Star Surrey duo send Middlesex to fourth straight loss in Vitality Blast
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Jason Roy and Chris Jordan reminded the England selectors of their white-ball talents as Surrey strengthened their position as Vitality Blast South Group leaders with a 20-run win over London rivals Middlesex at Lord's.
Roy crunched 81 in 45 balls, his innings forming the backbone of a formidable 208-7 after the visitors were invited to bat first by Middlesex skipper Steven Eskinazi.
The innings included controversy when Jamie Overton was given out for nought on the field only to be reprieved by the third umpire, denying Middlesex's best bowler Martin Andersson (2-32) a deserved third wicket.
The hosts initially chased boldly, led by Eskinazi's 47 from 21 balls, but Jordan's superb return of 4-31 along with Sunil Narine's miserly 2-28 saw Surrey claim a sixth win of the campaign.
Roy was in explosive mood from the off, his pick-up shot off Toby Roland-Jones the pick of his three sixes, all of which ended up in the grandstand.
He rode his luck at times too, twice inside-edging past leg-stump and nicking another just wide of wicketkeeper John Simpson. All three shots went for four as he roared to 50 off 24 balls.
Will Jacks, destroyer of Middlesex in the last two encounters at Lord's, was a passenger in an opening stand of 55 before skying Jason Behrendorff to Eskinazi at mid-off.
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Laurie Evans made a brisk 22 before being brilliantly caught and bowled by Andersson, before Narine (25) produced an equally rapid cameo to keep up the momentum and Roy looked set for a century before dragging one into his stumps.
Two balls later the athletic Andersson looked to have caught and bowled Overton for nought, but third umpire Richard Kettleborough ruled the all-rounder had grassed the chance. It proved a big moment as Overton produced two big sixes in a swashbuckling 27 from just 12 balls as Surrey surged beyond 200.
Recent history suggested Middlesex hopes hinged on Eskinazi and he started in sensational style, hitting both Reece Topley and Daniel Worrall into the crowd, the latter a monster hit into the grandstand.
Max Holden caught the mood, striking three successive boundaries off Curran as 76 came from the powerplay.
The wily Jordan broke the stand with his first ball when Holden (33) pulled him into the hands of backward square-leg. Worse followed for the hosts when Narine produce a beauty to bowl Eskinazi three short of 50 and with two new batsman at the crease the rate required began to spiral.
Pressure told as Eoin Morgan, back from injury, holed out in the deep off Overton and Simpson soon followed as a second victim of spinner Narine.
Jordan soon removed a strangely subdued Joe Cracknell and then Andersson with successive balls and despite some late defiance from Chris Green (46 not out from 29), 53 from the last four overs proved too many as Middlesex suffered a fourth defeat in a row.