooks for fours as he and Gumbs accelerated the scoring.
Their 12-over alliance had brought 94 highly-entertaining more runs when Gumbs – who struck seven fours in his 80-ball effort – was superbly caught by George Bartlett, diving forward at deep mid wicket off Aldridge.
A clatter of late-innings wickets followed a few more blows from Lawes, who edged Aldridge behind, and Nick Kimber (15), but Surrey’s total was a challenging one and Somerset’s loss of three early wickets immediately put them behind the DLS rate.
James Rew went for 3, caught down the legside off Lawes, and Andy Umeed (12) then nicked Matt Dunn behind after a couple of nice shots.
Renshaw and Goldsworthy counter-attacked as dark clouds crept closer, before Renshaw’s bright and breezy 20 was ended by a magnificent inswinger from Lawes, from around the wicket, that had the Australian Test left-hander caught on the crease and bowled leg stump.
Goldsworthy was 22 not out, and Bartlett was on 4, when the rain arrived.
Following the victory, Surrey all rounder Tom Lawes said: “We had a very long chat as a team after Sunday’s defeat at Sussex and we wanted to give everything today and bring together a performance with bat and ball.
“We also knew that Somerset have had a shaky competition so far and it was great to get 300 on the board after being asked to bat. Nico [Reifer] and Sheridon [Gumbs] gave us a platform and then we were able to kick on in the last part of the innings.
“We knew there was rain about so getting early wickets was key for us and, with every wicket we got, the Duckworth Lewis score was going up and up.”
Somerset fast bowler Kasey Aldridge, who took 5 for 50, said: “I’m very pleased with the way I’m bowling at the moment. It’s just great to get some games in and I think it’s just about getting a decent amount of bowling under my belt and added maturity this season too.”