By Connor Steel
HAMPSHIRE HAWKS strengthened their ‘quarter final’ ambitions and ended a two match losing streak in the Vitality Blast on Sunday afternoon; trashing in-form group leaders Surrey by 9 wickets at the Kia Oval after a masterclass display of both bowling and batting combined in ‘gloomy’ conditions across the south of London.
The visitors elected to bowl first and made a dream start with the game’s fifth delivery; Chris Wood drawing a awful shot off Will Jacks (0) to leave Surrey 2-1. This was quickly proceeded by opener Laurie Evans looping to silly point before dangerman Sam Curran was caught by Liam Dawson to offer Nathan Ellis his first wicket.
Things soon worsened for Surrey as they concluded the powerplay on 22-4; sublime deliveries creating a big number of dot balls and signalling a frustrated drive by Jamie Smith to be gobbled by the cordon. Hampshire were naturally increasing momentum and they got a reward during the 9th over; Sean Abbott playing behind.
A short partnership between Chris Jordan and Jamie Overton dragged the batters past fifty before the former departed for seventeen; setting the paths for an extraordinary stand given the context. Between the 13th and 16th over fifty six runs were added; Tom Curran and Overton hitting ten boundaries including four long sixes.
This gave Surrey a score to defend but they soon lost their final four wickets during the last four overs; Wood seeing the end of Tom Curran for twenty-two off eleven balls. Sunil Narine was then bowled by Turner before Overton (45) misjudged an Ellis bouncer; Wood wrapping up this home innings when Gus Atkinson departed.
Chasing 125 to secure victory, the two Hampshire openers started brilliantly in response with Ben McDermott flicking two boundaries and a floated maximum off Abbott in the second over. This was followed by a number of singles in the third and fourth overs with Surrey fielders spreading outfield positions to narrow the run rate.
Meanwhile James Vince extended his brilliant form in the T20 competition with good stroke-play; although he was almost dismissed by a loose shot that narrowly missed the grasps of a diving slip fielder. Down the other end Tom Lawes became the next bowler to be smashed for six with McDermott top-edging his hooked effort.
Having passed fifty without much trouble, both openers overcame a narrow run-out opportunity and used this as the spark to accelerate further in the middle overs. McDermott reached another half century off thirty-eight balls but soon departed as he was caught by a back-tracking Smith to become the only victim of this innings.
It left the Hawks on 92-1 in the twelfth over with Toby Albert joining Vince at the crease; the youngster adding seven unbeaten runs off nine balls in a supporting role. In a sharp contrast, the away captain continued to hit boundaries as he reached his own half century; completing the win shortly after with a drive over extra cover.
This marked Hampshire’s first victory over Surrey in eight Vitality Blast encounters and avenged last month’s defeat to the same opponents at the Ageas Bowl; the two points ensuring they stay fourth in the group. Their next match will see them travel to Gloucestershire on Tuesday evening; the game due to be played in Bristol.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2R80PT4): Tom Curran hits a fine boundary as Surrey batted first at the Kia Oval on Sunday afternoon; the home team eventually being trashed by nine wickets after sublime Hampshire display.