NatWest T20 Blast
Surrey 181-7 beat Somerset 177-9 by 4 runs

COREY Anderson hit an impressive 81 from 45 balls on debut, but could not save Somerset from losing their opening NatWest T20 Blast match against Surrey at the Oval.

Chasing 182 to win, they lost Jim Allenby and James Hildreth in the first over, and despite gaining 12 penalty runs for a slow over-rate from Surrey, the visitors missed out by four runs.

Allenby captained the Somerset side, which contained Hildreth (who scored a century against Yorkshire), the recalled Peter Trego and new T20 signing Anderson, but not Johann Myburgh - who missed out after picking up what the club described as a "slight hand injury".

Allenby won the toss and put Surrey into bat, only for the hosts' openers to deal out some punishment - Josh Davey hit for 14 off his first three balls in the third over.

Lewis Gregory helped slow the scoring rate, and Davey returned to make the breakthrough as Jason Roy (15) was caught at deep mid-wicket by Craig Overton, leaving Surrey 48-1 in the sixth over.

Spinner Roelof van der Merwe claimed the next wicket, Mark Stoneman gone for eight (caught by Allenby), but opener Aaron Finch was continuing to score well.

Van der Merwe claimed the prize scalp, ending Finch's innings at 61 off 42 balls (caught by Gregory at deep mid-wicket), with Surrey on 99-3 in the 11th over.

Max Waller dismissed Rory Burns (5), thanks to a stunning catch low down by Tom Banton, who was on as a sub fielder for Anderson, but Sam Curran was causing damage - hitting two 6s and a 4 in the 14th over.

Van der Merwe took his third wicket, Dominic Sibley out for seven (caught by Adam Hose), but Curran led Surrey up to 150 before departing for 39 off 25 balls in the 18th over (c Waller b Davey).

Ollie Pope scored three consecutive 4s off Overton to reach 25, but a tight final over (giving up just four runs) from Gregory was capped off with a wicket, Tom Curran (8) caught by Waller from the final ball ball of the innings.

Surrey ended on 181-7, with Van der Merwe (3-27 off four overs) and Gregory (1-24 off four) the standout Somerset bowlers, with Overton (0-43 off four) struggling.

The visitors' run chase had a nightmare start, as Jade Dernbach took two wickets in two balls (Allenby and Hildreth both out for ducks) to leave Somerset 1-2 in the very first over.

Steve Davies helped steady things for Somerset, but he was then out for 15, trapped lbw by Tom Curran in the fifth over, to leave the away side on 25-3.

The wickets continued to tumble, Hose (5) and Trego (10) falling to Ravi Rampaul and Tom Curran, respectively, as Somerset were reduced from 33-3 to 33-5 in the seventh over.

Van der Merwe was next to go, his quick-fire 10 ended by Sam Curran (lbw), but Anderson and Gregory took the total up to 82-7 before the latter was dismissed by Rampaul (caught on the boundary by Stoneman) for six.

New Zealander Anderson survived being caught (it came off a no ball) and scored some spectacular boundaries on his way to a half-century, but Craig Overton departed for 11 (c Stoneman b Tom Curran) at 106-8 in the 15th over.

Anderson - joined at the crease by Davey - continued to score well, and the game was suddenly injected with some excitement as Somerset were awarded 12 penalty runs for a slow over-rate from Surrey, meaning the visitors needed 23 to win from the last two overs.

Another six from Anderson brought that down from 12 required off the final over, but the new man was run out by Finch going for a second run, and last man in Waller was unable to score the 6 required from the final ball.

Four Surrey players took two wickets apiece, with Sam Curran (2-22 off four) and Tom Curran (2-23 off four) finishing with the best figures.

So Somerset were beaten, but the close final result - much tighter than it should have been, for which Surrey have only themselves to blame - gives them something to build on, as long as the rest of the batting order can improve to give the new man Anderson the support he needs.

The New Zealander's innings was all the more impressive given he had suffered a stiff back, so only bowled one over and was replaced in the field by Banton.