sport

Amla helps Surrey to victory

Hashim Amla eased Surrey to a six-wicket win in the NatWest T20 Blast London derby as Middlesex Panthers slipped to a fifth successive defeat.

The right-hander, making his first appearance in the competition this summer having replaced injured compatriot Graeme Smith, produced an effortless 39 as the hosts cruised to victory with eight balls to spare.

Such were the deficiencies in the Panthers' batting - which has passed 117 only twice in five T20 innings - Surrey did not even miss former England batsman Kevin Pietersen who was ruled out of a first appearance of the season with a finger injury following his Indian Premier League exploits.

A victory target of 118 never really looked like testing the home side even facing England paceman Steven Finn - who went for just 12 in his three overs - on a less-than-perfect batting wicket.

Middlesex were at least 20 runs short of a competitive total as aside for Dawid Malan, their leading scorer in this format, and Toby Roland-Jones no-one managed to get a start.

The visitors were 33 for three at the end of the six-over powerplay as Joe Denly failed to capitalise after hitting Azhar Mahmood, in his 200th T20 game, back over his head for six and then dispatching Tom Curran to the long-off fence next over only to be undone by extra bounce from the seamer and nick one behind.

Malan held together what was left of the innings with 48 not out at the top of the order, coming within inches of completing his half-century off when the final delivery dropped the wrong side of the rope, as Curran claimed a miserly two for 15.

Roland-Jones injected some tempo with 30 off 21 balls, lofting Gareth Batty over long-off and Jade Dernbach over midwicket.

While Surrey's powerplay garnered 39 they were wicketless through six overs with Jason Roy particularly punishing square of the wicket and Amla working the ball to all parts.

Middlesex had the smallest of openings when Roy top-edged to long leg and off spinner Paul Stirling pushed a quicker one through Steven Davies' defences in his first over but Amla, who was also beaten for pace and centimetres away from playing on to James Harris in successive balls, eased any concerns with a sumptuous straight six with little follow-through.

He eventually departed attempting to lift Daniel Christian over cover in the 14th over but the game was already up for Middlesex.