Published: 2nd March, 2019
It’s now one of the key events of any cricketing summer but in 2003, the first year of the newest format, a T20 London Derby at The Oval was very much an unknown quantity.
Before earning its current reputation as the ‘Home of T20 cricket’, The Oval played host to just one fixture in the inaugural year of the Twenty20Cup; Surrey v Middlesex.
Future England captain Andrew Strauss led the visitors and was asked to bat first by Adam Hollioake. A 50, from a pedestrian-by-2019-standards 48 balls, from the left handed opener was the match’s top score but he was largely starved of batting partners by an inspired Jimmy Ormond.
After Martin Bicknell and Azhar Mahmood had opened the bowling, fellow seamer Ormond was the first change and ripped through the Middlesex middle order to dismiss Chad Keegan, Owais Shah, Ed Joyce and Simon Cook. He completed his five-wicket haul with the prized wicket of Strauss with Ian Ward completing the catch to see him gone for 52.
Two wickets for Mahmood, one for Bicknell and one for Hollioake saw Middlesex end the innings on 155, a strong score with the competition still in its infancy.
It was much more of a team effort when Surrey took to the middle with four players passing 20 to score the bulk of the runs. Ward hit 31 from 28 balls at the top of the order while James Benning (27), Hollioake (24) and Graham Thorpe (23) proved the difference between the sides in the middle order.0
Mark Ramprakash (18) and Jonathan Batty (12) saw the hosts over the line for their first Oval T20 win in a season that would see them go on to be trailblazers as they lifted the first title.
A fresh era to this famous old rivalry had begun.