Surrey's unbeaten record in the Twenty20 Cup was never challenged in front of a record crowd at Lords.
Surrey's unbeaten record in the Twenty20 Cup was never challenged in front of a record crowd at Lords. Almost 26,000 watched the Lions win their fourth Twenty20 Cup game this year, the victory gave the Lions an almost perfect record of 11 wins from 12 games.
Surrey came into the game knowing they had already qualified for Mondays quarter finals and they showed why they are the kings of Twenty20 cricket with a disciplined performance with bat and ball to deny Middlesex any chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the Cup.
A typically belligerent innings of 65 not out from Adam Hollioake put Surrey on the road to a 37-run victory in the Twenty20 Cup against Middlesex in front of a big crowd at Lord’s – and preserved the holders’ unbeaten run in the competition.
Hollioake reached his 50 from just 36 balls with some typically lusty blows – in all he faced 41 deliveries, hitting five fours and two sixes, to drag Surrey up to 183 for five from their 20 overs.
Surrey’s bowlers then took responsibility ensuring that Middlesex were always behind the run-rate and the home side finished on 146 for seven.
Lance Klusener offered the main threat for the hosts with a quickfire 53 – reaching his half-century from 28 balls.
Middlesex openers Andrew Strauss and Paul Weekes could never get going in the face of some thoughtful bowling from Philip Sampson, Azhar Mahmood and Tim Murtagh – and when they tried to up the scoring rate they perished.
Strauss (11), should have been out in the sixth over when he charged down the pitch to Murtagh but Jimmy Ormond could not make the ground up to take the catch at square leg.
Ormond made amends when he picked up a sharp chance at midwicket off Sampson to remove the Middlesex skipper with the score on 39.
Owais Shah looked dangerous for a brief period, smashing Murtagh over extra cover for six, but he was caught by Hollioake in the deep for 16 as he chased quick runs.
From then on Middlesex wickets fell steadily and when Weekes was bowled by Nayan Doshi for 33 the game was up.
South African all-rounder Klusener produced some big hits in his innings – he took 22 from one Hollioake over at the end – but it was too little too late for the hosts.
Earlier Alistair Brown (13), James Benning (30) and Mark Ramprakash (38) made quick runs at the start of the Surrey innings although when Ramprakash was run out after a smart piece of fielding from Nick Compton in the 16th over the innings could easily have stalled.
But Hollioake, who had lives when he was dropped on one and 11, and captain Jonathan Batty (16 not out) put on a rapid 37 for the sixth wicket to take Surrey to a competitive total.
The pick of the Middlesex bowlers was Weekes who took two for 20 from his four overs.
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