For the first time in what feels like a very long time, Surrey are into the latter stages of a major competition after a comfortable 130 run victory over Warwickshire tonight, with fully 11 overs remaining.
Even taking into account Warwickshire's focus on their Championship fixture against Hampshire starting tomorrow, this was probably our best CB40 performance of the season. But for some determined slogging from Steffan Piolet at the end the margin of victory would probably have been even higher.
On a surface which was much better suited to our battery of five (including Hamilton-Brown) spinners than Warwickshire's seam-heavy attack, our openers got off to their third consecutive flying start putting on 50 in five overs before Davies was out for 40. Hamilton-Brown and Roy continued to race along at nearly 10 an over until the former was caught behind, Chris Schofield came in at number four again but could only manage a three ball duck today.
At 96-3 it could've been panic stations but a steady 66 run partnership between Roy and Maynard recovered things. Then Maynard and de Bruyn then fell within four overs of one another, de Bruyn recording his fourth single-figures score in a row, and Spriegel was required to see Roy to his hundred, which he duly did.
Where previously Roy has perished hitting out perhaps a little early in his innings, today he showed great resolve and intelligence in reining himself in. His first limited overs hundred will not be his last by a long shot, we should count ourselves very lucky to have such a special batsman on board.
Matthew Spriegel played a crucial knock of 40 not out from 40 balls and shepherded the side to 282 which didn't look completely out of reach, but looked very useful.
It turned out to be way more than we needed with Arafat bowling economically and picking up the crucial wicket of Shiv Chanderpaul. Spriegel complemented his effort with the bat by bowling really well, 3-39 was his reward and in snaring Carter, Porterfield and Troughton LBW he took the guts out of the Warwickshire innings. Jade Dernbach returned identical figures to Spriegel, bowling well towards the end of the innings before Piolet started throwing the bat.
So a semi-final, possibly a home semi-final beckons and it's the first real success in competition terms for Chris Adams and Hamilton-Brown - they can be very proud of that achievement. The semis, with Sussex, Somerset, Durham and Nottinghamshire possibly involved will be a different prospect entirely but with the players we have in our squad, on our day we can beat anyone. Well played gentlemen.
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