Andrew Symonds and Andrew Flintoff both produced typically brutal knocks as Lancashire Lightning set Surrey Lions a daunting target of 218 to chase in the first semi-final.
Andrew Symonds and Andrew Flintoff both produced typically brutal knocks as Lancashire Lightning set Surrey Lions a daunting target of 218 to chase in the first semi-final on Twenty20 Cup Finals Day at The Brit Oval.
Symonds smashed a quickfire 52 and Flintoff fell one run short of his half-century as Lancashire’s formidable batting line-up amassed 217 for four in their 20 overs - the seventh highest total in the history of the competition.
Their cause was helped by six penalty runs after Surrey failed to bowl their overs in the allotted 75 minutes.
Mal Loye (32) and Stuart Law (38) also made valuable contributions at the top of the order and only Nayan Doshi, with two wickets, caused the Lightning batsmen any problems.
It left Surrey needing to produce the best run chase in Twenty20 cricket to repeat last year’s semi-final win against the same opponents and stay on course to repeat their Twenty20 Cup success in 2003.
Surrey handed a first Twenty20 appearance to 19-year-old seamer Jade Dernbach, who made his debut in last week's totesport League match against Sussex.
Dernbach was perhaps surprisingly handed the new ball along with Azhar Mahmood and he almost made a dream start when Law flashed to first slip in the second over but Ian Salisbury put him down.
Loye then produced the first six of the day in the next over with a huge shot out of the ground at the expense of Mahmood.
Salisbury’s dropped catch began to look a costly mistake as the Lancashire openers shared a half-century stand and they put on 58 before Law’s knock of 38 from only 23 balls was ended when the Australian holed out to Dernbach off Tim Murtagh.
Loye and Flintoff kept the runs flowing though and another 37 runs were added before Loye was bowled by Doshi after hammering two sixes and two fours in his 23-ball 32.
Flintoff produced a number of powerful shots and it appeared the Surrey bowlers had no answer to his brute force as Lancashire moved into three figures.
The England star was the dominant partner in his stand with Symonds and looked to be heading for a half-century but fell one run short when he was also bowled by Doshi. He had faced 28 balls and smashed four fours and three sixes.
Symonds was given a let-off next ball when Salisbury again put down another chance, albeit a tricky one at mid on, and he stepped up a gear as he was joined by Dominic Cork.
The penultimate over, bowled by Mahmood, proved very expensive as Symonds smashed three successive fours before Cork launched his first six.
Australia international Symonds reached his 50 off 27 balls with another boundary in the final over before Cork was run out off the last ball for 23.