Aaron Finch’s six-hitting drives Surrey to Blast victory over Somerset

BY MARCUS HOOK

Aaron Finch traded in sixes as Surrey chased down Somerset’s 157-9 with 21 balls to spare to keep alive the Oval outfit’s hopes – albeit mathematical – of securing a place in the Vitality Blast quarter-finals.

If Surrey are to finish in the South Group’s top four they need Middlesex to beat Somerset and for Kent to implode.

Finch hit nine sixes and five fours on his way to a blistering 102 not out off just 53 balls in Surrey’s 158-4.

Earlier Somerset’s Tom Banton and Babar Azam put on 80 in 8.2 overs for the first wicket before the innings fell away dramatically against the spin of Imran Tahir (4-25) and Gareth Batty (2-24).

“It’s disappointing that we are in a position where we are relying on other results for qualification,” said Finch. “We have played some pretty good cricket in our last few games in this competition.

“It would have been nice to have done better in the earlier part of the group stage – and that goes for me too – but since the halfway mark in the group matches we have played well.

“I have felt much better out there in the last couple of weeks. Both Imran and Batts bowled beautifully to drag their innings back – they did an outstanding job.”

Tuesday night’s success followed on the heels of last Friday’s nail-biting one-run victory over Kent at Canterbury.

Kent had score 12 off the last over from Sam Curran, but the England all-rounder, ice cool as ever, held his nerve by conceding nine off the bat. That win owed much to Will Jacks, who smashed 63 off 27 balls for the South Londoners.

“We fielded brilliantly and to defend 40 in the last five overs on a pretty small ground with a fast outfield was one hell of an effort,” said Jacks.

“The bowlers, Sam and Jade [Dernbach] in particular, deserve all credit. We’re not really thinking about getting to the quarter finals, we’re just trying to play good cricket and see where that takes us.”

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