Surrey picked up their first win of the T20 Vitality Blast competition with a commanding 97 runs victory over Glamorgan at the Oval on Thursday evening.
The welsh outfit would have been feeling confident after holding Surrey to 141 all out in their 20 overs, that saw plenty of highlights with the bat and ball.
The game was delayed before the first ball by a thunder storm and then, with the covers off and the teams raring to go, a sudden downpour, to cool the fans on the hottest day on record.
A few overs into the contest, a goose visited the Oval and then a fox scurried onto the pitch, bringing proceedings to a crashing halt as spectators from all around the ground took out their smartphones to capture the moment.
As for the cricket, Glamorgan made a great start in the second over taking the wicket of Mark Stoneman, caught out in the deep off the bowling of Marchant de Lange but Surrey’s Aaron Finch and Will Jacks would hold firm for a partnership of 61 runs, which anchored the innings.
Jacks was the next wicket to fall, caught behind by Chris Cooke on the bowling of Graham Wagg. Spinner Andrew Salter came on and bowled a beautiful spell, picking up the wickets of Finch, Rikki Clarke, Tom Curran and Ollie Pope, finishing with figures of 23-4 from his 4 overs. The pick of his wickets was a grab from over the boundary by Billy Root, making the pass to himself with ease.
Surrey got back on top of their innnings with a neat spell of batting by world cup hero Liam Plunkett and Jordan Clark, the highlight being a monster six from Plunkett. Wagg collected his second wicket of the game, de Lange gathering in the catch.
Michael Hogan pulled up and left the ground injured one ball into the final inning, but de Lange was on hand to end the innings on a high taking three wickets in four deliveries, most notably the wicket of Gareth Batty, who hit his own stumps attempting to slog the South African righty.
The pick of the Surrey batsmen was Jacks, who top scored with 40 runs, at a moment in the game that Glamorgan would have had their tails up.
As the sun set, and the crowd enjoyed the spectacular clouds forming over the Pavilion, Surrey set to work on the Glamorgan bats. Jade Dernbach opened the bowling against the debutant Fakhar Zaman and bowled a mean over, limiting the visitors to five runs, David Lloyd dispatching Dernbach to the boundary on the final ball.
The game ended as a meaningful contest the very next over as Tom Curran bowled one of the overs of his life. Zaman scored a single off Curran’s first ball to put Lloyd on strike. Curran drew a dot ball from Lloyd.
With the third ball of the over, Curran struck, clean bowling Lloyd who wasn’t able to catch up to the straight ball. Ball four of the over, Captain Colin Ingram, chased the first ball he faced outside the line of off, edging straight into the hands of Rikki Clarke who made no mistake. Billy Root came to bat for the hattrick ball as the Oval faithful watched on with baited breath.
Curran raced in, ball in hand and delivered another perfect delivery, a full delivery just outside the line off off-stump which exploded off the pitch enticing the Yorkshireman to chase and once again edge it into the hands of Rikki Clarke. Even Glamorgan fans had to sit back, smile and applaud a magnificent over of bowling from Curran.
Owen Morgan’s short spell at the crease came to an end as Dernbach picked up his first wicket in the following over, again chasing one outside and the wicket keeper Pope greatfully snagged the catch.
Zaman was the glue that tried to bond the Glamorgan innings together, and he would topscore with 17 but his was the next wicket to fall to Gareth Batty, caught by finch. Batty was amongst the wickets again in the 10th over collecting the wicket of Cooke, gathered in by Plunkett on the boundary.
Imran Tahir was the man up for Surrey in the 11th over and killed any remaining hopes of the Glamorgan fans. Tahir, took three wickets in five balls, getting the over started with an LBW of Wagg before Salter and de Lange were both caught on the fourth and fifth balls of the over. The hattrick ball was hit for a single run by Douthwaite.
Another wrinkle, in an eventful evening, was the injured bowler Hogan coming out to bat with a runner. After a bit of confusion between the umpires and the Surrey captain, the game was able to continue, before it was brought to an end by a great delivery from Batty that spun a mile from around the line of outside-off that crashed into the top of middle clinching a commanding victory for the hosts, limiting the welsh side to just 44 runs.
The player of the game was Tom Curran, whose incredible hattrick defended, almost single handedly what should have been a chase-able total for the visitors.
Photo Credit: BBC Sports Wales Twitter