Records tumbled at the Oval as Surrey chased down 222 to beat Middlesex in the Vitality Blast last week.
They got back to winning ways in the competition thanks to Aaron Finch and Jason Roy, who broke their own best for the highest partnership for Surrey – for any wicket – in T20 cricket.
Finch set new records for the fastest 50 and the fastest hundred by a Surrey batsman in Twenty20 – sixteen and 51 deliveries respectively. His unbeaten 117 was hit off 62 balls en route to a victory in the London derby that was sealed with four overs to spare.
“That innings was right up there, in terms of being one of my best,” said the 31-year-old Australian. “It was chanceless and it was pretty crucial in a big run chase. We were looking to get off to a bit of a flier.
“Jason [Roy] and I took it a lot deeper than we usually do. Traditionally, it’s been six overs of bash and crash and then one of us gets out, leaving the rest of the guys to rebuild. But the job we did was outstanding.
“Jason played a hell of an innings. I think that, at times, when the ball is flying around, you can be up the other end thinking you’re doing it. Then, before you know it, you’re back in the dressing room.
“But he soaked up a lot of pressure by his intent, especially when my innings started to dip a little. That’s just how T20 goes – you help each other out as much as you can.
“Apart from if a spinner bowls the first over I’ll face and if it’s a seamer he’ll face the first ball, we don’t go out there with any plans. It’s just about both of us keeping our heads still as much as we can and giving it a whack if it’s in our area. It’s lovely to bat at the Oval. It’s a beautiful wicket.
“At the start of the game we would probably have thought that Middlesex’s score was a bit over par. They played incredibly well, so to knock that off was very satisfying.
“Once you get off to a bit of a flier it can be hard to pull the reins back.
“Even though we did we looked up after about four or five overs and we still needed 10 an over, so we knew we had to keep trying to push, so we could to give ourselves a few options at the back end.
“I actually thought we hadn’t bowled as badly as 221-5 suggested. Paul Stirling played an unbelievable knock for them. He was hitting a lot of sixes and a lot of fours, even with the big boundary. So we knew if we got the ball in the middle of the bat we could chase it down. We just got away early and if you can put a side under pressure early it can have a huge impact.”
Despite Surrey sitting mid-table in the South Division, which wouldn’t be enough to progress to the knockout phase, Finch believes the Oval outfit have what it takes to turn their fortunes around.
“We’d obviously like to be higher,” said the Australian. “But we’ve played some really good cricket. Even against Glamorgan we played well for the majority of the game, we were just outplayed in certain patches. So it was nice to bounce back with a win, especially in front of a huge home crowd on a Friday night.”
? Lizelle Lee says Surrey Stars cannot afford to ease up after getting their Kia Super League campaign back on track with a 55-run victory at Lancashire, where the 26-year-old South African hit 70 off 37 balls.
After a wash-out and two defeats, including one against the Thunder at the Oval, Tuesday’s performance was a shot in the arm for last season’s finalists, who are in a battle for third place and the last spot at finals day with the Thunder.
“I don’t see why we can’t target third or even second spot now,” said Lee. “We’ve got four games left and we need four wins.”