Surrey lost to arch rivals Somerset in a thrilling NatWest T20 Blast contest at Taunton on Sunday as James Hildreth swept his side to an against-the-odds four-wicket win.
Replying to Surrey’s 157-6, the home side appeared down and out at 47-5 in the ninth over. But the experienced Hildreth top-scored with 45 not out and shared in a stand of 69 with Roelof van der Merwe as Somerset reached their target with ten balls to spare.
Surrey are two points behind second-placed Somerset in the South Group.
Both teams have three matches remaining, with the top four in the group going through to the last eight.
Surrey overseas star Aaron Finch said: “We put ourselves in a pretty good position with the ball and then let it slip. We were just five or ten per cent off our game, and that’s all it takes to make the difference in these games.
“You know a team like Somerset are going to keep coming at you hard and they had some big hitters down the order, who struck the ball well to drive the game forward.”
On Friday, Aneurin Donald’s 76 off 40 balls under the Kia Oval floodlights helped Glamorgan strengthen their position at the top of the South Group table by squeezing past Surrey by six runs in front of a crowd of 21,256.
Tom Curran almost stole the match for Surrey at the death, his 51 not out from 27 balls making a mockery of 48 runs being required from the last three overs to overhaul Glamorgan’s 181 for six. In the end, having hit the second ball of Michael Hogan’s final over for six to bring the equation down to nine from four balls, Curran was caught out by two slower balls from the veteran Australian seamer which he swung at and missed.
A scampered two from the penultimate ball left Curran, who hit three sixes and three fours, needing seven from the last ball. He hit it into the offside, opted not to run but still walked off to an ovation for a courageous attempt with Surrey finishing on 175 for seven.
Curran said: “It is disappointing to lose but it was another great crowd here and it must have been a great game for the neutral.”