Lancashire reach Twenty20 final

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Surrey Lions failed to reach the final of the Twenty20 Cup for the first time since the competition began as Lancashire Lightning clinched a 22-run victory in a high-scoring first semi-final at The Brit Oval.

Surrey Lions failed to reach the final of the Twenty20 Cup for the first time since the competition began as Lancashire Lightning clinched a 22-run victory in a high-scoring first semi-final at The Brit Oval.

Andrew Symonds smashed a quickfire 52 and Andrew 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.

Mal Loye (32) and Stuart Law (38) also made valuable contributions at the top of the order for Lancashire, who received six penalty runs after Surrey failed to bowl their overs in the allotted 75 minutes.

It left 2003 winners Surrey needing to produce the best run chase in Twenty20 cricket to repeat last year’s semi-final win against the same opponents and they fell short despite a superb 51 from Alistair Brown.

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 Nayan 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.

Surrey knew they had to race out of the blocks and they did just that with Brown and James Benning taking full advantage of the fielding restrictions.

Both found the boundary frequently and 17 runs came off the eighth over as Symonds got a taste of his own medicine.

Gary Keedy was introduced as Lancashire captain Mark Chilton opted for spin at both ends and the move paid off when a leg-side delivery came off Benning’s pads and onto his stumps. His 29-ball 42 featured seven fours and a huge six which landed on the stage set aside for Girls Aloud.

Scott Newman followed in the next over when he got an inside edge to Symonds and the ball looped up off his pad, presenting Warren Hegg with a simple catch despite his appeal for lbw.

Rain forced the players off before new batsman Mark Ramprakash got to the crease, with Surrey 98 for two from 9.4 overs and Brown unbeaten on 48, but when the action resumed Lancashire soon took control.

Brown added the two runs he needed to complete his half-century but only made another single before Surrey lost their key man.

Ramprakash nudged the ball to Chilton at mid on and called for a quick run but a smart piece of fielding and consultation with the television umpire saw Brown run out for 51.

Clarke was then bowled by Andrew Crook second ball and Lancashire looked to be cruising but a 76-run stand between Mahmood and Ramprakash put the result back in the balance.

Surrey went into the last three overs needing 41 to win but Mahmood then perished for 30 when he was caught by Chilton and Ramprakash (45) was bowled by Flintoff to put the outcome beyond doubt. Salve helices pariah inure paleoserology evangelistic?
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