Essex Eagles v Surrey
Vitality Blast (South Group)
The Cloudfm County Ground, Friday 11 September
Essex Eagles: Adam Wheater (wk), Cameron Delport, Dan Lawrence, Michael Pepper, Ryan ten Doeschate, Paul Walter, Simon Harmer (c), Aaron Beard, Jack Plom, Aron Nijjar, Sam Cook.
Surrey: Will Jacks, Hashim Amla, Lauire Evans, Ben Foakes (wk), Rory Burns, Jamie Smith, Jamie Overton, Gus Atkinson, Gareth Batty (c), Daniel Moriarty, Reece Topley.
Umpires: Ben Debenham & Nigel Llong
Match Referee: Peter Such
Toss: Essex Eagles won & chose to bat
Result: Surrey won by 4 wickets
Cameron Delport reflects on Surrey defeat:
Laurie Evans hit a magnificent unbeaten 88 from 52 deliveries as Surrey pulled off a thrilling last-ball victory in their Vitality Blast battle to leave Essex Eagles still searching for their first victory in the competition.
They did so when Gus Atkinson found the boundary from the final delivery after the Eagles had posted a total of 195-8. Evans struck 4 sixes and 7 fours in his effort after Cameron Delport and Adam Wheater both scored half-centuries to give the Eagles a great start to their innings.
The Essex openers started off like an express train as they raised the 50 in the fourth over. Wheater collected 3 successive fours at the expensive of Atkinson during an over in which Delport also struck a maximum. Delport then punished Jamie Overton for 3 boundaries in succession and as the runs continued to flow the total moved into three figures by the ninth over.
Surrey were to claim their first wicket with the total on 105 when Daniel Moriarty had Delport taken at fine leg by Hashim Amla to end an innings of 64 that contained 8 fours and 6 sixes and came from 32 balls. At the half-way stage the Eagles had reached 117 but then wickets started to fall in quick succession.
Dan Lawrence went for 17 when he was caught at deep cover by Overton to provide Moriarty with another success and the slow left-arm spinner struck again to end the fireworks provided by Wheater. He perished when he was stumped by Ben Foakes after a contribution of 63 from 40 deliveries with the help of 5 fours and 3 sixes.
Off spinner Gareth Batty then removed Paul Walter and Simon Harmer with successive deliveries while Topley claimed 3 quick wickets by removing Michael Pepper, Jack Plom and Aaron Beard. Ryan ten Doeschate finished unbeaten with 27 from 20 balls while Moriarty and Topley finished with 3 wickets each at a cost of 36 and 38 respectively. Batty proved the most economical with 2/23 from his allocation of 4 overs.
Surrey’s response began disastrously with Amla departing lbw to Aron Nijjar to the spinner’s first ball of the innings. That early setback, however, did not stop Will Jacks and Evans moving into top gear as they brought up the 50 in the fifth over of the innings. But then Surrey lost 2 quick wickets. Jacks was bowled by Sam Cook for 29 whilst former Essex player Ben Foakes was caught by Walter to provide Beard with success.
Evans continued to inflict punishment with some powerful hitting and reached a fine half-century from 27 balls with the help of 5 fours and 2 sixes. Soon afterwards he dispatched Harmer and Lawrence for maximums but lost Rory Burns for 30 after the pair had shared a partnership of 78 from just under 8 overs.
Burns was caught on the long-off boundary by Nijjar with a total on 137. With 4 overs left Surrey required 51 but were to lose Jamie Overton and Jamie Smith in the same Aaron Beard over, at which stage the visitors were still 21 runs short of their target. But in the end they squeezed home to register a victory that will hurt the Eagles players.