Sunil Narine shows his allround class as Surrey overwhelm Middlesex

Sunil Narine shows his allround class as Surrey overwhelm Middlesex
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Surrey 158 for 3 (Narine 51*, Jacks 43) beat Middlesex 155 for 8 (Narine 2-27, Jordan 2-27) by seven wickets

Sunil Narine showcased his world-class all-round short-form skills as a 30,000 full house at the Kia Oval saw Surrey overwhelm Middlesex by seven wickets to maintain their unbeaten record at the top of the Vitality Blast’s South Group.

West Indies star Narine included four sixes in his 29-ball 51 not out as Surrey made it seven wins from eight Blast matches, plus a no-result against Glamorgan. For Middlesex it was an unwanted sixth successive defeat.

Ollie Pope finished unbeaten on 37 as Surrey cruised to 158 for 3 in 15.1 overs in reply to Middlesex’s 155 for 8, in which Luke Hollman’s modest 31 was the top score and both Narine and Surrey captain Chris Jordan took 2 for 27 from their four-over allocations.

Will Jacks’s explosive 43 from 20 balls gave Surrey the perfect start to their chase, the gifted 23-year-old driving and upper-cutting two remarkable sixes over cover off suffering paceman Tom Helm in a fourth over costing 18 runs.

Jacks then flicked another effortless six behind square leg as 17 more came from the next over, Jason Behrendorff’s third, a tally that included a beautiful extra cover four from Pope.

It was fast left-armer Behrendorff who had dismissed Jamie Smith for 15, caught at deep-midwicket after taking three fours in the previous over from off spinner Chris Green.

Jacks mishit Hollman’s leg spin to long off in the seventh over and Laurie Evans was also caught there for 5 as he tried to hit Thilan Walallawita’s left-arm for six.

But that only brought in Narine, who warmed to his task by hitting Hollman straight for six before taking two sixes from the next over, bowled by Helm. Narine then ended the game by thumping Behrendorff for another six, taking his unbroken fourth wicket stand with Pope to 73 off 7.3 overs.

It did not help Middlesex’s cause, in such a one-sided London derby, that their captain Stephen Eskinazi was sent back and run out for 25 off 19 balls after looking in good touch.

Middlesex were 51 for 2 after the six-over powerplay, 84 for 3 at halfway and 121 for 5 after 15 overs. At no stage did they threaten to overpower Surrey’s seven-strong bowling attack, and lost wickets at regular intervals.

Max Holden’s first attempt at a big shot, in the second over, merely ended up as a horribly skewed mishit off Jacks’ offspin to backward point and the left-handed opener departed for 3.

Joe Cracknell did loft his second ball high over mid-off for six, off Jacks, and also thumped Dan Worrall’s first ball, at the start of the fourth over, over long off for another maximum.

But Cracknell, having edged a rapid Worrall bouncer fortuitously over the keeper for four, was then deceived by a slower ball later in the Australian paceman’s opening over and held at deep mid wicket for 19.

Eskinazi, guiding Jacks just to the left of Pope at backward point from the last ball of the eighth over, was furious with his partner John Simpson when he refused a sharp single and was run out by Pope’s throw to keeper Smith.

Jack Davies began with two fours in mystery spinner Narine’s first over, with reverse and orthodox sweeps, but lost Simpson for 25 in the 11th when the Middlesex keeper skied Jordan to extra cover after battling through 22 balls in a vain effort to give the innings some momentum.

Davies (17) then reverse-slapped Narine weakly to short third man and Green (14) hit a full Atkinson delivery to mid off. Martin Andersson, down the pitch and swishing desperately at Narine, was stumped for 6 and Hollman’s 28-ball innings ended from the last ball when he clubbed Jordan to long-on.

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