Surrey spinners spark victory
Surrey 220 for 6 (Butcher 79, Ali 3-43) beat Worcestershire 207 for 9 (Smith 76, Solanki 54, Schofield 3-34) by 13 runs
Surrey's spinners kept their team in the chase for an automatic promotion place as Worcestershire threw away a winning position and with it left their own promotion hopes up in the air. Ben Smith and Vikram Solanki put the home side on course, but Chris Schofield and Nayan Doshi shared five wickets and Worcestershire fell 13 runs short.
Solanki and Smith were knocking the runs off with ease as Worcestershire reached 179 for 3 but Mark Butcher, the Surrey captain, held his nerve. He knew the spinners would be hard to score off on a worn and glued pitch and so it proved.
Doshi bowled Solanki for an elegant 47-ball 54, but the vital blows came from Schofield, who is fighting for a new county contract. He had Graeme Hick caught at long on then next ball had Smith taken at deep square-leg off a top-edged sweep.
Schofield then claimed his third scalp, thanks to a reflex catch by Tim Murtagh at short extra-cover, and the equation was out of reach for Worcestershire.
Surrey's total was built around a captain's innings from Mark Butcher who'd battled through tough early conditions when the seamers were on top. Quick-fire contributions from Rikki Clarke and Azhar Mahmood built on the foundation. They turned out to be vital innings, although Worcestershire will feel they threw the match away.