Surrey 200 for 8 beat Hampshire 189 for 6 by 11 runs
Cracking half-centuries by Steven Davies and Andrew Symonds helped Surrey maintain their hopes of qualifying for the Friends Provident t20 knock-out stages after edging out Hampshire Royals by 11 runs in a high-scoring clash at The Oval.
Chasing the Lions' excellent 200 for 8, Hampshire ran out of steam against the Surrey spinners with 1 for 28 for Gareth Batty and two wickets for Rory Hamilton-Brown that gave his side their fourth qualifying win.
Batting first, the Lions got off to a flying start through openers Hamilton-Brown and Davies who posted the home 50 inside four overs of the powerplay. Hamilton-Brown contributed 10 to the run-fest until he clipped a length ball from Sean Ervine into the hands of Liam Dawson at deep square leg. Left-hander Davies showed no compassion for his ex-Worcestershire team-mate, Simon Jones, who, two years after his last Twenty20 appearance prior to knee problems, disappeared for 25 in his first over.
Davies sprinted to an 18-ball 50 with nine fours and a brace of sixes and drove another sublime six over extra cover off Ervine, only to fall two balls later when he clipped to Jimmy Adams at deep square-leg to make it 74 for 2.
Teenager Jason Roy, preferred to veteran Mark Ramprakash, hit an audacious six off left-arm spinner Danny Briggs into the top tier of the pavilion but the right-hander from Reigate soon top-edged a sweep to deep-square.
Stewart Walters attempted to accelerate with a slog-sweep against Briggs' arm ball only to be bowled and Jones bravely switched ends to concede only seven from his second over from the Vauxhall End.
Symonds, in tandem with Younis Khan, added 71 in seven overs with Symonds posting the second 50 of the evening in 11 minutes with five fours and two sixes but Khan sliced a drive to long off to give Ervine figures of 3 for 28. Ervine's direct hit from long-off to the striker's end stumps ran out Symonds for a stunning 63 from 33 balls as he chanced a second run.
Entrusted with the last over, Jones showed his character to run out Chris Schofield in his follow through then bowl Batty with a slower ball, but he was powerless to prevent Andre Nel's last ball six that raised the Lions' 200.
Initially, the Royals run-chase ticked along at the asking rate of 10 an over as Michael Lumb (11) and Jimmy Adams added 33 before Lumb miscued to midwicket to bring teenager James Vince to the crease for only his second t20 appearance.
The youngster showed his style with 43 from 17 balls before needlessly attempting a slog-sweep to lose his leg stump to Hamilton-Brown. Ervine (3) checked a drive into the hands of the Surrey skipper at cover then Adams, having hit 46 off 37 balls, attempted to cut Schofield only to be caught behind off a looping bat-pad chance.
The 14th over proved a turning point as Batty conceded only five, forcing the asking rate beyond 12 an over for the first time and Nic Pothas (18) soon cracked under the pressure by holing out to deep cover.
Dawson soon followed to another catch in the deep and though Neil McKenzie (52 not out) improvised cleverly Hampshire were unable to find the 29 they needed from Nel's final over of the night.