Surrey open up their Blast campaign by squeezing home against Glamorgan in a thriller at the Kia Oval


Ollie Pope hit an impressive 62 from 46 balls as Surrey began their Vitality Blast campaign by beating Glamorgan with just one ball remaining in front of 16,000 people at the Kia Oval on Friday.

Pope was joined by Sam Curran in a fourth wicket stand of 62 which looked to have got Surrey home comfortably. Despite a flurry of late wickets from Michael Hogan, the home side edged over the line.

After a couple of subdued opening overs, Sam Northeast- who came into this match on the back of some impressive recent scores in red ball cricket and an unbeaten 63 in last nights victory over Sussex hit Reece Topley for consecutive boundaries. Firstly, by straight driving him over his head and then through midwicket.

The visitors lost their first wicket of the night when David Lloyd (3) picked out Jamie Overton at deep midwicket off Dan Worrall’s first ball of the night.

Marnus Labuschagne strode out to the middle and was quickly into his stride by hitting his fellow Australian for a maximum over long on, before two consecutive boundaries followed including a delicately placed scooped shoot down to the vacant fine leg area.

However, the big hitting Aussie’s stay at the crease  was brief when he picked out Topley on the deep backward square leg rope who took a fine tumbling catch off Jamie Overton’s third ball. At the halfway point the visitors had moved on to 67-2 with Northeast- who survived a missed stumping on 24- looking good in the middle with 36 runs to his name.

Topley was involved in the action once again by taking a stunning catch above his head at  backward point with Kiran Carlson out for 9 off Sunil Narine to give the West Indian his first wicket in Surrey colours.

It was down to Chris Cooke to look to increase the tempo with some powerful hitting. He deposited Overton for two massive maximums and a boundary in one over with Northeast adding 63 for the fourth wicket. Cooke (46) then top edged a pull of Curran straight down Worrall’s throat in the deep to end a cameo innings by the South African off just 27 balls.

With Cooke departing it was left to Northeast to open his shoulders to good effect. He moved on to 65 before perishing in the deep off Topley for his second half century in two days, as Glamorgan finished their twenty overs on a competitive total of 173-5 after adding  106 runs in the last ten overs.

Surrey’s pursuit of 174 for victory started off badly when both openers went.  Jason Roy(15) skied a delivery from Michael Hogan straight to cover. Two balls later the Australian struck again when Will Jacks(6) sliced a shot to mid on to leave Surrey 23-2.

The home side really should have been three down early on when Laurie Evans was dropped on four by Lloyd at midwicket . The ball falling into his hands and straight out again off the bowling of Michael Neser.

Evans and his partner at the crease Pope started to rebuild Surrey’s innings with runs starting to flow from the bat of both men. The pair shared in a partnership of 44 before Evans(23) perished at deep cover off Dan Douthwaite.

At the half way point, Surrey were 89-3 still requiring a further 85 runs to win with the contest beautifully poised.

Curran and Pope started to take authority out in the middle with Curran taking 18 runs off three  deliveries  from young off spinner Prem Sisodiya. Glamorgan’s fielding wasn’t up to the best of standard and Sisodiya added to that by putting down a straight forward chance when Curran was  on 32.

With Surrey getting the upper hand, Cooke brought back Hogan to get the breakthrough, and it worked. The first ball of the new spell saw the Aussie just fail to hold on to a drive from Curran. However, next ball Curran departed for 36 off 22 balls in the deep to leave Surrey requiring 45  from 34 balls.

Having had 30 taken off his first two overs, Cook preserved with the young spinner for a further over which resulted in 14 taken off him to leave Surrey 23 to win off 18 balls.

Despite the distraction of two spectators, who were clearly the worse for an evening’s drinking session and had decided to run on to the pitch, it was down to a cameo knock  from Jordan Clark and Pope’s excellent 62 from 46 balls to get Surrey to within nine of victory before Hogan bounced Pope out. Clark fell in the deep for 17 two balls later top give Hogan his fifth wicket with Surrey stuttering over the finishing line as Hogan finished with the excellent figures of 5-18 off his four overs.

Surrey required eight to win off the final six deliveries bowled by Neser. The first ball, Overton picked up a couple of runs. The equation was down to three needed off three balls when Chris Jordan scampered through for a quick single before Overton hit the winning runs with a mis field as the pair came back for a second  to get Surrey home by the narrowest of margins with one ball to go.

Glamorgan  173-5 (20)    Surrey  174-6 (19.5)

Surrey won by four wickets

Peter Moore at the Kia Oval

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