Surrey start Vitality Blast with a bang - Kia Oval Skip to main content

The Curran brothers Sam and Tom put Middlesex’s bowlers under pressure and piled on 118 runs together, breaking the previous Surrey best for a third-wicket partnership, as the Three Feathers won the Vitality Blast London derby at Lord’s by 73 runs.

Sam, captaining the side in the absence of Chris Jordan, batted gracefully for his 68 off 47 balls, including two big sixes in Surrey’s total of 199-6.

His brother Tom too played a belligerent hand of 50 off 33 balls with eight fours as the siblings added 118 in 11 overs. Will Jacks earlier blasted a quick-fire 43.

Three wickets in the final over for Tom Helm gave him 3-38, while left-arm spinner Nathan Fernandez took 1-27 from three overs on debut.

Jacks then starred with the ball in hand, returning 3-17, backed up by Gus Atkinson’s 3-20 as the hosts could only muster 126 in reply despite some defiant striking by Max Holden who top-scored with 43.

Jacks, who had made two swashbuckling half-centuries in his last three innings against Middlesex at Lord’s in the format, came out swinging from ball one and got the visitors off to a fast start.

Teenager Fernandez, thrown on in the powerplay struck second ball when pinch-hitter Sunil Narine hit him straight to cover, but Jacks sent two drag downs from leg-spinner Luke Hollman into the stands, before a brilliant catch by Helm on the fence at mid-on ended his revelry at 43.

The Currans’ progress was steady initially, but the 12th over bowled by Ryan Higgins changed the complexion as Tom Curran despatched the all-rounder to all parts, hitting five fours in succession.

Not to be upstaged Sam Curran then cut loose, denting Fernandez’s excellent figures to that point with consecutive sixes.

Blake Cullen, back on Middlesex first-team duty for the first time in more than a year was rusty and his 11-ball over, including a waist-high full toss and four wides only added to Surrey’s momentum.

The 100-stand came in 56 balls, and we were in the penultimate over by the time Tom top-edged a steepling catch back to grateful bowler Higgins. Sam too left before the end as the south Londoners finished one shy of 200.

Middlesex, who depend highly on their skipper Stephen Eskinazi, didn’t start as per plan as Eskinazi departed for just one, spectacularly run out by Atkinson/Jamie Overton, following a mix-up on the fourth ball of the innings.

The exciting Joe Cracknell deposited a short one from Sean Abbott into the second tier of the Mound Stand only to perish trying to repeat the feat, meaning both openers were gone with 27 on the board.

Pieter Malan, back from injury, also found the stands before departing to Gus Atkinson for a breezy 30, and Jacks then struck twice in his first over, removing the dangerous Ryan Higgins, caught at mid-off before bowling Hollman round his legs.

Throughout this period Max Holden had hit bravely, smiting two big sixes at a strike rate approaching 200, but when Narine bowled him for 43 the game was up.