Somerset charge past limp Surrey
Somerset 169 for 7 beat Surrey 131 for 8 by 38 runs
Surrey slumped to the fourth defeat of their Twenty20 campaign against a rampant Somerset at The Oval, limping to 131 for 8 in pursuit of the visitors' 169 for 7. A typically explosive start from Marcus Trescothick set the platform for James Hildreth's fluent fifty, and a slick all-round performance from Somerset's bowling attack meant Surrey were never able to launch a full assault on the target.
Trescothick, who is the competition's leading runscorer by some distance, continued his rich vein of form to put together an opening stand of 58 in five overs with a far more subdued Peter Trego. He slammed three fours and a six in the first five balls of Yasir Arafat's second over to motor to 35 from just 16 deliveries, but was then clean bowled heaving at the sixth to give Surrey some respite.
Zafar Ansari's introduction in the seventh over tempered Somerset even further, as he conceded just three runs from his first six deliveries and generally denied the batsmen the opportunity to score. The frustration eventually got to Trego, who ran past a flighted delivery to be stumped for a run-a-ball 27.
Jos Buttler gave a teasing taster of his talent in a short cameo that included some audacious shots before getting a thin edge on a bouncer from Stuart Meaker, who used the short ball to good effect to get rid of a threatening Kieron Pollard two overs later. Somerset had passed 160 by that stage, however, and although Dirk Nannes returned to shatter Craig Meschede's stumps and ensure there would be no late boost the total was already a formidable one.
It looked all the more so when Lewis Gregory trapped a subdued Rory Hamilton-Brown in front of his stumps for 1 from seven deliveries to mute what had already been a lacklustre start to the chase by Surrey. An impregnable off-side field cut down Steve Davies' scoring options as he managed just 22 from 20 balls before holing out to legspinner Max Waller, and though Jason Roy managed to keep the innings afloat wickets fell at regular intervals.
This match was played on the same strip as that used in England's one-day international against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, but where the spinners were generally expensive in that game, tonight they were frugal and incisive. After Waller's impressive start, Arul Suppiah's left-arm spin got past Tom Maynard, Roy and Matthew Spriegel in successive overs as Surrey's innings was completely derailed at 70 for 5 in the 12th over.
Waller had a desperate Zander de Bruyn stumped by a distance soon afterwards, and some bright hitting from Arafat did little to brighten the mood of a decently large Oval crowd. Ansari showed that he has talent with bat as well as ball in an enterprising 24, but by then the game was dead and Somerset's fifth Twenty20 win of the season was assured. The two points they earned took them up to second in the Points Table behind Hampshire.