Surrey's Alistair Brown hit a superb 83 as they claimed a 40-run victory over Middlesex in their Twenty20 opener.
Surrey's Alistair Brown ensured his side got off to a perfect start in the Twenty20 Cup with an emphatic 40-run victory over Middlesex at Lord's.
Brown smashed his highest score in the competition with a magnificent 83 from just 38 balls with eight fours and six sixes as the Brown Caps rattled up a huge score of 218 for seven from their 20 overs.
It was then the turn of Surrey's bowlers, taking four early wickets in the first three overs.
Tim Murtagh dismissed Ed Smith with the first ball of the innings, caught off a leading edge at backward point and with the next ball had Chad Keegan snapped up on the square leg boundary to leave the Crusaders at nought for two.
After Owais Shah played a delightful pull shot to the boundary, he was then clean bowled by Azhar Mahmood for five with Murtagh taking the wicket of Nick Compton with the first ball that he faced. Murtagh finished with three for 39.
Scott Styris and Eoin Morgan steadied the ship and together shared a stand of 106 in 62 balls before Styris fell to Brown at long-off for 56. Johann Louw did not last long, trapped leg before by Ian Salisbury who finally dismissed Morgan for 66, caught by Jon Batty at the wicket.
Although the hosts did not lose any further wickets with Ben Scott and Paul Weekes unbeaten on 22 and 21 respectively, it was never enough for the Crusaders finishing on 178 for seven.
Earlier both Brown and opening partner James Benning shared a partnership of 148 for the first wicket, with Benning also claiming a half-century.
Having smashed 23 off Mohammad Ali's first over, the Surrey pair continued to dominate the attack with the 50 stand coming off just 22 balls. After Brown had gone to his 50 in just 19 balls, Benning fell in the 13th over, clean bowled by Louw.
Brown soon followed, giving Compton a catch at long-off to give Weekes his first of three wickets. Surrey then suffered a mini-collapse, losing three wickets for 47 runs. First to go was Azhar for 12, caught on the long-off boundary. This was followed by the wickets of captain Rikki Clarke for 27 and Mark Ramprakash for 10 as Weekes finished with figures of three for 29.
Stuart Walters (nine) then chipped straight to Styris at midwicket with the score on 212 for four and Chris Peploe finished with the wicket of Batty with the last ball of the innings, stumped by Scott for seven.