Surrey too strong in London derby
Surrey 163 for 5 beat Middlesex 142 for 3 by 21 runs
Scott Newman top scored with 61 from 57 balls on his return to his old ground, but still finished on the losing side as Surrey beat Middlesex by 21 runs in the Friends Life t20 London derby at The Oval.
Having single-handedly kept the Panthers' run-chase afloat, Newman was eventually dismissed in the final over as Surrey clinched their third win and inflicted a seventh defeat in eight starts on Middlesex.
Middlesex made a solid if unspectacular start chasing the Surrey total of 163 for 5 through skipper Neil Dexter and Irish opener Paul Stirling, who added 29 before Dexter edged a Stuart Meaker leg-cutter to the wicketkeeper.
Having conceded only a single from his opening over from the Vauxhall End, offspinner Gareth Batty switched to the Pavilion End to snare Stirling lbw for 34 after he missed a reverse sweep.
Needing 95 from the last nine overs, Newman moved up a gear against his former side to flay 12 off Meaker's next over, but Batty restricted Dawid Malan and Newman to six from the 13th over and Rory Hamilton-Brown did even better to keep them down to two from his next over of offspin.
The asking rate had escalated to 12.4 with five overs remaining, but the Panthers' pairing clubbed 17 off Yasir Arafat's next over with Newman reaching a 46-ball 50. Hamilton-Brown conceded only two from the 18th over and Dirk Nannes leaked only five in the penultimate over to leave Middlesex with too much to do. Newman fell to a Yasir Arafat yorker with two balls remaining.
After electing to bat first, Surrey lost opener Steve Davis after 13 balls when he was caught behind to a top-edged pull off Steven Crook, but otherwise it was a roaring start for the Lions.
Captain Hamilton-Brown clattered six boundaries in his cameo 20-ball knock for 30, while Jason Roy clubbed the first six of the night off Crook on his way to 32 as Surrey raced to 50 for 1 after five overs.
The introduction of Dexter's military medium pacers and the left-arm spin of Tom Smith sparked the loss of four wickets in a shade more than eight overs. Hamilton-Brown chopped onto his stumps against Dexter, Jason Roy missed a slog sweep to have his stumps rearranged by the same bowler, and Zander de Bruyn nicked to the wicketkeeper to give Dexter 3 for 18.
After a tenacious four-over spell that cost only 20, Smith gave way to Tim Murtagh who bowled Gary Wilson to bring together Tom Maynard and Yasir Arafat for an unbroken sixth-wicket stand worth 55 in 4.3 overs.
Maynard cantered to a half-century from 37 balls and Arafat added 28 from 17 deliveries, plundering 20 from the last over of the innings from Crook.