Cricket: Surrey make successful begin to T20 Vitality Blast at Kia Oval

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Surrey made a victorious start to this summer’s T20 Vitality Blast in front of a 16,000-strong crowd at the Kia Oval on Friday, with Ollie Pope hitting 62 from just 46 deliveries.

But a brilliant bowling display from Glamorgan’s Michael Hogan, who took 5-18, made it difficult for the hosts, who only secured the 174 needed with a ball to spare.

“We are really happy with the win, but we should have finished it off an over earlier,” said Pope, who had been given clearance to play by the England management ahead of this week’s Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.

“I am pretty disappointed with the way I got out, as I should have seen us over the line from that position. That’s the lesson for me tonight – be there at the end.”

Ollie Pope; Surrey v Glamorgan, Vitality Blast, The Kia Oval, 27 May 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

Pope hit eight fours, but when he and Jordan Clark, who thumped a useful 17, both skied catches in an extraordinary penultimate over from Hogan – which cost just one run – it suddenly looked as if Glamorgan were about to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

But Jamie Overton and Chris Jordan, now captaining Surrey in T20 cricket on his return from Sussex, held their nerve.

With eight required from Michael Neser’s final over, Overton pulled and drove twos from the first and fifth balls, and Jordan sprinted back for a second run in between two singles to see the South Londoners home.

Surrey’s next fixture in the Blast is up tomorrow against Gloucestershire at the Kia Oval.

Chris Jordan; Surrey v Glamorgan, Vitality Blast, The Kia Oval, 27 May 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

Aylish Cranstone continued her excellent form with the bat in the Charlotte Edwards Cup as South East Stars put an end to Central Sparks’ 100 per cent record in the competition, with a 10-run (D/L) win on a damp evening under the floodlights at Edgbaston on Sunday.

Even though the result sees the Stars remain second in their group, the Sparks’ advantage in Group B is now just a solitary point.

Chasing a revised D/L target of 102 in 12 overs, after rain interrupted their initial pursuit of 148 at 33 for two after 3.3, the Sparks mustered only 91 for seven, with leg-spinner Danielle Gregory taking 2-6 for South East Stars.

“It was a used wicket and we went into the game knowing it was going to be slow,” said Cranstone, who hit an unbeaten 59. “The spinners were getting some turn and it was holding up for the seamers, so it wasn’t easy to bat on.

“I was just glad to score some runs to support the team and the other batters did really well to support me.

“It was difficult to hit boundaries once we were out of the powerplay so we had to be clever where we hit the ball, which wasn’t easy with quite a small boundary.”

Cranstone, who is now the leading run-maker in this year’s Charlotte Edwards Cup, added: “Then with the ball we had to build pressure, so we went out with an attacking mindset.

“We were fortunate enough to get a couple of wickets up front in the powerplay before the rain and then, once we got back on, we kept the pressure on really well.”

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