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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Impressive Surrey set for second win

Blast favourites look home bankers to stop Somerset

Tom Curran (left) has impressed Surrey's director of cricket Alec Stewart
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Surrey beat Essex by two runs in a thrilling T20 Blast opener at Chelmsford on Friday and both teams are worth backing for victories in their second Twenty20 games of the season.

Ante-post favourites Surrey will have been delighted to emerge from the Chelmsford cauldron with a win after two sixes from Ravi Bopara had left Essex requiring just 11 runs off seven balls.

Tom Curran's brilliant final over sealed the points for the visitors, who should prove too strong for Somerset at The Oval.

They managed to score 188-8 against Essex despite a patchy batting display and the early blow of seeing England opener Jason Roy given out lbw to a ball that was clearly missing off-stump. 

Roy's opening partner Aaron Finch smashed 56 off 27 balls and youngster Dom Sibley made 61 before a solid bowling performance featuring five wickets shared between Curran and his younger brother Sam.

Somerset had a dreadful Blast campaign in 2016, losing ten of their 13 completed matches on their way to the South Group wooden spoon.

Their talented squad should fare better this summer but the trip to The Oval, where they stumbled to a 15-run defeat last year, is a tough assignment.

Essex travel to Kent, who failed to reach the quarter-finals last term, and the Eagles showed their quality in the defeat to Surrey.

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir looks a brilliant overseas signing while Bopara took 2-23 in four overs of canny medium pace before hitting 75 off 46 deliveries.

Captain Ryan ten Doeschate has plenty of bowling options at his disposal - the 20 overs against Surrey were shared between seven players - and the visitors should enjoy their trip to Beckenham.

Northamptonshire travel to Durham, who they beat in last summer's final at Edgbaston, and the Steelbacks are narrow favourites to frank that form despite losing their opening game to unfancied Derbyshire.

Recommendations
Surrey
3pts 4-6 general
Essex
1pt 10-11 Betway

Somerset had a dreadful Blast campaign in 2016, losing ten of their 13 completed matches on their way to the South Group wooden spoon
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