Surrey lose T20 opener

16_05_14 Smith batting

Published: 16th May, 2014

Surrey lost their opening game of the NatWest T20 Blast against Sussex Sharks this evening  by two wickets. Surrey posted 171-7 with Jason Roy (57) and Gary Wilson (50) batting extremely well. But Sussex got to their victory target off the final ball of the game thanks to an outside edge from Yasir Arafat to the third man boundary.

Surrey won the toss and batted on a lovely evening in Hove. Graeme Smith struck the first boundary of the game in the second over and Roy started confidently finding the fence on either side of the wicket.

In the 5th over Smith looked to put Michael Yardy over the top but was caught at mid off for 7 to leave Surrey 27-1. Steven Davies opened his account with a handsome drive for four and Roy continued to play sensibly mixing strong shots with deft touches.

Davies fell in the 8th over for 13 and Wilson joined Roy to form the significant partnership of the innings. Wilson was immediately busy at the crease and the Surrey pair complimented each other perfectly. Roy really got going with an extraordinary reverse swept six off Azhar Zaidi into the hospitality tents.

The partnership moved past fifty in the 13th over as the boundary rope kept being found at just the right time. Roy moved to a brilliant fifty in the grandest manner with a straight six from his 37th delivery and surrey moved past 100.

Roy fell to Zaidi in the 16th over for 57 and Kevin O’Brien was then dismissed very next ball. But Wilson continued to play extremely well and brought up his fifty with a driven six over cover point off Chris Liddle.

But Wilson then departed off Liddle for 50 and he was followed by Robin Peterson on his Surrey debut for 1. Azhar Mahmood used all his experience to find the boundary on four occasions but in the final over he was bowled by Chris Jordan for 23. Sussex were behind the clock in starting their final over as six penalty runs were added and Surrey finished on 171-7.

Dernbach gave Surrey the perfect start with the ball dismissing Matt Machan in the second over for 1. Luke Wright had started brightly but Sussex found themselves 27-2 in the 5th when Tom Curran’s first ball saw the end of Ed Joyce for 7.

Wright was beginning to get into his stride as Sussex moved past 50 but Aneesh Kapil then dismissed Michael Yardy for 6 and Sussex were 52-3. Wright was now really ticking as he was joined by Rory Hamilton-Brown and together they formed a crucial partnership.

The Sussex pair upped the tempo and  Wright in particular was very hard to keep quiet as he raced to a 27 ball fifty and Sussex moved past 100. But in the 13th over Curran bowled Wright for 56 and in the 14th over Kevin O’Brien took two in two balls including Hamilton-Brown for 30 to leave the hosts 111-6.

Chris Nash suddenly pulled up with a leg injury meaning he needed a runner but alongside Jordan he just about kept Sussex in the hunt. They got the target down to 30 off the last 3 overs but Mahmood then bowled Nash for 23 in the penultimate over.

It meant Sussex needed 16 off the final over as Surrey got stung for a six run penalty for being behind the clock. Dernbach dismissed Jordan with the second ball of the over but Ben Brown then hit an enormous six and 8 were needed off 2 balls. And Yasir Arafar found the boundary at cover and edged the final ball of the game to the third man rope as Sussex won a nail biter by two wickets.

Surrey were understandably gutted at the end but will have a chance to bounce straight back against Somerset on Sunday.


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