T20 Blast: Robin Peterson sends Surrey to finals day
|NatWest T20 Blast, Kia Oval|
|Surrey 144-7 (16.3 overs) beat Worcestershire Rapids 141-9 (20 overs) by three wickets|
Robin Peterson kept his nerve to steer Surrey to a three-wicket win over Worcestershire and secure a place at the T20 Blast finals day.
Set 142 to win, Jason Roy hit 52 off 23 balls to get Surrey's reply off to a flying start as they reached 68-2 by the end of the powerplay.
But, despite 29 from Kevin Pietersen, they wobbled to 128-7 before Peterson (24no) won the game with 21 balls left.
Richard Oliver had earlier top-scored with 34 in Worcestershire's 141-9.
England one-day seamer Jade Dernbach impressed with 2-22 from his four overs, while there were also two wickets apiece for South Africa slow-left armer Peterson (2-12) and Matt Dunn (2-28) as Worcestershire lost wickets at regular intervals.
|Surrey's record at finals day|
|2003: Won - beat Warwickshire in final by nine wickets|
|2004: Runners-up - lost to Leicestershire in final by seven wickets|
|2005: Semi-final - lost to Lancashire by 22 runs|
|2006: Semi-final - lost to Nottinghamshire by 37 runs|
|2013: Runners-up - lost to Northants in final by 102 runs (D/L)|
And they were always up against it after Roy's early onslaught, as he edged Jack Shantry for a boundary off the second ball of Surrey's innings before smashing the Worcestershire left-arm seamer over long-off for six two balls later.
Roy then dispatched Mitchell McClenaghan for three boundaries and a six in the following over, and hit a further six and four fours before eventually failing to clear Mitchell at mid-on off Shantry.
Gary Wilson and former England batsman Pietersen appeared to be making serene progress towards their target but both fell in the space of eight balls, swiftly followed by the run out of Rory Burns by Brett D'Oliveira, to leave Surrey wobbling at 106-5.
Azhar Mahmood hooked McClenaghan to Joe Leach at fine leg with 21 still needed, and Zafar Ansari gloved Colin Munro to wicketkeeper Ben Cox with 14 required.
But Peterson kept his nerve to pull Munro fine for four before winning the game with a six and four off successive balls from spinner Shaaiq Choudhry to send Surrey to finals day for a second successive year.
Surrey captain Gary Wilson: "We made it a bit hard for ourselves towards the end but it's great to get over the line and get through to finals day.
"That is one of the biggest days in the domestic calendar and so we are delighted to be involved.
"Jason Roy set it up for us so well but people then got in and didn't carry on. I think it was quite a slow pitch and therefore not as easy as Jason made it look, but even though we got to the win target with 3.3 overs to spare the seven wickets we lost made it a bit of an issue."
Worcestershire's director of cricket Steve Rhodes: "I didn't think it was a bad score. We thought we could win with that score. But, if you look at the whole day, most of the batters have struggled to score on that wicket apart from Jason Roy.
"Take away Roy's 50 off 20-odd balls on a wicket that was difficult to score on and that's the difference. It was a major match-winning innings for Surrey and that's the reason why he has been picked to play for the England Lions."