Surrey go top of Vitality Blast South Group

BY MARCUS HOOK

Surrey have gone top of the Vitality Blast South Group on the back of a 30-run victory over Middlesex at Lord’s.

Will Jacks and Hashim Amla laid the foundations for the Oval outfit’s fourth successive victory in the competition.

Surrey posted 218-5 after being put into bat on a flat pitch. But with Jacks conceding just 23 runs off his four overs, the hosts’ response faltered after Stevie Eskinazi was run out by Jamie Overton for 77 with three overs to go.

“We’ve been improving gradually and getting wins under our belt and this was another pretty good performance,” said Jacks, who hit 55 off 30 balls and shared a 101-run opening stand with Amla.

“We’ve been playing well and we knew coming into this game a win would take us top of the group. It was a really important game with a couple of teams on our tail and we performed really well.

“I’m always more than happy to watch Hash bat and ours was a really enjoyable partnership.

“He was really good and he got me into a partnership where I didn’t have to take too many risks too early. Then, once we got going, we talked about it being a really good pitch and needing a good score.

“With ten wickets in hand we said let’s keep going and keep putting the pressure on Middlesex.”

Jacks, 21, added: “I’ve been a bit up and down in the T20 over the years, but I feel like I’m starting to get into a rhythm with more of an understanding of what I need to do to be more consistent, so it was pleasing to get 55.

“The top five all got over 25, which you don’t see very often in Twenty20, so it was really good. It was a great all-round performance with bat and ball. It was a tough pitch to bowl on, so to defend 218 was pretty impressive.”

All the more pleasing is the fact that Surrey’s last two victories in the Blast have come on the road. But Jacks says that when they return to the Oval their next opponents, Sussex, will be afforded all due respect.

“We obviously know the style of cricket we want to play at the Oval, but Lord’s was a completely different surface to the ones we’ve come across,” said Jacks.

“But we’ve got to be adaptable – that’s what T20 cricket is all about.

“We know Sussex will be a big game. They’re a brilliant team with a great bowling attack and they’re always near the top of the leaderboard.

“So if we get a win on Wednesday we’ll be in a great position going into the last two group games.”


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