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Superb team effort sees Surrey move top of South Group

Played four, won four. Surrey climbed to the summit of the South Group with another commanding victory in this year’s Vitality Blast that owed much to their varied and potent seam attack.

It was a comprehensive and fully deserved win for the visitors, who smothered Kent’s run chase and shared the wickets around, with all six bowlers claiming at least one victim.

Reece Topley had Surrey’s best figures with 3-24, while Chris Jordan took 2-27 and pulled off a typically nonchalant catch on the long-off boundary. Joe Denly made 44 for Kent, but lacked any real support during an increasingly doomed run chase.

Sam Curran was Surrey’s top scorer with 43 while Overton added 27 at the death, including an effortless straight six from his first ball, to tilt the momentum in the visitors’ favour. Fred Klaassen took 2-41 and Grant Stewart 2-42, but both men should have had more wickets as an improved fielding performance by Kent was still marred by a number of drops.

Despite Will Jacks falling for 2 in the second over, Jason Roy made a breezy 23 while the in-form Curran, on his 24th birthday, played punchily on a pitch that was not conducive to free-flowing strokeplay.

Sunil Narine hit the first six of the innings when he pulled Grant Stewart over the square leg boundary at the start of the 14th over, but as Surrey looked to accelerate, Laurie Evans was lbw to a Klaassen yorker for 19 and Narine hit Stewart to Denly at long-on.

Overton upped the tempo, smacking Klaassen for successive sixes in the final over before he was run out for 27 by Billings, chasing a single off the final ball of the innings.

The chase got off to a rocky start when Bell-Drummond flicked Clark to Narine at short fine leg in the second over and Dan Worrall then had Jordan Cox caught behind for 2.

Billings holed out to Overton and was caught for 16 by Jacks and Alex Blake was dismissed for the same score when he pulled Jordan to Clark. When Narine tempted Jack Leaning to swish a delivery to the safe hands of Jordan for just a single, Kent were 75/5 in the 14th over.

With five overs left the rate had climbed to 15 and with no choice but to go down swinging, George Linde was out for 13 to a brilliant piece of fielding by Jordan. Linde drove Topley to the boundary, but Jordan threw the ball in the air before stepping over the boundary and stepping back in again to complete the catch.

Supporters were leaving in their droves well before the end and although they missed some late pyrotechnics from Grant Stewart, who hit sixes from successive Topley deliveries, he was out for 17 when he skied Topley to Jamie Smith, giving the left-armer his second wicket of the innings. When Denly finally went in similar fashion, Topley had picked up three, but with wickets shared across the board this was emphatically a team effort.

“We’ve got seven or eight guys who can all put their hand up and bowl,” said Overton. “Jacks hasn’t even bowled this year and he had a great comp last year, so it’s nice that we’ve got that depth. Obviously we’re going to lose a couple in a week’s time but we’ve still got that confidence that we can stand up.

“Having Chris Jordan around has helped me massively. He’s making me a lot more calm and relaxed at the end of the mark and he’s talking to me after every ball. Hopefully the weather can hold for Cardiff on Sunday and we can get five wins out of five.”