Middlesex beat Surrey in front of record Twenty20 crowd at Lord's
PUBLISHED: 21:18 21 July 2016 | UPDATED: 21:18 21 July 2016
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Middlesex overcame Surrey in front of a record crowd at Lord's to strengthen their hopes of reaching the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.
With skipper Dawid Malan and seamer Toby Roland-Jones both away on England Lions duty, Middlesex triumphed by five wickets in front of more than 27,000 people – the biggest crowd for a domestic T20 fixture.
The home side hauled Surrey back from 87 without loss, restricting them to below 200 before overseas star George Bailey top-scored with a half-century to secure Middlesex’s victory with five balls to spare.
Surrey opted to bat first and Jason Roy (50) and Aaron Finch got them off to a flyer in the powerplay with an opening stand of 87 that appeared to set them up for a total in excess of 220.
But, having reached his half-century, Roy heaved his next ball to the diving Bailey at long-off – and Middlesex fought back well to frustrate their opponents.
Tight bowling from Nathan Sowter (2-29) and Ryan Higgins (1-29) stemmed the flow of runs, even though Finch went on to bat almost right through the innings.
The Australian struck 78 from 59 balls before he was eventually caught on the boundary off James Fuller (2-41) in the final over as Surrey posted a total of 196-6.
Paul Stirling got the Middlesex reply off to a brisk start, slamming two fours and a six in the first over, but Nick Gubbins (4) perished early on to Jade Dernbach.
Stirling rattled 34 from 16 balls before miscuing Dernbach to mid-on, but Morgan (42) and Bailey (55) then joined forces in a lively third-wicket stand of 64.
That partnership ended when the England captain drove Dominic Sibley to long-off, but John Simpson took his place at the crease and maintained Middlesex’s momentum with a classy 43 from just 26 balls.
Although Simpson was yorked late on by Azhar Mahmood – and Bailey became Dernbach’s third victim, Higgins reverse swept Gareth Batty to the boundary to clinch victory.