Cricket

Surrey beat Somerset by 14 runs

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Surrey recovered from defeat at Hove on Friday night by edging out Somerset in a topsy-turvy game at Taunton on Sunday.

Having won the toss and chosen to field, Somerset suffered during the powerplay overs, with openers Graeme Smith and Jason Roy taking the game to the hosts, as the Londoners racked up 57/1 in the first six overs.

With Roy impressing with his back-foot strokeplay against the seam attack of Lewis Gregory (2-34), Alfonso Thomas (1-27) and Dirk Nannes (1-42), who was expensive on home debut, skipper Marcus Trescothick opted for spin, with leg-break bowler Max Waller and Irish slow left-armer George Dockrell coming into the attack.

However, the slow-bowling pair did not enjoy much more success, as wicket-keeper Steven Davies and Roy plundered 27 runs off their first two overs, on a flat Taunton wicket.

But when Davies holed out to James Hildreth for 24, the innings lost some momentum, with Waller and Dockrell both recovering and Roy struggling to get on strike.

Gary Wilson and Kevin O'Brien both struggled to inject impetus into the visitors' innings, and but for Azhar Mahmood's 27 off 15, Surrey's total of 173/6 would have been substantially lower. 

It still looked a gettable score, with commentators Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain having suggested that 180 would have been about par, and after an electric start by Craig Kieswetter, it looked as though Somerset might cruise to victory.

Jade Dernbach, who conceded 15 runs from the final 4 deliveries to lose Surrey their match at Hove on Friday night, ran out Marcus Trescothick and had the dangerous Peter Trego caught at third man, but Alviro Petersen steadied the ship in his partnership of 45 with Kieswetter.

James Hildreth, the new man in, hit O'Brien, returning to Taunton after his 2012 stint with the Cidermen, for three consecutive boundaries, and Somerset were in prime position for victory.

But Hildreth's ugly shot against Tom Curran (1-30) before Kieswetter (61) and Nic Compton (12) fell in the space of three balls.

With it all to do, Alfonso Thomas and Lewis Gregory struggled for timing off Mahmood and Dernbach, before a late flourish from the former gave Somerset brief hope.

Gregory also pulled a hamstring in the dying stages, which will be a major blow for Somerset after his excellent start to the county season in all formats.

Dernbach (1-26) held his nerve in defending 18 off the last over, with 14 runs the final margin between the two sides.

After an excellent victory against Gloucestershire on Friday night, the loss will have hurt Somerset, but they know that when Craig Meschede returns to fitness, the balance of the side will improve.

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Topics:
T20
Graeme Smith
Cricket

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