Three wickets in nine balls at a cost of two runs for Stuart Meaker tore the heart out of Yorkshire’s batting at Headingley and sent Surrey through to the final of the Royal London One-Day Cup at Lord’s on September 17.
A century for man-of-the-match Steven Davies and 90 from Ben Foakes left Yorkshire Vikings chasing a 256 target and although they recovered well after Meaker’s dramatic intervention, thanks to a brave 68 from Tim Bresnan, the task was just beyond them and they were bowled out for 236 to lose by 19 runs with seven balls left.
It was the second consecutive year that Yorkshire have lost at the last-four stage. And they have lost 17 times in their last out of 20 A list semi-finals since 1979.
Yorkshire lost Adam Lyth to Jade Dernbach in the third over and after skipper Alex Lees, had played some solid strokes to make 26 he was bowled driving at Gareth Batty.
At 74 for two in 19 overs, however, Yorkshire were still handily placed until Meaker began his lethal burst. Jonny Bairstow, released by England for the match, drove gently to Dominic Sibley at mid-wicket; Gary Ballance was caught behind and Jack Leaning dragged into his leg-stump.
The slide to 81 for five was halted by Bresnan and 20-year-old all-rounder, Matthew Waite, who had captured three wickets and then scored 38 in an enterprising stand of 80 in 16 overs with his senior partner.
Waitenext drove Sam Curran nto Batty’s hands at mid-on. Bresnan and Will Rhodes kept the hopes alive with a busy stand of 46 which ended at 207 in the 45th over when Rhodes played to backward point and set off for a single but was beaten by Tom Curran’s direct hit on the stumps.
Bresnan and Azeem Rafiq continued to battle hard but when Tom Curran sent back both Rafiq and Steven Patterson in the 48th over to make it 236 for nine the task was just beyond Yorkshire and the match ended when Bresnan drove Dernbach to Sibley at long-off, his 68 coming off 82 balls with two fours and a six.
Put in to bat, Surrey found themselves on eight for two by the third over, with Kumar Sangakkara one of the wickets to fall, but the early setbacks did not unsettle Davies whose 104 followed consecutive Championship scores of 117, 52 and 56 against Yorkshire this season.
Jack Brooks struck in the second over as Dibley was lbw. Then Sri Lankan Sangakkara drove loosely to Rafiq in the covers.
Davies, however, made smooth progress and he hit 34 of the first 48 runs.
But at 61 for two in 14 overs, Waite joined the attack and his first delivery was flicked casually to long leg by Burns for Patterson to hold a good catch.
It should have been an even more memorable over for Waite but three balls later Davies, on 43, drove back past the bowler’s hands and the chance went begging.
Had Davies gone then, Surrey would have been in big trouble but they were rescued by Davies’ and Foakes’ partnership of 130, and made 255-7.
Alex Lees said: “I think we are all gutted to lose because we have played some great white ball cricket but when it has mattered in two semi-finals over the past week we have not been good enough.
“It was a reachable target and we needed some contributions from the top five and this didn’t happen.”
Lees praised Bresnan and said: “He has won three or four games single-handed for us and has been exceptional both with the bat and ball. His big contribution almost got us there.”