Youngsters lead Surrey win over Essex
Surrey 154 for 7 beat Essex 111 by 43 runs
Surrey beat Essex by 43 runs in the Friends Life t20 match at The Oval to record only their second win in 12 Twenty20 matches between the two sides.
Tom Maynard's innings of 45 and some late hitting from Twenty20 debutant Zafar Ansari (30 not out) led the Lions to 154 for 7 batting first, despite Graham Napier taking two early wickets.
That total was to prove too much for the Eagles, who were dismissed for 111 with two-and-a-half overs unused.
Napier removed openers Steven Davies and Rory Hamilton-Brown within his first seven deliveries, before suffering an injury which restricted him to just two overs. Jason Roy and Maynard rebuilt with a stand of 35 in 25 balls before Roy fell for 31, but Maynard was joined by Zander de Bruyn in a fourth-wicket alliance of 58.
Maynard's 37-ball knock was ended by this season's leading wicket-taker in the competition, Tim Phillips, who took his tally to 12 in five matches by removing Gary Wilson next ball. De Bruyn fell for 28 but that just allowed Ansari, the teenage left-arm spinner called up after completing geography exams at Cambridge University, to hit an unbeaten 30 from 18 deliveries.
Yasir Arafat struck two vital blows for the home side at the start of the Essex reply, accounting for Owais Shah, who departed for a first-ball duck, and the out-of-form Ravi Bopara who was trapped leg before for nine.
The problems continued for the visitors, who were soon 34 for four. James Foster and Ryan ten Doeschate added a brisk 25 in three overs but the Holland all-rounder, having scored 15, become one of three run-out victims. Foster clubbed his way to 31 before he was caught at long-on off De Bruyn to leave the score 95 for six, although the batsman complained that the full toss was above waist height.
However, the decision stood and the innings fell away tamely with the last five wickets falling in 3.1 overs, although Adam Wheater attempted to galvanise matters with a quickfire 29 as Essex were bowled out for 111.
The victory lifted Surrey above their opponents into fourth place in the South Group having recorded their second win in five matches, one of those matches having been rained off.