Conor McKerr drove the last ball of the match through extra cover for four as Surrey beat Somerset by three wickets in a thriller at the Kia Oval, after Peter Siddle had previously taken three wickets in a highly dramatic and remarkable final over.
That winning feeling… @conor_mckerr3
Incredible finish here at The Kia Oval 🔥 pic.twitter.com/R0omTCrw0F
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) June 21, 2022
It took Surrey to 145 for 7, overtaking Somerset’s 144 for 8 and maintaining their unbeaten record in the Vitality Blast’s South Group. Surrey have now won nine of their ten group games so far, with the other match rain-affected and finishing as a no result.
Chris Jordan’s team were already guaranteed a quarter-final place, before this game began, but perhaps Somerset should have won this one after former Australia paceman Siddle had struck with the second, fourth and fifth balls of that final over, which began with Surrey needing only nine and with Jordan and opener Will Jacks going well.
They had rallied Surrey from 106 for 4 in the 16th over, with 15 runs being plundered from the penultimate over as Jacks pulled Jack Brooks for six and Jordan cut the last ball, a yorker just wide of off stump, for four to backward point.
But, after Jacks had taken a single from the first ball of Siddle’s final over, to go to 66 not out from 58 balls with two sixes and five fours, the 23-year old could only watch with mounting horror from the non-striker’s end as Jordan skied a catch to Tom Lammonby running in from deep mid wicket to exit for 14.
Nico Reifer, a 21-year old making his T20 debut, clipped his first ball to long leg for four but was then yorked by a beauty from Siddle. Gus Atkinson, swinging when he should have been tapping and running, was also bowled by a full ball and Siddle was looking for a hat-trick as well as a match-winning delivery when he ran in to McKerr.
But the big fast bowler, making his first Surrey appearance of the season, anticipated another full ball and hit it powerfully to the boundary. It was tough on Somerset, who had fought hard on a slow, used surface, but they are now five points behind Surrey in second place in the South Group table
Missing six players on England duty, and nursing the news that their West Indian overseas star Kieron Pollard is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, Surrey also lost Jordan Clark three balls into his second over with a side injury.
But they still remain unbeaten in all cricket this summer despite a ragged chase in which Jacks’s quality and calm approach stood out as Jamie Smith (13), Sunil Narine (13), Rory Burns (11) and Laurie Evans (12) all got out after getting starts.
Somerset captain Lewis Gregory took 3 for 25, after Roelof van der Merwe had bowled Smith in the eighth over after an opening stand of 49.
Earlier, Lewis Goldsworthy had taken four fours from the last two overs of Somerset’s innings, ending on 27 not out from 19 balls and adding 41 in just over four overs after a slump to 103 for 8.
Put in, Somerset lost wickets in each of the first two overs as Will Smeed (1) hoicked left-arm spinner Dan Moriarty to deep mid wicket and Rilee Roussouw, making room as he aimed over extra cover, was bowled by Clark for 6.
Banton and Tom Abell led a decent recovery, Somerset reaching 51 for 2 by the end of the six-over powerplay, but Abell’s 13 ended with a catch to deep square leg off Atkinson and Banton’s dismissal in the ninth over led to a difficult middle part of the innings for the visitors.
With six fours, including some eye-catching sweeps, reverse sweeps and clever flicks, Banton looked set to go on to a sizeable score but, attempting another scooped stroke against the pacy McKerr, he succeeded only in giving a simple catch to Atkinson at long leg.
Lammonby tried to counter-attack, immediately top-edging a pull at McKerr for six and then flipping a four to fine leg, but Narine’s miserly and mystery spin was introduced for the tenth over and the Trinidadian went on to bowl his four overs for just 18 runs – with Lammonby run out for 21 in his second over, the 12th, when keeper Smith threw down the stumps from short cover after Gregory sent his partner back.
Gregory was well held for 7 by Cameron Steel, the substitute fielder, off Atkinson and Ben Green, flummoxed by Jordan in the runless 15th over, skied the fifth ball to mid on as he desperately tried to break the shackles and Somerset had edged only from 83 for 4 at halfway to 103 for 7 by the end of that over.
And the scoreboard quickly read 103 for 8 when Van der Merwe, swinging wildly, was bowled for 3 by a McKerr near-yorker, leaving Goldsworthy to shepherd Somerset at least to some sort of defendable total.
— Vitality Blast (@VitalityBlast) June 21, 2022