Surrey recorded an emphatic 153-run victory over Worcestershire to book their place in the final of the Royal London One Day Cup on Saturday.
Surrey won the toss and elected to bat first. Their squad had been bolstered prior to the match by the return of England opener Jason Roy. Coming in to the game, Roy was not in the best of form having failed to make a significant impact at the Champions Trophy.
The return to county cricket clearly did his game the world of good, however, as he and Mark Stoneman laid the ideal platform with a 114-run partnership. Just when Stoneman was eyeing his fifty, Moeen Ali bowled him for 41.
Undeterred, Roy continued on his way in the company of Kumar Sangakkara, who has enjoyed a sensational final season of first-class cricket thus far. The pair kept the runs flowing for Surrey, moving the score past the 150-mark.
Roy was looking comfortable at the crease and dispatched the Worcestershire bowlers for 12 fours and a six. Early in the dreaded nineties, however, Roy’s hopes of a much-needed century were dashed by Daryl Mitchell, nine runs short of his ton.
Sangakkara found another reliable partner in Ben Foakes (86). The pair continued to make the bowlers toil and added 73 runs to see Surrey into the 250s. Sangakkara’s 72-ball innings of 73 was finally brought to an end by John Hastings. Foakes’ solid innings continued though, as he led his side past 300 and then 350 before falling for 86 (eight fours, two sixes) in the final over.
Lower-order contributions from Sam Curran (21) and Ollie Pope (22) provided good support for the free-flowing Foakes to help Surrey reach 363-5 after 50 overs.
The Worcestershire chase flattered to deceive. Whenever it appeared as though a partnership was being built, it came to an end. Opening bowlers Curran (2-19) and Jade Dernbach (2-64) played supporting roles to former England tweaker, Gareth Batty.
Batty spun a web around the Worcestershire batsmen and never let them dictate terms. He took wickets with regularity and starved them of the runs they desperately needed, conceding only 40 in nine overs. His most important scalp was that of Brett D’Oliviera, dismissed for 53.
Ross Whiteley too, put up a spirited resistance before he fell for a defiant 42-ball 55.
There was not much else to speak of in the way of decent Worcestershire batting performances as they crashed to 210 all out.
Batty was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 5-40.
Essex vs Nottinghamshire
Elsewhere, an unbeaten 102 from South African-born Ryan ten Doeschate and a superb 133 from Alistair Cook were in vain for Essex in their semi-final. Steven Mullaney’s (111) and Samit Patel (122) made the hosts chase leather as they added 185 to set up a five-wicket Nottinghamshire victory.
The final will take place on 1 July at Lord’s.
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