Symonds fires to deliver Surrey win
Surrey 150 for 7 beat Kent 81 for 5 (12.5 overs) by 16 runs (D/L method)
After a spluttering start to the season Andrew Symonds finally ignited for Surrey to haul them up from 35 for 4 to 150 for 7, before Kent's top-order folded to deliver Surrey a 16-run win.
The match was brought forward to allow fans, players and just about everyone else involved the chance to watch England's football World Cup match. Batting under leaden skies at The Oval, the Kent batsmen duly aided the process, donating their wickets away freely before rain came to force an early finish.
It was in stark contrast to Symonds' powerful innings which contained all the nous and ability you'd expect from the world's only Twenty20 freelancer. Having contributed just 40 runs in five games this season Symonds owed the Oval crowd a few and after starting quietly he launched into the sort of match-turning innings he was signed for.
He got his knock going by easing his enormous arms through a length ball from Simon Cook to send it careering back down the ground into the stands over long on and thereafter six more sixes came in a flash. James Tredwell dished up a full toss, which Symonds only needed one hand to swing over long on and two overs later Symonds swatted Malinga Bandara for successive sixes to bring up a fifty from 24 balls.
All the while Stewart Walters was calmly impressing at the other end, working the ball around and picking off a few boundaries of his own, during a 62-ball partnership of 95 that revived Surrey's fortunes.
At one stage it had looked as though Kent were going to flatten Surrey's inconsistent batting order. Rory Hamilton-Brown, coming off the back of an authoritative 73 against Middlesex in the previous game, was trapped in front off Darren Stevens in the third over and Stevens' wobbling medium pace did for Steven Davies two balls later.
Mark Ramprakash and Younis Khan threatened a recovery, with Ramprakash landing a classy back-foot force through the covers, but he fell the next ball, spooning a catch to Rob Key at cover trying to repeat the dose. When Younis missed an aimless hoik to be bowled by Cook, it seemed almost unthinkable that Surrey would emerge with respectability.
Instead it was Kent who left embarrassed. Their chase got off to a poor start when Rob Key slipped attempting a single to end up ingloriously on his backside when the bails were taken off. Two overs later, after some testing quick bowling form Chris Tremlett, Martin van Jaarsveld became the second run out of the innings, unable to get back after setting off for a single to short midwicket. Sam Northeast was unsettled by a barrage from Tremlett first up and his frantic knock came to end when he was yorked by Tim Linley.
Reduced to 61 for 5 by the halfway stage and with the skies becoming ever more murky, the game was as good as up. There was enough time for Stevens to swish 33 and for the infamous Oval fox to cheer the crowds by darting across the outfield, before the rains came to bring an early a finish.
Sahil Dutta is assistant editor of Cricinfo