Jason Roy return a boost to Surrey’s T20 Blast prospects

Chris Jordan is thrilled that Jason Roy has recovered from his calf strain in time for the business end of the Vitality Blast, which starts with tonight’s quarter-final against Lancashire.

Roy marked his first appearance of the season with 28 last Sunday, in a game that culminated in Essex needing three to win off the final ball, writes Marcus Hook.

Feroze Khushi lofted it to long-on and despite Jordan trying to flick a catch back to Jamie Overton, the ball landed over the boundary, as Essex dramatically stole a place in the quarter-finals away from Kent.

The result meant that, instead of enjoying home advantage in the last eight, Surrey must travel to Old Trafford.

“It’s good to have Jason back fit,” said Surrey’s T20 captain Jordan. “We’re buzzing to have him with us now as we go into the last eight. He’s an international-quality cricketer and adds so much to our group.

“I’m really proud of the boys for the way we fought back in the field to try to get the win that would have clinched us a home quarter-final tie.

“T20 is a game of fine margins and we so nearly won it.

“I sprinted around as fast as I could, and I took the catch. But I felt that my next step would have taken me over the boundary rope. So I tried to get the ball away to Jamie, who was running round from deep midwicket. Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage to do that and the ball fell to the ground over the ropes and it was a six. We did well to take the game so deep. It was just a case of hanging in there. We had that mindset when they started so well.”

Essex’s success owed much to Dan Lawrence, 25, who is on his way to Surrey next season. He hit a 26-ball fifty that included two straight sixes off Gus Atkinson.

With Ollie Pope ruled out of the remainder of the Ashes after dislocating his right shoulder during the second Test at Lord’s last week, Lawrence and Ben Foakes might just benefit from what Joe Root thinks will be a huge miss.

“Ollie has been phenomenal over the past 18 months,” said Root. “He’s stepped up as vice-captain and the more responsibility that has been given to him, we’ve got more out of him as a player.

“He’ll be a big miss for us. He’s a hell of a player and a great mind to have in the group – Ben [Stokes] gains a huge amount from having him as vice-captain.

“Of course, it will be a big loss. He’s been an integral part of this team and will continue to be for many more years to come.”

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