SURREY moved to the brink of sealing a Vitality Blast quarter-final place after two wins in three days.

They completed a double over London rivals Middlesex on Friday, cantering home by seven wickets, and added victory by four wickets in a tighter encounter against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday to preserve a three-point lead at the top of South Group.

It came at the end of a packed week in which Surrey beat Somerset at Taunton to retain their place at the summit of LV County Championship Division One.

Having overcome Middlesex by 20 runs at Lord’s eight days earlier, Chris Jordan’s men had every reason to be confident about doing it again in front of a sell-out crowd at the Kia Oval, despite the absence of four players on international duty.

The brief return of Ollie Pope – a centurion in England’s stunning Test victory over New Zealand at Trent Bridge three days earlier – boosted their cause and Middlesex’s 155-8 never looked sufficient despite Steve Eskinazi (25) giving them a speedy start and Luke Hollman biffing 31 near the end. As so often, the spin of Sunil Narine strangled a side in mid-innings, the Trinidadian returning 2-27 from four overs, figures emulated by paceman Jordan whose willingness to use himself at the most testing stages of matches sets a fine example.

Will Jacks crashed three sixes in his quickfire 43 from 20 balls to launch the chase, Pope’s 37no being overshadowed by left-hander Narine hitting the ball beautifully cleanly. He cleared the boundaries four times in making 51no as Surrey cruised in with 4.5 overs to spare.

The trip to Hampshire always looked trickier, Pope being rested by England and the hosts having won five straight matches since Surrey had crushed them by 72 runs earlier in the month.

Another highly disciplined display in the field restricted the hosts to 151-7, inflated by James Fuller’s fierce 39no at the end, and that chase looked tougher when Jacks fell for just five. Jamie Smith (25) and Laurie Evans (29) ensured Surrey were well up with the asking rate, though, setting the stage for Kieron Pollard’s 34 from 22. When the veteran West Indian departed in the 16th over there were still 20 needed but club captain Rory Burns, making a rare T20 appearance, piloted the visitors to victory with five balls in hand alongside Jordan (10no).

That win, Surrey’s eighth win in nine matches – the other was abandoned through rain – left them needing one win from their last five matches to be sure of a quarter-final place. They were due to play second-placed Somerset at the Kia Oval on Tuesday before Thursday’s trip to Hove for a clash with Sussex, followed by Essex at Chelmsford 24 hours later.

That presages another rapid change back into four-day mode for the visit of Kent, who will be bidding to arrest Surrey’s bid to reclaim the County Championship title after four years.

Their win at Taunton came by three wickets – repeating the margin of victory when the sides met at The Oval in April – following a nervy last day as the match went into the final hour. That looked unlikely to happen when Somerset were bowled out for 180, having chosen to bat first, as seamers Dan Worrall, Jamie Overton and Gus Atkinson all claimed three wickets.

Overton’s pace on returning to his old county was responsible for two batsmen – his twin brother Craig and Josh Davey – suffering blows to the head and failing concussion tests, which saw them replaced by Kasey Aldridge and Marchant De Lange. The speedster’s role in Surrey’s push for the title has now earned him an England call for this week’s Headingley Test, ironically alongside Craig.

Skipper Burns formed the backbone of a reply which earned a lead of 202 by making 113, his second century of the season, Jacks proving his versatility in cracking 88 and Jordan Clark’s 63 stretching Surrey’s advantage even further. Rather than folding, the hosts fought back hard as Lewis Goldsworthy’s 67 was followed by an accomplished 110no from Lewis Gregory, whose ninth wicket alliance worth 91 with Peter Siddle (42no) ensured there would be a nervy finale.

Needing 193, Surrey were grateful for the coolness of Jacks (62), Clark completing the job with 18no.

“I felt we were pretty much on top all four days but all credit to Somerset because they came back fighting,” said head coach Gareth Batty.