Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Finch, Dernbach turn Somerset's T20 dreams sour

Surrey 154 for 8 (Finch 51, Davey 3-20) beat Somerset 139 for 6 (Jayawardene 36, Dernbach 3-32) by 15 runs

It was always going to require something inspired for Surrey to defend their Aaron Finch-filled 154. But, through a combination of waspish fielding, fine bowling - with Jade Dernbach to the fore in both disciplines - and canny captaincy, they did just that - by a whopping 15 runs, all but ending Somerset's hopes of progressing. After a staggering stall in Surrey's innings after Finch's fireworks, Somerset - strangled by Surrey - put on a clinic in how not to chase.

Dernbach, having taken a wicket in both his early overs and also pulling off a magnificent direct hit to dismiss Jim Allenby, was recalled to the attack by Gareth Batty and entrusted - as he always is - with closing out a tight game with his chicanery and craft. The equation was 33 required from 24 balls, and five Somerset wickets still standing.

These last 12 Dernbach deliveries - always just wide enough of line, always just awkward enough of length, and never remotely readable of pace - went for eight, with his last ball deceiving Lewis Gregory, who was caught on the midwicket fence. As Tom Curran - who bowled a brilliant over between Dernbach's two - stood atop his mark for the innings's last, the game was won.

It was Sam Curran's tight opening over and Ben Foakes's outstanding diving catch of Johann Myburgh - off Dernbach's bowling - that set the tone for Surrey's excellent defence. Against the new ball, Mahela Jayawardene was in sublime form, flicking beautifully to leg and placing perfectly on the offside but, after Dernbach bowled Peter Trego, he fell to Batty's first ball.

Batty quickly identified that, with 63 scored from the first six overs, the spin of he and Zafar Ansari would be vital. Both finished with figures of 1 for 20, with Ansari's wicket also vital, Roloef van der Merwe bowled slogging. With the wind sucked from Somerset's sails - although Alex Barrow and Gregory shared a chancy 43 to give them hope, Batty turned to Dernbach and his protege, the older Curran.

If Dernbach sealed the deal, it was Finch who set Surrey's win up. South London on a Friday night is as close to the Twenty20 Finch knows as England can offer. Before a roisterous sellout crowd of 25,500 - there were, as now seems mandatory, variations of "Will Grigg's On Fire", and the Iceland slowclap - Finch began the night in ominously ravenous form.

By the time Surrey had 50, for the loss of just Jason Roy, who bunted Josh Davey to mid-off, Finch had 44. There was a cut four, before Lewis Gregory was pulled for six, lustily pumped through cover for four, then flicked to cow for six more. Jamie Overton was the victim of another violent triptych: a sensual six towards long-on, a beastly cover drive, and a finessed guide to third man.

Yet when he went, a couple of balls after reaching 50, bowled off the pad by Max Waller - who Finch admitted on TV after that he had never seen bowl, Surrey lost their way horribly. There were all the hallmarks of the grim stall: a 12-over wait for a boundary (Tom Curran and Ben Foakes scrambled one each late on), and there were no more sixes; there were two run outs, with Rory Burns's so farcical that the third umpire was required to decide whether he or Dom Sibley should go. Sibley failed to kick on, adding five to his score before slapping to long-on, Chris Morris top edged to be caught and bowled, while Zafar Ansari pulled straight to the man in the deep.

In the Curran brothers, on the day they were called up by England Lions, Surrey found a pair of patient, dinky accumulators, who ensured their innings went the distance. Sam, productive to third man, was run out cleverly by the leaping wicketkeeper Barrow going for a silly second, while Tom lost Foakes to a brilliant catch at backward square-leg from Peter Trego in the final over.

It should never have been enough, but Dernbach - after a lengthy spell on the sidelines - is back. The nature of his job often make his failures memorable, but there remain few better at closing out a game. At 30, and having seen - not to mention copped - plenty, he is now a wily old operator with more to give than most acknowledge. Somerset had no answer.

Somerset 2nd innings Partnerships

1st13DPMD JayawardeneJG Myburgh
2nd40DPMD JayawardenePD Trego
3rd18DPMD JayawardeneJ Allenby
4th9J AllenbyRE van der Merwe
5th13J AllenbyL Gregory
6th43L GregoryAWR Barrow
7th3MA LeaskAWR Barrow