Explosive Shah sets Middlesex straight

Surrey 160-5 Middlesex 162-3 (Middlesex win by seven wickets)
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The Independent Online

Middlesex cruised past the target set by Surrey with 10 balls to spare in this battle of the Twenty20 Cup strugglers thanks to a bristling, unbeaten 61 by Owais Shah.

The England batsman took just 34 balls to reach his half-century, and hit three sixes and four fours as the visitors won by seven wickets in the South Division. They remain bottom of the table, equal with Surrey on four points.

Middlesex, the holders of the trophy, had lost their first seven group games but are looking for a third straight win against Sussex today. Surrey have lost five in a row, though when they restricted the Panthers to 46 for 2 in the seventh over, it appeared they might be able to defend their total.

Shah, who profited by hitting straight, struck the leg spinner Chris Schofield for towering sixes in successive overs. He found a steady partner in Dawid Malan, who made 38 in a stand of 100 in 10 overs. Grant Elliott, the New Zealand all-rounder, was hit for 19 runs off one over.

Earlier, Surrey's Michael Brown had made 77 with 10 boundaries and he put on 76 in nine overs for the first wicket with Chris Jordan, who was run out for 28. Usman Afzaal was also run out, for 25, by a brilliant throw from Shah and the innings tailed off.

Malan began with a maiden and his four overs of leg spin yielded just 17 runs. A score of 160 was never likely to be competitive at The Oval.