Surrey v Somerset, FLt20 Quarter-final, The Oval August 6, 2013

Solanki, Davies steer Surrey to Finals Day

Vithushan Ehantharajah at The Oval

Surrey 151 for 7 (Solanki 38, Davies 35) beat Somerset 148 for 6 (Kieswetter 70*) by three wickets

Surrey became the first side to make it to Finals Day and reached the last four for the first time since 2006 as they defeated Somerset at The Oval. A 4.15pm start limited the attendance to just 10,100, with Sky unwilling to put the game on their red button service. Surrey fans have a right to feel aggrieved by the scheduling but, now just two games away from a first piece of silverware since 2011's Clydesdale Bank 40, it's an easier pill to swallow.

Through a mixture of good bowling and some indecisive strokes, Somerset stuttered to their 148, after winning the toss and asking Surrey to chase for only the second time in the competition. Craig Kieswetter carried his bat, but he faced only 51 of the 120 balls available.

Kieswetter is often maligned for his inability to rotate the strike and, at times, he was guilty of trying to launch balls that deserved a bit more respect. But it would be extremely harsh for any criticism to be levelled at him today, especially given the struggles of his teammates. Fellow opener Chris Jones played out nine dot-balls during the Powerplay, while the middle order could only give their main man five balls in the final four overs. As if to make a point, Kieswetter took singles off all of them.

His 70 contained all his trademarks, as he hit straight and big with his manufactured technique that looks so natural on days like these. Even someone of Chris Tremlett's pace wasn't safe, as Kieswetter planted him down the ground for six, before displaying some sharp footwork the very next ball to get inside of a ball just outside off stump, launching it over long-off for another maximum.

After a post-Powerplay lull, it looked like Peter Trego would assist Kieswetter. But, after an attempted reverse-paddle to the first ball of the 14th over, he lost his off stump, much to the delight of the bowler, Gareth Batty, who let out a roar that would turn an Orc white. Trego took exception, removing his helmet to square up to Batty. Players and umpires separated the two, while the Surrey fielders backed up their captain to remind Trego of the direction in which he should be heading. Batty was kept well away from his confronter, and for good reason.

The two were reunited at the end, once Batty had repeatedly punched the air with glee after John Lewis got a thick edge to third man from a full toss from Alfonso Thomas to seal a Surrey win. It was a lot less heated, but certainly not friendly.

The required rate of 7.5-an-over didn't challenge the hosts. Speaking after the match, magnum of champagne in hand, Vikram Solanki revealed that the plan was always to try and milk every run from the middle overs, before Yasir Arafat and Thomas returned at the death. George Dockrell had the misfortune of being the targeted bowler, with his overs going for 32, including back-to-back sixes from Solanki at the end of the 13th over that left Surrey needing 43 from 42 balls.

Yet again, Jason Roy and Steven Davies started well, with 50 off the first six overs. Roy then fell to a magnificent catch by Jos Buttler - scurrying from the boundary at deep-midwicket to dive and intercept a ball over his right shoulder, before it could reach the boundary on the bounce. But even the removal of Davies could not stem the runs, as Solanki's 38, along with contributions from Gary Wilson and Zander de Bruyn allowed the chase to be completed at a canter.

They could even afford some slapstick, as Gary Wilson was run out trying to run on an overthrow, which cannoned off the stumps at the bowler's end, with Zafar Ansari scrabbling to make his ground.

For Somerset, there is no silver lining, another blow on the day they found out that Abdur Rehman will not be making his way to Taunton, having been selected in Pakistan's squad for their tour of Zimbabwe. A fifth consecutive visit to Finals Day might not have eased their woes, but it certainly would have distracted them from them. Now, they have to consider some harsh realities.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on August 7, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    @Munkeymomo on (August 7, 2013, 9:15 GMT) Pretty much agree with all you say although wouldn't comm on the Surrey fans and Trego/Batty seemed like 6 of one ... Trego should definitely have opened. I think Mahmood's figure's were inflated by Jones looking so clueless. I would say some of those balls which he made look unplayable vs Mahmood would have ended in the stands had Tres or Trego opened.

    @siltbreeze /Justin Coward - Pretty sure they said Waller was ill or injured. Guess Tres relapsed with the injury although I think Hildreth was dropped. JH had been in poor form but I still think he had more to offer than Jones. Trego was awesome when opening with Tres in Craig's absence. They should have opened with Trego and Craig , had AP,JH and NC floating in the middle with the option of bringing CM and JB up the order.

  • Cyril on August 7, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    @Munkeymomo your jealously of the biggest cricket club in the world knows no bounds. I'm interested if you were there yesterday, as the TV coverage showed only half of what went on. Trego started on Batty, he stood up for himself, and was backed by his team-mates. Dernbach had to manhandle Keiswetter who wanted a proper fight. The Surrey boys were just celebrating a key wicket.

    As for poor sportsmanship, Kirby takes some beating. No need for any stories to describe that angry man.

    What was this poor behaviour from Surrey fans? Trego and Keiswetter got away without any abuse considering their violent intentions.

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    The selections have been weird all season. No consistancy. Players never looked up to the game till the 15th over in surry's batting. With Buttler possibly leaving and Tresco, Thomas, Kirby hitting late 30's how much longer can they play. Tresco for all he has done another season passes with low figures and not many games missing today still injured i suppose.

    I was just really dissapointed that again we turned out and the players were not bouncing around like previous years. What is going on behind the scenes. Waller dropped ???? Tresco not in?????

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Disgraceful behaviour by Wilson-what a poor example to set.Umpires umpire players should play!What players forget when thinking a delivery is too high is that it is judged"in their normal stance" NOT metres down the pitch.

  • Martin on August 7, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Commenting from a distance, but I've been most unimpressed with what I've seen/heard from Nosworthy. Team selections have baffled me all season - e.g. batting Gregory, a bowler, at no.4 in the CC then abandoning him when that failed. Again yesterday, with Tres absent Hildreth had to play, despite his poor T20 form this season. Waller, who'd been ever-present, was very unlucky to miss out. And our body language was poor throughout. We look an unsettled, unhappy team, exemplified by all the talk of Buttler and Compton leaving.

  • Mark on August 7, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    @JG: Oh I know, was surprised Tregs didn't open. Surrey's late overs was good, on the whole Somerset wasted to much in the middle and Craig didn't get enough strike, but I guess credit the Surrey bowlers for not allowing it. There were too many poor deliveries though, they could have defended that. Perfect example, Arafat got Solanki out and then very next ball gifted Wilson a boundary first ball. There were lots of full tosses which went to the boundary. As I said, only Trego bowled well, and Thommo's second spell was very good too.

    Not made much of a secret about my opinion of this Surrey team (Chelsea of cricket), it's gone further down after this game, they wanted to umpire this match too. Can't see them winning the tourny, just not a good enough side bar Davies and Mahmood.

    Hopefully we can focus on staying up now, and sending Surrey down to div 2.

  • John on August 7, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    I commented on the game on the Mahmood story - as that was linked as the report when I first checked it out

    @Munkeymomo on (August 6, 2013, 21:00 GMT) Thought everything pretty much was poor , from tactics to execution. With the exception of Trego and Craig and to lesser degrees Nick and Kirby (who dragged a poor start back only to be taken out of the attck after a 4 run over) , the rest of the team (bar CM who had no input either way) were dire It was like watching Eng meekly surrendering an ODI match. Still think Trego should be opening when Tres or Craig are out. No disrespect but I don't think Surrey's opening overs were that great but Jones was clueless. In a way this is more frustrating as I don't think Surrey were that good either and made a meal of it in the end.

  • Tim on August 7, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    How did Solanki get man of the match over Kieswetter? When Solanki went out the job of winning was far from over so you can't credit him with the win. Other than that Kieswetter made a lot more runs. Poor decision.

  • Mark on August 6, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    Shame the match had to be tarnished by the behaviour of some Surrey players and fans. Outplayed Somerset though. Congrats. Arafat was poor, as was most Somerset bowling. Trego was great though.

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    Classic bit of handbags with Trego and Batty there, worth watching the game just for that !

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