Crusaders maintain perfect start

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The Middlesex Crusaders made it four wins out of four in this year's Twenty20 Cup with a closely fought five-wicket win over London rivals the Surrey Brown Caps at Lords.

Having put Surrey in to bat, the home side were set 142 to win, and they ground their way to victory with an over to spare.

The loss leaves Surrey with just one win from four and struggling near the foot of the South Division table.

Middlesex had looked in trouble early on in their reply to Surrey, having been reduced to seven for two after just two overs with Billy Godleman out leg before from Pedro Collins and Andrew Strauss playing a Jade Dernbach slower ball on to his stumps.

The introduction of captain Ed Joyce seemed to steady the home side, as he hit Dernbach for six in the fourth over.

Eoin Morgan and Tyron Henderson were both foiled by Razzaq moments after hitting big sixes, leaving Middlesex struggling again on 64 for four, but Dawid Malan came in and struck up a 57-run partnership with Joyce to set his side up for victory.

Joyce put on a sensible 47 from 48 balls before scooping one to Mark Ramprakash from Abdul Razzaq with three overs to go, and it was left to Malan to stroke the winning runs in the 19th over with a four to long off.

Surrey's total of 141 for seven had always looked like it was going to leave their bowlers with a little bit too much to do, as they never upped their run rate and stuttered towards the end of their innings.

Surrey opener James Benning carried his bat for 50, but looked disappointed with his contribution as he took 53 balls to do so, and had not hit a boundary since the second over.

Scott Newman was out for a duck in the first over, edging the impressive Dirk Nannes to wicket keeper Ben Scott.

Nannes finished with excellent figures of 2 for 14, as he also picked up the wicket of Surrey captain Ramprakash for six in the penultimate over.

Other than Benning, Chris Jordan put in the only other notable knock for Surrey, his 31 runs coming off just 26 balls.

Surrey's main problem was a lack of boundaries, with just eight fours and a six coming in the innings compared to Middlesex's 12 fours and four sixes.

And when the away side only managed 20 runs from their last three overs, it always looked a very reachable target for their high-flying opponents.
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