Surrey vs Middlesex
Middlesex achieved the highest-ever run chase in the annals of the 2023 T20 Blast by defeating Surrey by seven wickets on Thursday (June 22) at The Oval. Prior to that, Middlesex had lost ten consecutive games and fifteen in a row dating back to the previous season. In pursuit of a mind-boggling target of 253, Middlesex reached the total with four balls to spare in a game in which as many as 52 fours and 24 sixes were hit. A magnificent 177-run partnership between Will Jacks and Laurie Evans set the tone for Surrey, who at one point were seeking a total of 275 runs or more.
Both batters were ruthless on anything remotely loose, and with them at the plate, any score was possible. In the eleventh over delivered by Luke Hollman, Jacks was on the verge of striking six sixes but missed the sixth ball, a full toss. However, Middlesex was able to recover after the partnership was dissolved and a spate of wickets occurred late in the game. Despite the fact that the last 44 balls still produced 75 runs, the effort was commendable given the pitch and dimensions available. 253 remained intimidating, and a great deal had to go perfectly for the visitors to even get near, let alone make history. Stephen Eskinazi’s fifty-run innings gave Middlesex a glimmer of optimism, and his opening stand with Joe Cracknell gave them a platform.
The score after four overs was 67/0, and it was exactly the kind of start Middlesex required, with both batters blasting any bowler who came their way. Max Holden and Ryan Higgings continued the onslaught with a 105-run partnership off of just 46 deliveries after the hosts had lost their wickets and hoped for a strangle job. Even Sunil Narine and Sam Curran, who are typically Surrey’s go-to bowlers, were hit to all areas of the ground. Surrey’s standout bowler was Chris Jordan, and the team’s captain fought a solitary battle while the rest of his teammates received the blame. Middlesex registered the second-best pursuit in the annals of T20 by simply maintaining their composure in the closing stages.
Brief scores: Surrey 252/7 (Will Jacks 96, Laurie Evans 85; Ryan Higgings 2-40) lost to Middlesex 254/3 in 19.2 overs (Stephen Eskinazi 73, Max Holden 68*; Chris Jordan 2-41) by seven wickets