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Royals lose to Surrey by four wickets at Friends Life t20 Finals Day
FOR the second time in three years, Hampshire suffered Finals Day heartbreak under leaden Edgbaston skies.
But there was no revised Duckworth Lewis target to blame this time, as the Royals failed to defend a below-par 142-9 against Surrey, who won by four wickets with four balls to spare to book a place in the Friends Life t20 final against Northants. Zander De Bruyn’s 40-ball 41 ensured that Surrey were always in the game after the outstanding Azhar Mahmood had denied Hampshire, as he did at the Champions League in October, by producing the second-best figures recorded at Finals Day (4-1-9-2).
Having hit a career-best 62 against Hampshire less than 48 hours earlier, Zafar Ansari ensured a Surrey win with four balls to spare, his 12-ball 21 including 11 in three balls against Chris Wood in the penultimate over – and the winning runs.
Hampshire got off to a bad start when, after losing the toss, Michael Carberry batted out a Mahmood maiden before he, James Vince and Neil McKenzie all departed during a powerplay that yielded a disappointing 39-3.
Carberry, needing 22 to pass Craig Kieswetter as the tournament’s leading run scorer, departed for six in the third over, well caught two-handed by Jason Roy high at cover following a powerful drive against Jon Lewis.
Vince drove former teammate Chris Tremlett for ten in two balls, four through cover followed by a big straight six.
But then he was bowled via his pads by Jade Dernbach’s first delivery at the beginning of the fourth over, which ended with McKenzie trapped lbw for five. It looked harsh on Hampshire’s No 4, Hawkeye confirming that the ball was going down the leg side. Mahmood completed an outstanding powerplay for Surrey (39-3) but, thankfully, Sean Ervine continued his form from Thursday night’s YB40 win against the same opponents, hitting a 32-ball 47 (two fours, three sixes) to keep the Royals in the game.
He soon lost Jimmy Adams who, having swept Tremlett for a second six in the fourth over, made a run-a-ball 19 before his off stump was flattened by a De Bruyn yorker. Ervine’s first two sixes, from successive Ansari deliveries, over cover then mid-wicket, loosened the shackles before Dawson (8) drove to cover in the same over, the 13th.
After another violent Ervine maximum, high over mid-wicket against Maxwell’s off-spin, Adam Wheater was lbw, struck on the full attempting to reverse sweep in the same over. Ervine departed with 21 balls left after putting on 19 with Mascarenhas, Ansari making up for dropping him on Thursday night, by pouching well at deep square leg.
Chris Wood breathed some life into Hampshire’s innings with ten in two balls against Dernbach, tickling four to the fine-leg boundary then pulling a big six next ball.
But he flung his bat skywards in frustration when he was run out at the non-striker’s end, after Mascarenhas called a quick single.
Then Hampshire’s captain spliced the next ball, an attempted pull against Mahmood, to Maxwell at long-on, ending any realistic hope of a 150-plus total. Tanvir set the wrong tone with two wides in the first over of Surrey’s reply before Hampshire struck twice in seven balls.
Jason Roy pulled Mascarenhas’s third ball to deep mid-wicket and Steven Davies was caught by Hampshire’s captain at mid-on midway through Wood’s first over.
Surrey made 43-2 from the six-over powerplay on but lost captain Vikram Solanki, lbw at the end of the next over, Briggs’s first, for a 15-ball 19. Glenn Maxwell, relishing the chance to remind Hampshire of his talent after being unavailable for Finals Day last year, kept Surrey in the driving seat with a 21-ball 26 before driving Dawson’s fifth ball to long-off.
Mascarenhas had kept Hampshire in the hunt with yet another tidy spell (4-0-24-1) and Briggs (4-0-28-1) conceded only four from his final over to leave Surrey requiring 40 from 30 balls. With Surrey requiring 32 from four overs, McKenzie took a sensational diving catch on the run at backward point when Gary Wilson (15) sliced a drive against the returning Wood.
When the third umpire decided that Azhar Mahmood was run out by the narrowest of margins, without facing a ball, following Dawson’s excellent throw from deep cover, the Friends Life t20 trophy was still in Hampshire’s grasp. Requiring 24 from the last three overs, Surrey were grateful for two more Tanvir wides.
The Pakistani recovered well from both to leave 18 needed from 12 balls. But Ansari, as he often does against Hampshire, broke Royals hearts when he drilled Wood’s second ball of the penultimate over for six before driving another boundary to ensure only three were required from the last over.
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