Richard Spiller takes a look at some of the best List A matches between Surrey & Northamptonshire through the years.
1965: Gillette Cup quarter-final – Surrey won by 125 runs
In the first meeting of the clubs in a List A match – the Gillette Cup was only in its third season – Surrey swept aside Northants by 125 runs on their way to the final.
Sent into bat at The Oval, the hosts were grateful to Ron Tindall (73) and Bill Smith (52) for rescuing them from 79-4 by forming fifth wicket stand of 111 on the way to making 222-8 from 60 overs. Brian Crump claimed 2-23 from 13 overs.
Northants were in immediate trouble, slumping to 24-5 against Geoff Arnold (2-16) and David Sydenham (3-20), the only resistance of note coming from Jim Watts (40) and Crump (21) before Stewart Storey’s 4-14 finished them off for 97.
Surrey went on to overcome Middlesex in the semi-final but were heavily beaten by Yorkshire at Lord’s.
Surrey 222 -8 (60), Northants 97ao (38.5).
1987: Refuge Assurance League – Surrey won by 1 run
Pulsating knocks and athletic catches were Monte Lynch’s speciality – but this time he turned matchwinner with the ball.
Surrey looked beaten going into the final over of this match. Sent in, they had made 220-4 from 40 overs, principally through opener Jack Richards (41), David Smith (72no) and Trevor Jesty (77no), the latter pair having lifted them from 81-3. But Rob Bailey (36) and Wayne Larkins (49) opened the response with an alliance worth 93, Allan Lamb (47) and David Capel (52) building on that before both falling to Ian Greig.
Needing just four off the last over with six wickets to spare, Greig called up Lynch – yet to deliver a ball that season – and it was the visitors who were shocked as much as anyone.
From the first delivery he had Richard Williams (4) stumped by Richards, conceding a run off the third and then saw the wicketkeeper pouch an edge off West Indies all-rounder Roger Harper (16). Amid mounting panic from visitors – one player asked: “What’s this, Fred Karno’s Circus?” – Duncan Wild failed to score off the penultimate delivery and captain Geoff Cook was run out from the final ball coming back for a second which would have tied the scores.
Surrey’s players walked off disbelievingly with Lynch boasting figures of 1-0-2-2 and a highly unexpected victory in their back pockets.
Surrey 220-3 (40), Northants 219-7 (40).
1989: Refuge Assurance League – Northants won by 42 runs
So deep had Surrey’s injury crisis become in June 1989 that they turned to head coach Geoff Arnold to lead the attack at Northampton.
The man known as ‘Horse’ had been one of England’s finest seamers of his generation, playing 34 Tests, but retired from playing in 1982 – his last game for Surrey had been in 1977 before leaving for Sussex – and was nearly 45.
He rolled back the years superbly with an opening spell of 1-7 in six overs, having Geoff Cook caught behind, before aggravating an old shoulder problem. Wayne Larkins (63) and Rob Bailey (108) saw the home side – which included eight Test players – to 201-4 in 40 overs and that proved more than enough for Ian Greig’s depleted side. Grahame Clinton made 56 and Alec Stewart 27 but Surrey stumbled to 159-8 at the end, losing by 42 runs.
Northants 201-4 (40), Surrey 159-9
1991: NatWest Bank Trophy, semi-final – Surrey won by 7 runs
This thriller which stretched into a second day after bad light called a halt with the conclusion beckoning.
Having lost their three previous semi-finals – in 1986, 1987 and 1988 – Surrey were all the more desperate to reach Lord’s but it looked unlikely when they slumped to 124-7, left-arm seamer Paul Taylor bowling outstandingly for 2-37 in 12 overs. Martin Bicknell’s unbeaten 66 led the rescue, adding 62 for the eighth wicket with James Boiling (22) so that the hosts pushed up to 208-9 in their 60 overs. Alan Fordham (29) and Wayne Larkins (31) launched the reply with 68, both falling to off-spinner Boiling, but Waqar Younis was, not surprisingly, the key man. Among his first four victims were West Indies all-rounder Eldine Baptiste after a dangerous 34, castling him and Richard Williams just before play was suspended, to the considerable dismay of a 10,000 crowd.
Northants needed 22 when play restarted, Kevin Curran (38) the main danger but Waqar (5-40) had him caught at slip by Monte Lynch with the first ball. Bicknell was to have the last word, running out Alan Walker (11) to snatch victory.
Surrey 208-9 (60), Northants 201ao (59.2).
1996: Axa Equity & Law League – Surrey won by 2 wickets
A desperately tense match was won off the last ball, victory putting Surrey within touching distance of their first trophy for 14 years.
David Capel’s 112 before being run out ensured Northants reached 234-9 in their 40 overs, Mal Loye having made 53 opening, but Tony Penberthy’s 25 was the only other score of note in an innings undermined by Adam Hollioake’s 5-58.
Surrey were in big trouble, though, at 38-3 and the loss of Alistair Brown (49) to a controversial decision – caught down the legside off Curtly Ambrose – was a huge blow, the visitors also including player-coach John Emburey (1-47) and Paul Taylor (2-25) in a strong attack The hosts were grateful to Nadeem Shahid (41) and Chris Lewis (63) for adding 59 for the sixth wicket.
They still needed two to win off the final delivery but Martin Bicknell cracked Kevin Curran through the legside for a boundary which launched celebrations tinged by a large slice of relief. A week later Surrey easily beat Glamorgan at Cardiff to get their hands on some silverware at last.
Northants 234-9 (40), Surrey 237-8 (40).
2016: Royal London Cup quarter-final – Surrey won by 1 wicket
Kumar Sangakkara’s masterly unbeaten 130 rescued Surrey from what seemed a certain defeat.
Josh Cobb’s 66 had been the highlight of Northamptonshire’s innings after they chose to bat, Alex Wakely chipping in with 45, until Rory Kleinveldt’s unbeaten 76 – which included seven fours and three sixes – lifted the hosts to 276 all out from 49 overs. Jade Dernbach claimed 4-39.
Despite losing Steven Davies for a duck, Surrey were strong favourites while Jason Roy (42) and Sangakkara added 86 in 12 overs. A middle-order collapse saw them slide from 234-5 to 250-9 and it needed a staunch effort from last man Dernbach (8no) for the Sri Lankan maestro to perform his miracle.
With 12 needed from final over, delivered by Azharullah, Sangakkara paddle-swept a six over the wicketkeeper’s head and then hit the final ball for a boundary, his 145-ball innings including 11 fours and two sixes.
Once more, though, knocking out Northants only led to defeat in the final, losing to Warwickshire.
Northants 276a0 (49), Surrey 279-9 (50).