Van der Merwe 165* leads stunning Somerset revival
Somerset 291 for 6 (van der Merwe 165*, Elgar 68) beat Surrey 290 for 8 (Foakes 92, Stoneman 56) by four wickets
A maiden List A century by Roelof van der Merwe enabled Somerset to pull off an incredible four-wicket win over Surrey in the Royal London One-Day Cup South Group match at Taunton with more than six overs to spare.
Surrey were restricted to 290 for 8 from their 50 overs, Ben Foakes top-scoring with 92. In reply Somerset crashed to 22 for 5 and looked out of it before van der Merwe and Dean Elgar came together to lay the foundation for victory with a sixth-wicket stand of 213. Elgar fell for 68 but Somerset eventually won with 37 balls remaining, after one of the most dramatic turnarounds imaginable in a one-day contest.
"It was great for the team and fabulous to have been part of that partnership and great to get the team home," van der Merwe said. "At 22 for 5 we were basically dead and buried and you had that freedom just to go out there and bat and suddenly we needed a run a ball with not too many left so we could just bat and keep the ball on the floor.
"We did put the Surrey fielders under pressure and it was tough for them to pick it up. There were also a few throws that went awry and we took a few extra singles and kept up that intensity.
"When I walked out to bat I thought that we would be home by 4pm, so it was just one of those where you got in and it was hard to get out on that wicket. I don't think that I have ever played better, especially at Somerset on my home ground so it was awesome."
The Somerset innings was floundering in the seventh over, with the top order back in the changing rooms. Jade Dernbach claimed three early wickets and Sam Curran two as Steven Davies, Peter Trego, Jim Allenby, James Hildreth and Adam Hose departed in rapid succession.
Elgar, who was dropped early in his innings, and van der Merwe came together and gradually started the recovery. The pair kept up with the run rate and saw up the 100 in the 19th over. In the next Elgar hit the first six of the innings off Gareth Batty, which brought a loud cheer from the home crowd.
Two balls later Van der Merwe reached his fifty with two off the back foot, his runs coming off 44 balls with six fours, shortly after which Elgar followed, his runs coming off 62 balls with three fours and a six.
Van der Merwe went to his century with a drive to the square cover boundary off Tom Curran, having faced 77 balls and hit 15 fours. The partnership was worth 213 in 30 overs, a new Somerset record in List A cricket to bring the hosts right back into the game, when Elgar was bowled by Scott Borthwick for 68.
Van der Merwe was joined by Lewis Gregory and the pair stayed in the middle to see Somerset home, the Netherlands allrounder ending unbeaten on 165 off 122 balls with 24 fours and a six. It was one of the truly great one-day innings.
Surrey were indebted to a career-best 92 from Ben Foakes and a half-century from Mark Stoneman in setting Somerset 291. Stoneman, on his Surrey List A debut, looked in great form after the visitors had been put in and along with Dominic Sibley brought up the 50 in the 11th over. But soon after going to his half-century off 49 balls with six fours he was caught at fine leg hooking at Gregory.
Kumar Sangakkara kept the total moving as Surrey passed 100. Sibley had moved onto 37 when he went down the wicket and was caught by wicketkeeper Steve Davies for 37, Gregory again the successful bowler. Josh Davey then changed ends and immediately had Rory Burns sharply caught at short midwicket by Jim Allenby for 15, and then Sangakkara taken by the keeper two overs later for 32.
Foakes looked in great form and saw up the Surrey 200 with a single off Craig Overton, but two balls later the bowler accounted for Borthwick, caught at midwicket for 19.
Foakes went to half-century with a straight drive and while he was at the wicket Surrey looked to be heading for a big total. The Somerset bowlers had other ideas as both Sam and Tom Curran went cheaply.
Foakes had moved onto 92, off 65 balls, with 11 fours, when he was caught at deep midwicket before Surrey ended on 290 for 8. Overton ended with 3 for 57, Gregory 3 for 71 and Davey 2 for 45.