Gloucestershire claimed their first limited-overs trophy in more than a decade after tightening like a vice during the last third of Surrey's innings to suffocate the run chase and triumph in a thrilling finish
Gloucestershire 220 (Jones 50, Dernbach 6-35) beat Surrey 214 (Sangakkara 60, Burns 56, Taylor 3-43) by six runs Scorecard
Gloucestershire claimed their first limited-overs trophy in more than a decade after tightening like a vice during the last third of Surrey's innings to suffocate the run chase and triumph in a thrilling finish. After losing their talisman, captain Michael Klinger, to the third ball of the match and then being cleaned up for 220 by Jade Dernbach's hat-trick, this was a remarkable triumph from a Gloucestershire side who refused to give in against seemingly mighty opposition.
When Kumar Sangakkara and Rory Burns were compiling a century stand for the third wicket, there was little to trouble Surrey, but spinners Jack Taylor and Tom Smith sparked a dramatic comeback as the shadows lengthened at Lord's. Only Sam Curran, the youngest player on the pitch in only his seventh List A innings, seemed to possess the required nerve but his poise cruelly deserted him at the end.
It came down to seven runs being required off the final over with two wickets standing, after James Burke was run out from the final ball of the penultimate over as Curran tried to steal a single to mid-on. But Curran fell to the next delivery, attempting to hit David Payne over long-on and picking out the fielder.
Dernbach, whose 6 for 35 were the third-best figures in a Lord's final, could only watch from the other end as Gareth Batty then pulled the ball to deep square leg without adding to the total to confirm Gloucestershire's victory with three deliveries remaining.
Fittingly it was Taylor who took the catch. The offspinner, who finished with 3 for 43, also struck a vital 35 from 26 balls in Gloucestershire's innings to be named Man of the Match.
At 143 for 2, Surrey looked as if they would ease to victory, only for Taylor and Smith to turn the screw. The asking rate hovered around a run a ball throughout the last ten overs but wickets fell regularly: Gary Wilson caught at midwicket, Azhar Mahmood stumped, Tom Curran lbw attempting a reverse-sweep - to a ball that may well have missed leg stump.
Gloucestershire, playing their first Lord's final in over a decade, came into the match as underdogs and many feared what would become of them if Klinger failed. Those fears were sharpened when Klinger was dismissed for a duck in Dernbach's opening over and Gloucestershire required a dogged fifty from another veteran in Geraint Jones, playing in his final match before retirement, to drag them towards respectability.
It was hardly an imposing total against a Surrey batting order that has been rampant in this competition, their top three of Jason Roy, Steven Davies and Sangakkara behind only Klinger in the run-scoring list. James Fuller's hugely impressive opening spell accounted for Roy and Davies but Sangakkara did not offer a chance until mis-hitting a Taylor full toss to mid-on with 78 still needed.
On a slow pitch and with what seemed like a majority of the crowd urging them on, Gloucestershire kept themselves in the contest by strangling the scoring. The required rate rose from less than five at the start of the 35th over, before Sangakkara's dismissal, to more than six as Taylor and Smith wheeled away.
It should have been a day to savour for Dernbach - recently described by his captain as "the most complete seamer in England in one-day cricket" - as he became the third man to a hat-trick in a Lord's final, emulating James Averis and Ken Higgs. After the darkness of 2012, when the death of Tom Maynard had a devastating effect on Dernbach and several of his team-mates, this would have been a cathartic victory.
Dernbach's final wicket came courtesy of an extremely poor umpiring decision but the yorker to clean up Jones after he had reached a 64-ball fifty was a brutally effective piece of death bowling. Craig Miles then inside-edged a drive through to Wilson before umpire Rob Bailey gave last man Payne out lbw after he was hit on the body ducking into a full toss - though replays suggested the ball was missing leg stump by some distance.
The 40-year-old Mahmood, only in the side as a seasoned replacement for the injured Zafar Ansari and playing his first List A game in over a year, returned immaculate figures of 2 for 28 from ten overs as Surrey took charge. Gloucestershire only managed one fifty partnership and might have struggled to get past 200 but for the efforts of No. 9 Taylor, which included consecutive leg-side sixes off Tom Curran in the 45th over.
Surrey had batted first in every one of their previous Royal London Cup matches this season, winning eight out of nine but this time Batty decided to chase. Maybe it was a psychological ploy: get Klinger in and have a go at him early. The sun was shining and the skies were clear in north London, which is not often the case this late in the season, but still Batty chose to insert on winning the toss. Klinger, the leading run-scorer in the competition and the man many felt was Gloucestershire's best - only even - chance of winning, was offered centre stage.
A Lord's final was once a prime opportunity to persuade the England selectors of a player's case. Klinger, into his 36th year, still hopes to catch Australia's attention but this was not to be his moment: attempting to impose himself against Dernbach, he was caught behind forcing a cut. The time it took for Nick Cook's finger to go up was enough for Gloucestershire hearts to sink into their boots.
Surrey had carried out their hit while barely getting their hands dirty; Gloucestershire sensed the wall at their backs already. It seemed like a mortal blow.
Victory would be all the sweeter for the manner in which it came but the recovery was slow. Gareth Roderick and Chris Dent put on 40 for the second wicket, the latter dropped when Sam Curran grassed a catch off his own bowling.
Dent was on 13 at the time but looked in good touch, only to drill Dernbach straight to mid-off for 22 off 20. Hamish Marshall, one of only two Gloucestershire players with international experience, was next to fall, stumped off a leg-side wide from Batty. His first ball had disappeared down to fine leg for five wides but, an over later, Marshall walked past a similarly errant delivery, beaten by some turn, and Wilson completed a smart bit of work.
Mahmood then reeled off ten overs of wicket-to-wicket thriftiness, only slightly blemished when Jones clouted a slower ball beyond the ropes. Benny Howell was bowled through the gate and Roderick played on but Tom Smith combined with Jones to add 52 for the sixth wicket. Taylor then added further impetus but, with 250 still a possibility, he carved a Dernbach full toss to backward point.
Gloucestershire needed early wickets and Fuller, bowling in the high 80s mph and making use of a short leg, provided hope by removing both openers inside 12 overs. Roy toe-ended an aggressive swipe to cover while Davies seemed beaten for pace by one that reared back into him and could only play on. Gloucestershire believed but it was much, much later until everyone else did.