NatWest T20 Blast May 18, 2014

Dernbach summons perfect retort


Surrey 173 for 6 (Roy 64) beat Somerset 159 for 6 (Kieswetter 61) by 14 runs

Jade Dernbach often feels like the most derided man in English cricket. After a winter of discontent that may have terminated his international career for good, Dernbach would have expected relief in the new NatWest Blast. Instead, he failed to defend 15 off the final four balls against Sussex during the competition's launch on Friday night.

So there seemed something rather cathartic about Dernbach's reaction after his final over clinched Surrey's 14-run win at Taunton. Never one to knowingly under-celebrate, he ran halfway towards the boundary, arms aloft in triumph.

He had earned it, too. Given the chance to defend 18 off the final over, Dernbach yielded only three runs. Fast and full and with Somerset unable to read his slower balls, it distilled the virtues that England identified in awarding him 58 caps across the two limited overs formats.

And there was another moment to savour earlier, as an athletic pick up and throw ran Marcus Trescothick out after hesitating over a single. In the county game, at least, you can't keep Dernbach down for long: his four overs yielded only 26 runs.

Somerset's record of four consecutive appearances at T20 finals day was ended by defeat at The Oval in last year's quarterfinal. And not just any defeat, either: Gareth Batty's raucous sendoff to Peter Trego earned him a two-match ban. Batty, who was injured, may have thought that he'd chosen a good game to avoid.

That was especially true with Craig Kieswetter smiting 43 off his first 22 balls, ruthless on anything wide outside offstump. As Somerset cruised to 92 for 2 off 11 overs, their pursuit of 174 felt probable. An element of revenge, though the word had no place on a sumptuous afternoon at Taunton, seemed certain.

While Surrey bowled well, there was a strong element of self-destruction about Somerset's demise, as four wickets were lost in five wickets. "We sort of threw the game away," Kieswetter admitted. "We lacked a little bit of nous with our batting."

Kieswetter himself contributed his second consecutive T20 half-century, to follow 517 runs, more than anyone else, in the tournament last year, but even he rather lost his way after the Powerplay.

No one has been more assiduous in accruing T20 specialists than Surrey. So it would have been a particular source of pleasure to see products of their academy contribute strongly to their success.

At the age of only 22, Zafar Ansari has almost acquired senior player status at Surrey. Three canny overs of left-arm spin, which yielded only 19 runs and included Kieswetter caught at long-on, confirmed what a loss he had been for Surrey at Hove on Friday. Tom Curran's afternoon did not start promisingly - 14 off his first over included five wides sprayed down the legside - but he justified Graeme Smith's faith with smart bowling thereafter.

Earlier, it was another dynamic product of Surrey's Academy who powered their innings. After announcing himself with Surrey's first T20 century four years ago, Jason Roy's talent has never been in doubt, but his aptitude for building innings often has. And while this was a T20 game, Roy trusted himself to play himself in - scoring only two from the first eight balls - before unveiling his repertoire.

His best shot, a six off George Dockrell which must have reminded him of the Dutch onslaught in the World T20 - and struck the outside of the press box - showed that Roy is at his best when he plays straight, and lets his timing and power do the rest.

At 94-1 off 9.1 overs, Surrey envisaged a total in excess of 200. Instead, exceptional bowling from the spin twins - Dockrell and Max Waller - reined Surrey in, with the help of Somerset's death bowling specialists. Dirk Nannes and Alfonso Thomas may have a combined age of 75 but their T20 acumen remains priceless.

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  • Simon on May 19, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Well I dont know anything about Myburg's batting in t20s, but with a first class average of over 40 and a genuine all rounder with spin, he's surely got to reduce our tail. Plus, I like Hildreth in one day formats, he's an awesome runner between the wickets, amazing fielder, can rotate the strike (didnt he even get a T20 100 with only about 6 4s or something) so actually I think he could swap with Alviro and bat a bit higher and get whoever is 'going big' on strike and keep it ticking. Gregory might be seen as a pinch hitter, but he's got absolutely nothing to lose as he's in for his bowling. So I'd say after Hildreth at 4, we could have 5. Petersen 6 Trego 7. Myburgh 8. Meschede / C Overton which gives us depth and a proper mid and late stage attacking strategy. As for Compo he is nailed on in all other formats. If we dont play Waller he'll have no format to play and he takes crucial T20 wickets with his googly.

  • ian on May 19, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    I am a huge fan of Marcus Trescothick. There probably isn't a nicer, more decent man playing cricket for a living anywhere in England. I have been thrilled by his batting over the years too. But, IMO he made another error as skipper in this match. A side that's unsure of itself & quite low on confidence (like Surrey) is always more likely to find chasing a score more difficult than setting one. On winning the toss Somerset should have batted. A score of 170+ in this type of cricket is likely to be competitive and a batting order that is only beginning to come together is far more likely to buckle under the pressure. Somerset has the best death bowler in the business (Alfonso Thamas) and with pace off backing Thomas (why didn't Trego get a spell?), Surrey would have self-destructed. Lovely guy, MT, but a captain who makes some major gaffes.

  • Tom on May 19, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    Somerset have played poorly with the exception of Kieswetter in both games. They got away with it against Gloucs but not against a much better Surrey team. Completely agree about balance of team. The tail is way too long.We need to be brave and drop/rest non-performing players. If Dockrell bowls rubbish drop him; Myburgh may also bowl rubbish but he can bat. Hildy and Comp also more of a liability than a help at the moment. With the middle order either out of form or uncomfortable in this format putting all the eggs in one basket at the top is daft. My team is; Tres, Kieswetter, Petersen,Abell/Davey, Myburgh, Meschede, Trego, Gregory, Waller,Thomas, Nannes This bloods new players, strengthens the batting and gives us 5 seamers and 2 spinners!

  • John on May 19, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    @Juice - When you said test match opener I thought you were meaning Tres (from yesteryear) and thought it was a bit harsh. Thought Kies sold him down the river yesterday. But yes Compton looks too franetic when trying to up tempo. Personally I'm not that big on Trego batting at 6 (as his success in SFs has been up the order) but he's not looked great in his 2 T20 inns this year so it could be tried. Whatever , we miss the firepower at 6 of Buttler. So I'm definitely with you re your line up - but definitely Meschede (who I felt was a perm fixture even when Jos was there) above Overton. What I find strangest is that we deem it not worthwhile to play 1 specialist spinner in the CC but 2 in T20s

  • Adam on May 19, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    To be fair to dernbach, he was talking a lot of stick all match so to criticise him for celebrating at the end is harsh. He bowled well.

    His record in domestic t20 is very good and like last year will be right up with the best bowlers in the tournament.

  • Pundit on May 19, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    Amazing one semi good over and earns plaudits. He has. Even very lucky to play for England. All I can say is that he has backers and pap sores who like where he originates from. His attitude and celebrations unbelievable.....he shrugged off Azhar M his fellow team member at the end,,arrogant individual and totally overrated.

  • John on May 18, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    Well played Surrey.

    Recorded this and just watched it.

    Felt that as soon as Somerset inserted Surrey it was going to be one of those days. Personally (unless conditions dictate otherwise) I prefer to set a total and defend it. Another thing , I'm not so sure of is the balance of the side. I feel our tail looks a little long. We obviously miss Buttler big time but is Meschede injured or out of favour? Trego has had a bad couple of games with the bat but I wonder if (looking at the way O Brien seemed to turn the tide with his gentle medium pacers) Trego could have made an impact with the ball. Also it seems strange that we are reluctant to play any spinner in the CC and yet we play 2 in the T20s.

  • Simon on May 18, 2014, 20:00 GMT

    Well Nosworthy has a problem here, and whilst it could be summed up in the words, Jos Buttler, thats too defeatist. But what is obvious is that with all our hitters up the order we our not balanced right in T20. So Nosworthys problem is actually how do you tell a test match opener he's not good enough to play T20 county cricket? Looking at our squad, with Buttler gone, Trego clearly has to drop to 5 or 6 in T20s. Whilst while I like the idea of two spinners, we cant accomodate both if they arent hitters. We basically need one of Ian Blackwell, Wes Durston or Roelof Van der Merwe (the latter being the best overseas T20 player we've had imho).And for all Dockrells international experience he doesnt quite seem to be nailing this format. So with our current squad I'd say: Tresco Kieswetter Gregory Petersen Hildreth Trego Myburgh Meschede / C Overton Thomas Waller Nannes

  • Tim on May 18, 2014, 19:52 GMT

    Perfect day for T20 felt the Surrey score was under par and it was really. The trouble was after about the 11th over the Somerset innings just lost it's way. It felt as though Somerset were expecting Jos Buttler to walk out and reignite the innings - instead we got Nick Compton, who to be fair did his level best to play that kind of innings but unlike Jos it's just not his natural game.

    As for Jade Dernbach, well as has been said before if his celebrations matched his achievements he'd be up there with Dale Steyn and Mitchell Johnson.As it is I find it hard to think of an opposition player more disliked by home spectators (ever)and his celebration at the end bought the kind of reaction from the crowd that it deserved. Not impressed - although I'm sure he couldn't care less.

  • Cameron on May 18, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    Not sure how Dernbach can earn such plaudits. Bowled a decent 4 overs, but his final two came when the game was gone for Somerset, against a tailender in Thomas and a one legged Gregory.

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