Essex slump gifts Surrey an opening day victory
SURREY got their Friend's Life t20 campaign off to a winning start with a 17-run victory over Essex on Wednesday night.
Gareth Batty was the star with the ball for the Oval outfit as he helped his side defend their low total of 128-8 by taking 3-20.
Surrey won the toss and decided to bat first and Steven Davies got them off to a good start, hitting 19 before he was stumped by James Foster.
Jason Roy made 22, but skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown (9) and Zander de Bruyn were Graham Napier's victims with successive balls in the third over.
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Matt Spreigel notched 13 but when he and Roy departed, Surrey were reeling on 68-5.
The best Surrey partnership came between Gary Wilson (33) and Zafar Ansari (13) though, making 40 to take Surrey past the 100-mark, eventually ending on 128-8, a below-par score.
A good opening partnership between Ravi Bopara and Mark Pettini looked to be setting Essex on the victory path, as they hit 44 from the first six overs.
When Pettini edged Jade Dernbach behind the wicket, however, everything changed and by the time the score had been doubled, Essex were in trouble.
The visitors lost seven wickets in ten overs, three of them to the spin of Batty. First he trapped Owais Shah lbw and two overs later gained the prize Bopara wicket.
James Franklin completed Batty's haul and to add insult to injury an horrific error between Napier and Franklin saw both batsmen end up at the same end and Essex slumped to 111-9.