Surrey 244 (Foakes 68, Steel 67) beat Nottinghamshire 237 (James 71, Steel 3-41) by 3 wickets on DLS
In a match reduced to 40 overs-a-side, Surrey pulled off a thrilling last-ball Metro Bank One-Day Cup win over Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Welbeck, after the home side collapsed from 208 for four to 237 all out in the space of 33 balls, losing their last four wickets in the final eight balls of the contest as Surrey recorded their first win.
Lyndon James (71) and Matt Montgomery (62) appeared to have put the Outlaws on course for a third win of the season, but Surrey’s spin bowlers had other ideas, Steel claiming three for 41 with his leg breaks and left-armer Dan Moriarty three for 55 in a dramatic finale.
Although play began on time, only nine balls could be bowled before rain forced the players off. It was long enough for Brett Hutton to endorse Outlaws captain Hameed Haseeb’s decision to bat first as Dom Sibley edged his first ball to second slip.
The hour-and-24-minutes stoppage forced the overs recalibration, after which an assertive Ryan Patel gave a strong lead to skipper Rory Burns by hitting both Toby Pettman and Tom Loten for leg-side sixes in a partnership of 65 off 75 balls that ended when Burns was caught at deep square leg.
Patel followed shortly afterwards, well caught almost on the rope at midwicket by Ben Slater for 40, which left Surrey needing to rebuild, although in the event this double setback ushered in Steel to join Foakes in what proved to be the key phase of the innings as the fourth-wicket pair rattling along at 6.5 an over for more than 18 overs, albeit helped by the aforementioned sloppy fielding.
Foakes, who eventually departed when Liam Patterson-White grabbed a sharp return catch to reward a fine spell, was put down on 14 by Montgomery on the midwicket boundary off James. Steel, meanwhile, had an escape on 31 when he reverse swept Calvin Harrison and Pettman spilled a straightforward chance at short third man.
Pettman (two for 50) picked up his wickets when Ben Geddes and Luke Griffiths, a 17-year-old fast bowler making his senior debut, both holed out in the closing stages, with Steel finally falling to a catch at deep extra cover off Hutton (two for 45).
Chasing a target three runs smaller than Surrey’s total – another DLS revised target that will have puzzled spectators – Outlaws were 34 for one at the end of an eventful opening powerful that saw the visitors lose one bowler as Matt Dunn walked off the field two balls into his third over and almost a fielder after Sibley copped a painful blow on the shin fielding at slip.
Sibley required treatment before continuing but continued. Not only that, he took two catches, the first leaving him in more pain as, still at slip, he dived to his left to hold the chance as Ben Martindale edged Conor McKerr, the second in somewhat more comfort at mid-off as Slater mistimed a drive to mid-off.
Nottinghamshire were 99 for three at the halfway point of their pursuit, the advantage seemingly with Surrey after Hameed, struggling to break a run of low scores, departed for another as he top-edged left-arm spinner Dan Moriarty to midwicket, James having been shelled at mid-off on 26.
The debutant Griffiths was the guilty party this time. As with the two key drops in the Surrey innings, it came at a cost as James advanced to his second half-century in the competition, although the teenager did atone for his error by making James his maiden senior wicket as the Outlaws batter heaved towards midwicket but miscued, wicketkeeper Foakes running halfway to the boundary to take the catch.
That left the home side needing 75 from 61 balls, rapidly reduced when Patterson-White joined Montgomery to trim the requirement by 42 in 29 balls before he was caught at midwicket off McKerr.
Montgomery’s dismissal leg before to Steel to a ball that kept low and Dane Schadendorf was brilliantly caught at backward point off the same bowler to take the contest into the last over with the Outlaws needing six off the last over, which came down to four off four, only to lose their last three wickets to Moriarty off those final four balls – Hutton holing out to long off, Harrison run out and then Loten stumped.