Surrey off the mark as Davies' stellar form continues
Surrey 205 for 5 (Davies 53, Wilson 41) beat Essex 161 (Smith 44, Curran 4-35, Burke 3-23) by 44 runs
Essex suffered a second defeat in the space of 24 hours as they went down by 44 runs in their T20 Blast match against Surrey at Chelmsford.
After the visitors posted 205 for 5, Essex, who lost to Hampshire on Friday, never seriously threatened to deny Surrey their first success in the competition.
After losing Jason Roy in the opening over, Surrey seized the initiative with a series of punishing strokes from Steven Davies and Kumar Sangakkara. They put on 80 from only seven overs, with 27 coming from a seven-ball over sent down by left-arm seamer Reece Topley.
It included two successive sixes from Sangakkara who went on to clear the ropes for a third time before he was to provide Topley with his only success. Sangakkara's 38 arrived from 21 balls but even he was upstaged by Davies who completed a half-century from just 23 deliveries before he was out for 53 two balls later.
Davies was caught at long-on by Graham Napier and although the tempo slackened following the departure of the second-wicket pair, Surrey still breezed along in excess of six an over. Gary Wilson contributed 41 from 34 deliveries with the help of five fours and a six while Zafar Ansari collected an unbeaten 31 from 21 balls.
Essex's hopes of laying a solid foundation disappeared in the second over of their innings when paceman Matt Dunn struck twice. First he persuaded Nick Browne to put up a simple catch to James Burke in the covers before breaching the defence of 17-year-old Dan Lawrence.
Greg Smith and Kishen Velani did their best to retrieve the situation with a partnership of 70 but they were never able to get near the required rate.
It took them 10 overs to gather those runs before the arrival of Tom Curran saw both dismissed in the same over. First he bowled Velani for 22, before rattling the stumps of Smith to end an innings that brought him 44 form 35 balls.
With Graham Napier and James Foster going cheaply, Essex's last hopes rested squarely on the shoulders of Ryan ten Doeschate. Briefly the Dutchman threatened to keep his side on course for what would have been an astonishing triumph as he plundered his runs in rapid fashion. The fireworks were ended by Burke who had ten Doeschate caught by Gareth Batty and, with his departure, Surrey were left breathing a huge sigh of relief and able to coast to a comfortable triumph.
Curran wrapped up the innings by getting rid of Shaun Tait and Topley in the final over to finish with 4 for 35.