A full round-up of Surrey’s Vitality Blast South Group meeting with Gloucestershire in Cheltenham on Friday.
Jamie Smith and Laurie Evans kept Surrey’s Vitality Blast campaign alive as they beat Gloucestershire by seven wickets on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Surrey faced a must-win game at the College, their final fixture, and knocked off a chase of 178 with 10 balls to spare.
Smith set things up with 60 from 47 balls and Evans took his side to the verge of victory with 58 from 36.
Gloucestershire will get another chance to seal a quarter-final spot in their final game at Taunton on Sunday but they will need to raise themselves with defeat here coming two days after their Championship hopes were ended.
Having been sent in, the home side only played in fits and starts. A more measured start than previous matches saw them to 68 for 1 in the eight over but then then lost three wickets in 18 balls.
Glenn Phillips’ 48 from 26 balls picked the innings up but 177 proved well short.
Phillips hit Batty over long-on and pulled Rikki Clarke over midwicket. He slog-swept Will Jacks and then whacked him over long-on. But when set for serious damage, hit a low full toss to long-on.
Benny Howell made 30 from 21 balls but fell in a fine spell from Gareth Batty, who took two for 21.
Jacks opened the chase with a flick off Dan Worrall for six over deep square and a swing over long-off as Ryan Higgins conceded 19 from the fifth over but he skewed Josh Shaw to deep cover to fall for 24 in 14 balls.
Jamie Smith drove his namesake Tom over extra-cover and swept him for four more and at the halfway stage Surrey were on course at 88 for one.
Laurie Evans cleverly paddle-swept Howell for his first boundary before slog-sweeping him for six. He then struck Worrall over long-on to effectively end the contest.
WHAT IT MEANS
Surrey can still qualify for the quarter-finals of this year’s Vitality Blast, providing certain fixtures go our way over the next three days.
Somerset face Glamorgan on Friday evening, with a win for Somerset ensuring their qualification. Then Somerset and Gloucestershire play off on Sunday, with both sides in and around us in the group.
Hampshire can also sneak into the top four if they win both of their remaining fixtures.
POST MATCH REACTION
Here’s hoping it’s enough to get a last eight spot!
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) July 16, 2021
Surrey XI: Jacks, Smith, Evans, David, Burns, Clark, Clarke, Atkinson, McKerr, Batty, Moriarty
Gloucestershire XI: Hammond, Howell, Cockbain, Phillips, Bracey, Taylor, Higgins, Scott, Smith, Worrall, Shaw
Surrey will travel to Scarborough next Thursday for the start of the 50 over Royal London Cup competition.