The Surrey Lions kicked started their Friends Life t20 campaign with a comprehensive 43 run victory over a disappointing Essex Eagles in a one side game at the Kia Oval.
Faced with a run chase of 155, the Eagles suffered a torrid with the bat as they collapsed to a total of just 111 to give the Lions an easy victory to move them up to 4th place in the Friends Life t20 Southern group.
With the exception of skipper, James Foster (31) and Adam Wheater (27), the Eagles batsman were is disarray as the Lions tore through the visitors line up with ease after Yasir Arafat dismissed Owais Shah (0) from the first delivery of the visitors run chase.
Matt Walker (9), Ravi Bopara (8) and Scott Styris (6) quickly followed before Foster and Ryan ten Doeschate halted the collapse with a 5th wicket stand of 27 before Zander de Bruyn run out ten Doeschate (15) at the end of the 10th over.
Despite the lose Foster and Wheater kept the Lions at bay with a 6th wicket partnership of 37 but any hopes the Eagles had of chasing down the Lions total disappeared when Foster was dismissed by de Bruyn four overs later.
With Foster gone, the Lions tore through the Eagles lower order with ease before the visitors sorry innings was ended by Jade Dernbach after he bowled Wheater in the 18th over.
Having won the toss, the Lions got off to a poor start, losing openers Steven Davies (0) and Rory Hamilton-Brown (1) inside the opening 3 overs after Graham Napier struck twice early on for the Eagles.
Despite the early setback, Jason Roy and Tom Maynard shared a 3rd wicket stand of 46 as the home side fought their way back into the game before Roy (31) was dismissed by Scott Styris in the 7th over.
Although the partnership was broken, Maynard remained at the crease and built another big partnership, this time with Zander de Bruyn, as the pair added 58 runs before Tim Phillips struck to end Maynard’s (45) innings at the end of the 14th over.
Gary Wilson (0), de Bruyn (28) and Matthew Spriegel (8) quickly followed as the Eagles tried to gain the momentum, but Zafar Ansari ensured the Lions remained in control with a cameo of 30 from just 18 deliveries.
The 19 year old bowler smashed three boundaries, and a six from the final delivery of the innings to help the Lions record a total of 154-7 to leave the Eagles with a run chase which proved to be much for the visitors.