Report: Surrey v Somerset, Finals Day Semi-Final
Lewis Gregory’s side amassed a record points tally in the 2023 group stage and carried that confidence into a powerful performance to end Surrey’s hopes of winning the Blast for the first time since the tournament’s inaugural year, 2003.
In a 19-overs-per-side contest, Somerset made 142 for seven against accurate bowling led by Sean Abbott (four for 23). Only one partnership passed 25 and only one batter reached 30 – Sean Dickson, whose unbeaten 30 (22 balls) was eked out in the closing overs with only the lower order for company.
Dickson’s diligent knock proved priceless as Surrey’s much-vaunted batting line mustered only 118 all out. That included a highest score of just 22 from Tom Curran as Matt Henry took three for 19, Craig Overton three for 24 and Ben Green, leading wicket-taker in this year’s Blast, three for 25.
Somerset were given their customary brisk start by Will Smeed (21, 17 balls) and Tom Banton (26, 20) but neither got beyond the cameo stage, falling to faint edges to wicketkeeper Jamie Smith, initially adjudged not out but overturned on review.
That set the tone for an innings of bit-part contributions with no lead role. The batters lost further momentum as Tom Kohler-Cadmore sliced Abbott to third man and Tom Abell, hampered by a flurry of heavy drizzle which was creditably played through, missed a slog at Sam Curran and was bowled.
Two straightforward catches under his belt, Smith added a blinder when he dived high to his right to clutch Lewis Gregory’s edge off Chris Jordan. Abbott then delivered two wickets in five balls when Ben Green skied a return catch and Craig Overton fell to another fine catch, by Tom Curran diving low at short third man.
Dickson had to be mindful of his side having so few wickets in hand in the closing overs, but batted with intelligence to keep his team in the game.
Surrey’s reply started badly, when Laurie Evans was bowled by Overton’s fourth ball, and then deteriorated. Jason Roy was adroitly caught by Dickson under a skier at extra cover and Will Jacks lifted Overton to long leg.
It was a wobbly 38 for three when Ben Green, leading wicket taker in this season‘s Blast, came on and 38 for four after Sam Curran chipped Green’s first ball to mid off.
Smith holed out to long on, as did Jamie Overton, caught by his twin brother Craig. Having taken the catch, Overton C. turned to Somerset’s dressing room with a double clenched-fist salute – Surrey were 68 for six and in deep trouble.
Jordan cleared the ropes twice but perished attempting to land a third in the crowd, caught by Smeed at deep mid-wicket. Somerset’s catching was exemplary and when Tom Curran’s 15-ball 22 was terminated by another safe boundary take, by Abell, Surrey’s last two wickets needed to find 40 runs.
Green added his third wicket, Cameron Steel, caught behind and when Abbot heaved Henry to deep mid-wicket, Somerset were through with 33 minutes to prepare for the final.
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