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June 2, 2011
Surrey 156 for 2 beat Gloucestershire 155 for 8 by eight wickets
Openers Steven Davies and Rory Hamilton-Brown blasted 107 in just 10.1 overs as Surrey started their Friends Life t20 campaign in style by overwhelming Gloucestershire by eight wickets under The Oval lights.
Victory came with three overs in hand as Davies, with 92 not out from 55 balls, and Hamilton-Brown, who made 45 from 27 balls before being stumped off a wide, thrashed the Gloucestershire bowling to all parts. Muttiah Muralitharan, making his debut for Gloucestershire, was hit for 14 by Davies from his first over - including a six over long on.
There were three sixes and 13 fours in all for left-hander Davies, who thrilled a 8,249-strong crowd with some exquisite as well as powerful strokeplay. Gloucestershire's 155 for 8 always looked like being an inadequate total on a true Oval surface, but the power of Surrey's reply was still quite astonishing.
Hamilton-Brown took three fours from David Payne's opening over, and Davies did the same to Jon Lewis in the second over. Surrey were 28 for no wicket after those two new-ball overs and 54 without loss after five.
Then came Muralitharan's expensive first over and Davies' half-century arrived in only the ninth over. By the end of that, Surrey were 95 and Gloucestershire just did not know where to bowl at the rampant opening pair.
It was a great start to the Twenty20 competition for Surrey, who are also top of their Clydesdale Bank 40 group and have lost just one match in all competitions.
They also saw a fine debut from fast bowler Dirk Nannes, the Australian and former Holland Twenty20 specialist, who took three wickets. Nannes made two early inroads into the Gloucestershire batting, striking in each of his first two overs for his new club to remove Alex Gidman to a catch at the wicket and Chris Taylor, who miscued an attempted hook to short fine-leg.
Kevin O'Brien and Kane Williamson, with sixes over long on and long off respectively from the bowling of Yasir Arafat and Chris Schofield, briefly put the pressure back on Surrey's bowlers.
But Ireland's World Cup star O'Brien was then well caught by Zander de Bruyn in the deep for a 19-ball 24 and - later in the same over - Hamish Marshall edged to wicketkeeper Davies, who took a smart catch standing up to seamer Tim Linley.
Williamson was badly dropped on 25 by Gareth Batty at long off, as he tried to clear the ropes off Schofield, and with the fielder knocking the ball over the boundary for four to compound his error.
The young New Zealander was, however, run out shortly afterwards for 32 and Gloucestershire were 94 for 6 in the 15th over when Richard Coughtrie was lbw trying to reverse-sweep off spinner Batty.
A stand of 45 in 4.2 overs between Will Gidman, who improvised superbly in an innings of 40 not out from 37 balls that contained only two fours, and Ed Young revitalised the Gloucestershire innings.
Young swung a ball from Matt Spriegel high over mid-wicket for six and also belted four fours in his 28. Young was lbw aiming a paddle-sweep at Arafat, but Jon Lewis then came in to hit his first two balls, from Arafat, for four and six. Nannes, however, trapped Lewis lbw with the final ball of the innings to give himself excellent figures of 3 for 25.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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