When Kent visit The Kia Oval in the Vitality Blast on October 1, it will be the seventh time Surrey have been involved in the quarter-final stages of the competition, matches packed with suspense and drama.
Richard Spiller takes a look back.
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2004: Surrey v Worcestershire
Surrey 145-7 beat Worcs 131-8
Adam Hollioake had led Surrey to the inaugural T20 Cup in 2003 – there was no last eight stage in the nascent competition – and although no longer captain the following season, showed he wasn’t finished yet.
Yet to be beaten in the format, top place in the South Group assured Surrey a home quarter-final but Worcestershire threatened a first defeat by reducing the hosts to 50-5 after 10 overs. Hollioake weighed in with a sterling unbeaten 45 which, together with James Benning (29) and new skipper Jon Batty (18) ensured a total of 145-7 despite Nadeem Malik’s 3-23. At 73-2 – owed much to Vikram Solanki’s 30 – Worcestershire fancied their chances but once more Hollioake made a decisive intervention with 3-31, limiting them to 131-8.
At finals day Surrey inched past Lancashire by one run in the semi-final only to be beaten by Leicestershire.
2005: Surrey v Warwickshire
Surrey 149-8 (20) tied with Warks 117-8 (15). Bowlout 4-3
First winners of the competition, Surrey also played a part in creating another piece of history in a game which encompassed farce as much as drama.
Winners of the South Group, they hosted Warwickshire this time with the additional carrot that finals day was being staged at The Oval.
Mark Ramprakash (acting captain of Surrey): “We were really excited by the chance to play on a home finals day. It didn’t make us more tense, it actually liberated us.”
Warwickshire won the toss and inserted the hosts, who were struggling at 77-5 after seamer James Anyon claimed two wickets, Ramprakash entering at number seven and making a run-a-ball 34 to lift his side to 149-8 from their 20 overs despite Jonathan Trott’s 2-19 in four overs.
Dougie Brown (Warwickshire all-rounder): “Surrey were in a bit of strife but Ramps came in and played a really astute knock to get them up to a total they could defend.”
MR: “I’d broken my thumb about a month earlier and missed quite a lot of cricket. It was one of my first games back and it wasn’t totally right still.”
That total looked much better when hard-hitting Neil Carter was removed with the first ball of the reply and former England opener Nick Knight (3) soon followed to a run out. But the picture became more complicated when rain arrived and took five overs off the reply, Warwickshire’s Duckworth-Lewis revised target being 118 from 15 overs.
Jim Troughton (21) and Trevor Penney (20) kept the Bears on the trail, Brown’s 17 from 12 balls deepening the tension.
DB: “I was going well and then Tim Murtagh produced a superb yorker, it was a great ball.”
With the light steadily worsening, Warwickshire entered the final over on 104-7, wicketkeeper Tony Frost’s 11 from five balls being terminated by Azhar Mahmood but with 11 taken from the first five balls to make it 115-8.
Then the game was halted for six minutes as Ramprakash sought clarification from umpires Allan Jones and David Constant about exactly how many Warwickshire needed to score off the last ball to win.
MR: “We needed to find out whether 117 would give them a tie or us a win and they spent an awfully long time trying to work it out. If Warwickshire hit a boundary it would have won it for them but we needed to know how hard to attack the ball in the field or whether we could play safe.”
Bears pair Heath Streak and Dewald Pretorius could only take two to long-off and Surrey duly celebrated with a crowd of around 10,000, who then began the journey home.
DB: “We accepted the result but our coach, John Inverarity, had read the playing conditions more carefully than us. Being a teacher it’s the sort of thing he did.”
The DL par score had been 117.334 and the umpires now decreed that the match had been tied, which would require a bowlout, the first of its kind in T20 cricket. The news did not go down well in the Surrey dressing room.
Tim Murtagh: “We thought it was a wind-up when they first came in and told them to get lost. When they told us again it came as a bit of a shock, especially for me and a few others because we were already on our second beer. This was before we had floodlights and it had got pretty gloomy with most of the crowd already at Vauxhall Station or beyond.”
A call to the ECB’s cricket operations manager Alan Fordham finally decided the matter and the players finally headed back out to the middle.
MR: “I was bitterly angry and it still annoys me now when I think about it. The on-field umpires had made a decision and then it had been reversed. Now we were back to a 50-50 situation and having to nominate our five bowlers.”
Each of the five had two attempts at the unguarded stumps, the sides drawn 2-2 after 10 attempts and sending the bowlout into sudden death.
Pretorius and Azhar both struck once more but then Zimbabwean international Streak missed, giving Murtagh his opportunity. In a scene which might have been stolen from a Wilson the Wizard cartoon – for those who could see what was going on – the young seamer struck off-stump and then wheeled away in celebration, ripping off his shirt and waving it around his head before finally calming down and receiving the man-of-the-match award.
TM: “I got a bit over-excited, I think you could say! Obviously we were all delighted to have won the match, in the end, and being in the finals again. But it was a bit of a shambles.”
DB: “It was still the early days of T20 and we hadn’t got too scientific at that stage, unlike all the planning and preparation they do now. You tended to swing from the bootlaces or nudge it for a single, there wasn’t a lot in between. It was a scrappy game but certainly a memorable one. I can remember it like it was yesterday.”
MR: “It was just a relief to win it after all that had gone on. It was a shame that we lost in the semi-final to Lancashire but it was a very exciting day, particularly for Jade Dernbach as he made his debut.”
The ECB apologised for the confusion on the day after the match.
2006: Gloucestershire v Surrey
Surrey 224-5 beat Gloucs 144ao
Winning their last three group games ensured Surrey reached the last eight but they had to travel to Bristol. That proved the extent of their problems, a prompt start taking them to 80-3 in the eighth over before man-of-the-match Mark Ramprakash (85) and Rikki Clarke (79no) added 139 for an impressive 224-5, restrained only by Australian specialist Ian Harvey’s 3-40. Gloucestershire were never in the hunt and were bowled out with seven balls to spare, left-arm spinner Nayan Doshi collecting four wickets for the third time in four matches.
Finals day was back at Trent Bridge, where Surrey had won in 2003, but this time Surrey were beaten in the semi-final by Nottinghamshire.
2013: Surrey v Somerset
Somerset 148-6 lost to Surrey 151-7
It was seven years before Surrey reached the knockout stages again and while four-day form was dire, they found a formula for success in the shortest form. Under newly-appointed director of cricket Alec Stewart, they finished second in the South Group to pinch a home draw.
Somerset were in charge while Craig Kieswetter (70no) and Peter Trego (33) were taking them to 99-1. But when Gareth Batty bowled the latter, amid much histrionics, the visitors stumbled to 148-6, Jade Dernbach claiming 2-30.
Jason Roy (28) and Steven Davies (38) got the reply off to a rapid start with 62 in 7.3 overs, man-of-the-match Vikram Solanki’s 38 taking command before a late slide which included two bizarre run outs.
Victory by four wickets over Hampshire in the semi-final at Edgbaston was followed by a 102-run crushing at hands of Northants.
2014: Surrey v Worcestershire
Worcs 141-9 lost to Surrey 144-7
Jason Roy was the last man bowlers wanted to run into in 2014. He claimed five T20 man-of-the match awards, earning his England debut at the end of the season, and completed his handful in the quarter-final. Finishing second in the South Group to claim a home draw, a disciplined attack marshalled by Gary Wilson restricted Worcestershire, left-hander Richard Oliver’s early 34 the best of their 141-9. Jade Dernbach, Robin Peterson and Matt Dunn all claimed two wickets.
Roy then lashed 52 in just 23 balls – all but two of them in boundaries – and it needed a canny unbeaten 24 in 12 balls from South African Peterson to prevent Worcestershire grabbing a surprise victory, although Surrey had 3.3 overs in hand. Returning to Edgbaston brought the disappointment of defeat to Hampshire in the semi-final by 16 runs.
2017: Surrey v Warwickshire
Surrey 204-5 lost to Warks 207-4
This was the match which had just about everything, barring a happy ending for Surrey.
Jason Roy (74 from 38) and Aaron Finch (39) tore into the bowling to make 98 from the opening 9.1 overs, but once separated, only Finch’s fellow Australian Moises Henriques (48) flourished. Warwickshire fought back hard in the fielding but still knew they faced a highest competition chase at the 204-5 amassed.
At 84-3 in the eighth over, Surrey seemed marginal favourites until New Zealand international pair Grant Elliott and Colin de Grandhomme got to work. They proved impossible to contain but Surrey were confident they had dismissed Elliott on 46 when he skied to deep cover and substitute Rory Burns took a low sprawling catch racing in from the boundary.
The incident was replayed numerous times on television before Elliott was given the benefit of the doubt by the third umpire and he went on to claim the man-of-the-match award with 59 from 37 balls, while his partner’s muscular 39 from 22 saw them claim victory in the final over after an unbroken alliance worth 64 from 38 balls.