Dexter, Wilkin extend Surrey winless run
Middlesex 157 for 9 (Dexter 41) beat Surrey 154 for 4 (Pietersen 42) by one wicket
Middlesex pulled off a dramatic one-wicket victory over Surrey in the Friends Life t20 London derby with just a single ball to spare.
Even though progression to the knockout phase of the FLt20 was impossible for both sides, a Friday night crowd of 15,000 at The Oval were treated to a battle royale. When Ollie Wilkin and Ollie Rayner came together with Middlesex, on 106 for 7, needing another 49 off 35 balls, the hosts appeared to be on course for their first win in seven games.
But the eighth-wicket pair had other ideas, and when Wilkin lifted Zafar Ansari over long-on for six, the requirement had been shaved to 25 off 19 balls.
The Panthers went into the final over needing just three but, with Gareth Batty taking a superb catch at mid-off to dismiss Rayner before running out Wilkin two balls later, Middlesex - with their last pair at the crease - were still three runs shy.
Tim Murtagh scampered a single off the fourth ball leaving Tom Smith to settle the contest with a four to long-on.
Earlier, having won the toss, Surrey posted 154 for 4, their highest T20 total of the season. Steven Davies and Kevin Pietersen got the hosts under way with an opening stand of 76. Pietersen launched Paul Stirling over long-on for six in the eighth over, but the pair were eventually parted when Davies, who made 37, was bowled by Smith in the 11th over.
Four overs later, Pietersen, backing away, was caught behind for a run-a-ball 42, looking to force Dawid Malan through extra cover, although not before Jason Roy had brought the hundred up for Surrey with a straight six off Neil Dexter.
Roy was joined by Gary Wilson and together they added 41 in just 28 balls for the third wicket. Roy deposited Malan in the pavilion for six and followed it up by launching Dexter into the middle tier of the OCS Stand but, attempting another big hit, he was then bowled by Steven Crook for a quickfire 40.
With his side needing 155 to win, Dexter despatched the first three balls of Middlesex's reply to the boundary for four. Chris Tremlett had Stirling caught at mid-off but with Crook clubbing Dirk Nannes for two successive sixes, the visitors raced to 50 in the third over.
The loss of Crook, lofting to midwicket for 25, Adam Rossington, stumped without scoring, and Malan, bowled by Ansari for nine, checked Middlesex's progress.
When Dexter picked out Pietersen at midwicket off the bowling of Zander de Bruyn, to depart for a 34-ball 41, and John Simpson and Gareth Berg went to successive deliveries, the game appeared to be Surrey's for the taking, but Middlesex eventually sneaked home.