Surrey's best Twenty20 performance of the season was not enough to see them through to the quarter finals of the Twenty20 Cup today as Hampshire and Middlesex both won as well.
As has been the case almost throughout the entire tournament Surrey's bowlers, led by the simply brilliant Chris Tremlett, were top notch. Each time it appeared that Gloucestershire were getting a handle on the game, Surrey dragged themselves back into it and while at one stage they looked like posting 170-180, Surrey in the end would have been disappointed to let them get to 147.
Tremlett was faultless in picking up 3-18 to take him to 24 wickets in 16 games, he's been by some distance Surrey's standout bowler, and probably player, of the tournament.
From the word go Davies and Hamilton-Brown made a mockery of the total and raced to 112 in the 9th over before Hamilton-Brown was out trying the reverse sweep. The last time we played Gloucestershire the powerplay overs yielded 18 runs for the loss of 5 wickets, not this time! Davies kept rattling along and by the time he was out for a stunning 73 from 30 balls the match was in the bag for Surrey. When the side comes out and puts in a performance like that, one wonders how we hadn't qualified already.
Ultimately though the 196 Hampshire totted up on a postage-stamp sized ground was too much for Sussex, and Essex fell short in their chase of 173 against Middlesex (why did Scott Styris save his best for us?!). There was an enormous amount of fight and no little talent out there for Surrey today and they can be proud of the way they threw the kitchen sink at everything. However, careless defeats against Essex away and particularly Glamorgan at the Oval, not to mention the dreadful efforts against Gloucester and Essex at home, really put us on the back foot and made it very difficult to return from. It is nice to have beaten Middlesex to fifth place, but that counts for absolutely nothing!
Eight wins and eight defeats is a substantial improvement on four wins in the previous two years, but to have come so close will weigh particularly heavily on the captain and coach. It is without question a massive disappointment, but we should try at all costs to look at the positives here. We need to put the T20 behind us now and focus on showing that kind of improvement in the Championship, and sustaining the good form we've shown in the CB40. Well played today lads, cracking effort.