In Focus: Sam Curran’s Yorkshire Triumph

curran in focus

Published: 15th May, 2018

Any future red-ball match is going to have to go some to hold a more prominent place in Sam Curran’s memory than this week’s Kia Oval victory over Yorkshire.

Having picked up his maiden 10 wicket haul, his 100th first-class wicket and his county cap from captain Rory Burns, the 19-year-old made the thumping win, by an innings and 17 runs, his own.

That Curran received 25% more votes on the Twitter poll for Man of the Match than Ollie Pope, who made 158* in the first innings, highlights the incredible impact the left-arm seamer’s explosive bowling had on the win.

His captain did joke after the match that the all-rounder was “a little disappointed” not to get a chance to bat for a second time but it’s hard to imagine that was at the forefront of his mind with match bowling figures of 10-101.

It’s easy to focus purely on the match-defining numbers produced from Curran across the final three days, including shorter days two and four, but it’s just as important to focus on the calibre of victims he collected.


Defending a first innings total of 414, largely thanks to Dean Elgar, Rikki Clarke and Pope, Curran got to work straight away with fellow opener Jade Dernbach.

Dernbach saw off Lees but from that point on it was the fierce swing from that testing angle provided by left-armers that ripped through Yorkshire’s international quality lineup.

Curran had England men past and present Adam Lyth (6) and Joe Root (14) LBW with the wicket of Indian battler Cheteshwar Pujara (17) sandwiched between.

Jack Leaning and Tim Bresnan suffered the same fate at the hands of Curran before tailender Josh Shaw had the privilege of being Curran’s 100th first-class scalp as Surrey enforced the follow on.


Fully focused on his job in the outfield, Curran received a glorious surprise during the lunch interval before completing that first Yorkshire innings as he became the fourth youngest Surrey man in history to receive his county cap.

At 19 years and 344 days, only Vivian Crawford (1898), Donald Knight (1912) and Waqar Younis (1990) were awarded it at a younger age. His ceremony also came one year and 363 days after his older brother Tom had enjoyed his.


With tea still to come on the third day and the promise of more overs after a wet Saturday, Surrey forced their visitors to follow on with Dernbach and Curran once again given the new cherry.

Of the five to fall before the end of play that evening, Curran’s only scalp was that of Pujara for the second time in the match.

There’s something about seeing a stump dislodged that adds to the joy of a wicket for a seam bowler and he was to feel that three times in the fairly swift second innings.

After Pujara, Curran returned on the fourth morning eager to ensure a hasty finish. Although he was denied the match-winning moment by Rikki Clarke’s dismissal of Leaning, Curran had bowled both Shaw and Steven Patterson and had Bresnan caught behind by Ben Foakes in a session that lasted only 45 minutes before the celebrations began.

Surrey are next in action on Friday when they host Somerset in the opening round of Royal London One-Day Cup matches. Click here to book your tickets for all upcoming matches at the Kia Oval.

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