Surrey Progress in Royal London Cup

15 August 2021

Tim David, the big-hitting Singaporean T20 international, propelled Surrey into the Royal London Cup semi-finals with five sixes in a 73-ball 102 that overwhelmed Gloucestershire by five wickets at the Kia Oval.

David, a 25-year-old Big Bash regular qualified to play for Australia, completed his second hundred of the competition as Surrey chased down Gloucestershire’s 50-over total of 242 for 7 with 7.2 overs to spare.

Jamie Smith, captaining Surrey at 21 in the continued injury absence of Hashim Amla, also made an excellent 69 not out, with a six and six fours, and helped David to add 102 in 19 overs for the fourth wicket in a match-winning stand.

Surrey face Durham at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday for a place in Thursday’s Royal London Cup final at Trent Bridge, and the powerful 6ft 5in David is certainly in irresistible form.

He now has 337 runs at 84.25 in the tournament, at an extraordinary strike rate of 152.48. His last three innings, a sequence which began with a remarkable 140 not out from 70 balls with 11 sixes against Warwickshire last Tuesday, have now brought him 294 runs for just once out.

Gloucestershire’s total had owed almost everything to a determined and beautifully-judged unbroken 105-run partnership between George Scott and Tom Smith, a List A record for the county against Surrey.

Former Middlesex all-rounder Scott’s unbeaten 66, from 67 balls, was his List A best while the experienced Smith finished 51 not out, off 64 balls, with five fours.

They came together at 137 for 7, after Gloucestershire’s top order had failed to fire and only Graeme van Buuren’s 37 from 48 balls had offered the promise of anything substantial.

But left arm spinner Dan Moriarty, the pick of Surrey’s attack, had Van Buuren caught at extra cover from a checked drive and followed up by having Tom Price leg-before for 1, playing around his front pad, in an outstanding 10-over effort that brought him figures of 2 for 30.

Leg spinner Cameron Steel had also seen Ben Wells swing to deep mid wicket to go for 7 but Scott and Smith’s answer to the crisis was to build their stand steadily until – in the final overs – playing some big shots.

Smith swept particularly strongly against the spinners while Scott produced the stroke of the innings, a pick up six off Matt Dunn that sailed far over the mid wicket boundary, before also top-edging a high full toss from the same bowler over the fine leg ropes. With umpire Ian Blackwell rightly signalling for the no ball, that shot earned Gloucestershire eight runs.

Earlier, Gloucestershire skipper Chris Dent (15) played on to Dunn in the seventh over, and Oli Price had made 19 when he top-edged a sweep at David’s off spin to short fine leg.

James Bracey chipped a tame return catch to David, to go for 20, and fast bowler Conor McKerr struck with his second ball, in the 22nd over, to have Jack Taylor caught behind for 12.

Surrey’s reply started with several sumptuous extra cover drives from Mark Stoneman, but he edged Jared Warner behind on 18, Ollie Pope was leg-before to Matt Taylor for 1 and Ryan Patel, who made 23 in a 68-run alliance with David, was run out by Dent after a mid-pitch mix-up over a short single.

By then, though, David had already launched Warner for sixes over extra cover and backward point in the eighth over. Later he added a further six off left-arm spinner Smith, pulled flat, plus two more straight into the JM Finn Stand from successive balls when Oli Price tried some off breaks, before being sent back and run out with victory just 49 runs away.

Rikki Clarke, dropped at slip on five off Tom Price, scored 21 in a 42-run stand with Smith before being athletically caught by a diving a Dent at extra cover.

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