Quarter final spot sealed with success over Surrey
12 August 2018
Gloucestershire are certain to be in the quarter finals of the Vitality T20 Blast after squeezing out a narrow 5 run victory in a last ball finish against Surrey at the Brightside Ground.
The visitors appeared to favourites with five overs remaining, with 34 runs needed and Ben Foakes and Rikki Clarke having added 75 together for the fifth wicket.
However Benny Howell then removed Clarke (35) and van den Bergh in the same over and with the third ball of the penultimate over David Payne bowled Foakes around his legs for 59.
Surrey were still 12 runs short, and Morne Morkel only managed a single from Ryan Higgins' final delivery when a six was needed to tie the match.
Earlier in the day the Gloucestershire innings was pushed to 174-6 with a seventh wicket stand of 51 in 4.2 overs between Kieran Noema-Barnett and Gareth Roderick, Noema-Barnett equalling his career best T20 score (57*) and Roderick, critically, hitting the last ball of the innings for six.
Watch Kieran Noema-Barnett's post match thoughts here:
Gloucestershire selected the same side that had beaten Middlesex on Thursday evening, but having lost the toss it was no surprise Michael Klinger was asked to bat first by Surrey captain Jade Dernbach.
Once again there was a short boundary towards the Kennington Avenue side of the ground and in the powerplay - even against Morne Morkel - the majority of Gloucestershire's runs came from that end. Wickets, however, were lost too, Miles Hammond sending a steepling drive over the cover boundary before being bowled for 15 and skipper Klinger giving the first of three catches to Jason Roy, who was fielding at mid wicket.
Three boundaries to Benny Howell in Mat Pillans' first over promised some acceleration to the scoring but Morkel returned to remove Ian Cockbain, who lofted an off drive straight to Roy at long off.
It meant Kieran Noema-Barnett potentially had longer to bat - 12.4 overs - than in many other games in the format, and although two sixes to long off and mid wicket in the same van den Bergh over got him going he had a limited share of the strike as Howell (28), Higgins (13) and Jack Taylor (17) came and went whilst trying to raise the run rate against some tidy Surrey bowling.
The benefit of having Gareth Roderick batting at number eight then came to the fore, as he provided valuable support to Noema-Barnett as the left hander personally added 34 runs from his last 16 balls, including two sixes over deep square leg off Pillans and Dernbach. Roderick's six from Pillans' last delivery was a bonus at the time, but invaluable on the final scorecard as Gloucestershire set Surrey 175 to win.
Skipper Michael Klinger had said before the match that defending totals at the Brightside Ground can be tricky, and it was clear Gloucestershire needed early wickets to against a powerful Surrey batting line up so to get three in the powerplay certainly kept them in the game even though Surrey had scored quickly.
Jason Roy and Rory Burns had rattled up 24 in the first two overs before David Payne had Roy caught on the square leg boundary trying to repeat the shot which had brought him a six off the first ball of the innings. Burns also departed to Payne, lbw in his third over, and Will Jacks - having hit sixes off both Payne and Noema-Barnett - was then caught behind off a top edge.
In the week that Ollie Pope became the latest Surrey youngster to achieve England recognition, it then looked like the highly rated Ben Foakes and the experienced Rikki Clarke would steer Surrey into a winning position having joined forces when Howell removed Nic Maddinson in an over than also cost 18 runs.
They took Surrey from 66-4 to 141-4 with five overs remaining, Clarke hitting straight sixes off Higgins and Tom Smith and Foakes prospering after almost being stumped off Benny Howell when he had only a single to his name.
Howell, however, checked their progress as Clarke chipped a routine catch to Ian Cockbain at long off, and he then bowled van den Bergh almost immediately. Foakes collected one boundary from Andrew Tye's final over and completed a 33 ball fifty in the 18th over, which saw Howell finish his spell with 3-31.
With 18 runs required Gloucestershire had to either keep Foakes off strike or get him out, and when he moved outside off stump David Payne's leg stump yorker delivered the better of the two options. Three balls to Morkel without conceding a run completed the latest in a series of impressive spells from Payne, and enabled Ryan Higgins to bottle up Surrey in the final over and send Gloucestershire forward into the last eight.