Marcus Hook’s Surrey CCC column: Vitality Blast crunch as one win will take Chris Jordan’s side through

Chris Jordan says he isn’t looking any further ahead in the Vitality Blast than Surrey’s two remaining group games.

The South Londoners have to win one of them to progress in the competition after Middlesex sprung a surprise by reeling in a target of 253 with four balls to spare at the Oval last week to record their first victory in this summer’s Blast.

It’s now the highest successful run chase in domestic T20 and second only to South Africa’s recent 259 v West Indies at Centurion.

What proved an unremitting London derby also produced an aggregate 506 runs – third in the all-time list of run-laden Twenty20 contests.

“Somerset and Essex are the most important two games of the season right now,” said Jordan.

“Middlesex came hard at us all the way through their innings and that made it very difficult. T20 is a momentum game and they never gave it up after getting off to a flier.”

Will Jacks (96) and Laurie Evans (85) put on 177 for the first wicket – the third highest stand ever fashioned for the Oval outfit in T20. But even with a total of 252-7 in the bank, it soon became clear the hosts could have done with even more.

Will Jacks of Surrey walks off after being dismissed during the Vitality Blast T20 match between Surrey CCC and Glamorgan at The Kia Oval.

“We were just trying to find solutions all the way through, but Middlesex kept coming up with the answers,” added Surrey’s T20 skipper. “I’m fortunate in that I have a really experienced group of bowlers. They basically know what they want to do and the plans they’re trying to bowl to. But then if things go haywire, we have a conversation.

“I don’t think we hit the areas we wanted to hit in those early powerplay overs, but full credit to Middlesex for the way they played to chase that down.

“We always talk about keeping our standards up and focusing on ourselves.

“We’ll look at the areas where we got things wrong – whether that’s mentally or technically – dust ourselves down, regroup and get ready for Somerset.”

This week’s championship clash with Lancashire proved to be a nip and tuck affair until one of the strongest batting line-ups in the country was rendered useless by Tom Bailey and Will Williams.

The manner of Surrey’s defeat would have been even more sobering but for Sean Abbott and Dan Worrall’s 10th-wicket stand of 130 on day two. Gone are the times when even the best sides could get away with only batting down to number nine.”

Surrey will have been delighted to see Essex getting the better of Warwickshire, who were second in the table – even more so with Dan Lawrence, Oval bound at the end of the season, hitting 152, his highest score in two years.


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