Curran stars with bat and ball as Surrey move top of South Group
Sam Curran produced an outstanding performance with bat and ball as Surrey thrashed Hampshire by 72 runs to move to the top of the South Group and maintain their 100 per cent record in this year’s Vitality Blast.
The 23-year-old made 69 off 38 balls as Surrey piled up 228 for four – their second-highest total in T20 history – before taking a career-best five for 30 including three wickets in an over as Hampshire were dismissed for 156.
A raucous Kia Oval crowd of 15,000 was treated to some spectacular hitting, first by Curran and Will Jacks, who hammered 131 from 73 balls for the second wicket, and then by Sunil Narine, who added 52 from 23 deliveries.
It was Surrey’s highest total at the Oval since 2015 and too much for Hampshire in reply despite James Fuller top-scoring with 43.
After electing to bowl first the away side made a breakthrough in the opening over of the match when Liam Dawson bowled Jason Roy.
But Jacks and Curran were soon flaying their attack to all parts. Between them, they hit ten sixes and nine fours in a partnership that was Surrey’s third-highest in T20 and eclipsed their previous best against Hampshire when Jacks and Laurie Evans put on 118 at the Ageas Bowl two years ago.
Jack hit 64 off 36 balls with five sixes – his second fifty in this season’s competition – and Curran also cleared the rope five times, including successive blows off Mason Crane to take him to his fifty.
Dawson tried to drag things back by dismissing both batsmen in the 13th over. Jacks was brilliantly caught by the diving Crane at wide mid-off before Crane took a catch in the covers to dismiss Curran for 69 off 38 deliveries.
Nex to walk out into the middle was Narine, who showcased spectacular timing and power to smash 52 from just 23 balls with five fours and four sixes.
Hampshire’s reply began badly as Kieron Pollard produced a spectacular catch to dismiss Nick Gubbins off Reece Topley’s second ball.
Ben McDermott and Tom Prest briefly raised Hampshire hopes by adding 54 off 23 balls with McDermott depositing a delivery from Topley onto the Harleyford Road before Curran produced his decisive burst, bowling Prest as he swung across the line, deceiving McDermott with a slower ball which the Australian chipped to mid-on and having Donald taken at mid-off off a top-edge.
Curran then returned to bowl Nathan Ellis and pin Fuller lbw to complete an impressive night’s work and claim his first-ever T20 five-wicket haul.