JASON Roy produced one of his trademark top-order assaults to spearhead Surrey Lions' three-wicket NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final win over Worcestershire Rapids at the Kia Oval.
Roy’s stunning 52 from 23 balls, including three sixes and eight fours, helped Surrey overhaul Worcestershire’s modest 141-9 with 3.3 overs to spare.
There was a little bit of a wobble after Roy’s exit, with Worcestershire fighting hard in the field to take seven Surrey wickets on a slowish pitch, but Robin Peterson finished matters in the 17th over by swinging Shaaiq Choudhry’s left-arm spin for six and then driving the next ball through mid-off for four.
After the six-over powerplay, Surrey had rushed to 68-2 thanks to Roy’s fireworks.
At the four-over mark, Roy had made 46 from 19 balls out of Surrey’s first 49 runs as even the two proven world-class batsmen in the county’s top three, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kevin Pietersen, were forced to take a back seat.
Sri Lankan veteran Dilshan was out for one, caught at fine leg as he attempted one of his famous ‘Dilscoops’ against Jack Shantry’s medium-pace, and Pietersen was initially content to watch from the other end as Roy laid into the Worcestershire bowling.
Mitchell McClenaghan’s first two overs went for 33 runs as he bore the brunt of Roy’s strokemaking.
When Roy was out, mis-hitting Shantry to mid-on from the fourth ball of the sixth over, it was left to Pietersen and the rest of Surrey’s international-packed middle order to complete the job.
Having been put into bat, Worcestershire suffered from losing wickets at regular intervals, with Jade Dernbach, Matthew Dunn and Peterson claiming two apiece.
After cutting Dilshan for four in first over of the game, Daryl Mitchell was run out trying to scamper a single before Peterson had Tom Kohler-Cadmore dragging on to his stumps.
Colin Munro reverse swept his first delivery for four only to lose his middle stump to Dunn, playing another premeditated shot.
Ross Whiteley swept Gareth Batty for four before clubbing the former Worcestershire off-spinner to the long on boundary for a four and a six.
But Batty had the last laugh when the 25-year-old left-hander was bowled for 17.
Ben Cox was then bowled by Dunn before the visitors were reduced to 97-6 when opener Richard Oliver was dismissed by Peterson for a 36-ball 34.
Dernbach then accounted for Joe Leach and Choudhry before Shantry was bowled by Azhar Mahmood in the 20th over, although not before he had succeeded in lifting the veteran all-rounder over long-on for six.