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Harrison Ward
Match Report

Sharks vs Surrey: Defeat at Hove

15 Jun 2024

Sharks vs Surrey: Match Report

Ruthless Surrey replaced Sussex Sharks at the top of the Vitality Blast South Group after a54 runs win at The 1st Central County Ground.

Sussex came into the contest on the back of a three-match winning streak including a 36-runs victory at the Kia Oval last week. 

But they never recovered after losing three wickets in the first four overs and were bowled out for 130 in 18.1 overs chasing 185 by a highly effective Surrey attack. 

Australian Spencer Johnson removed Harrison Ward and James Coles in the opening over of a quality new-ball spell and when Sean Abbott accounted for Daniel Hughes, who came into the contest with 224 runs in his previous five Blast games, Sussex were 24 for 3 and up against it. 

John Simpson made 25, Jack Carson 24 and Fynn Hudson-Prentice 23 but this was a reality check for Sussex against a Surrey team who have four wins and a tie from their first six matches. 

In front of a 4,800 full house Surrey had been put in and their 184 for 8 was dominated by Lawrie Evans’ 41 and Jamie Smith’s 45. It always looked a competitive score on a pitch at The 1st Central County Ground which offered movement for the seamers throughout.  

Evans took charge against his old county after Ollie Robinson had Dan Lawrence caught at short third off the fourth ball of the innings, sharing 67 in 37 balls alongside Dom Sibley with 19 runs coming off successive overs by Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Nathan McAndrew in a power play that yielded 66.

Both fell in successive overs with Evans held at deep backward-square in Sussex skipper Tymal Mills’ first over as three wickets fell in nine balls in the middle of the innings. 

Only 22 runs were scored between the eighth and 11th overs but Smith picked up the tempo again after Ollie Pope, who made an unbeaten 99 in a losing cause when the teams met last Friday, was caught behind for a duck attempting to ramp Robinson.

Smith and Rory Burns, deputising for Jason Roy who had a calf injury, put on 69 off 37 balls for the fifth wicket with Smith muscling the ball over the rope four times in his 45 from 28 deliveries before he was caught trying to clear long on. Danny Lamb, who mixed up his pace and lengths effectively, finished with 3 for 36.

Ward had made 68 on Friday in Sussex’ win over Essex but here he spliced a pull off the second ball of the match before Johnson bowled Coles through the gate with a nip-backer. When Hughes got a thin edge to Abbott’s lifter Surrey’s celebrations reflected the importance of his wicket.  

Simpson and Tom Alsop put on 32 but Gus Atkinson picked up Simpson with his second ball and Lawrence removed Alsop with his first. When Tom Curran struck off successive deliveries in his second over Sussex's race was run, although Robinson and Jack Carson at least added 34 for the ninth wicket to restrict the damage to their net run rate.

Report provided by ECB Reporters' Network 

Reaction from Sharks skipper Tymal Mills

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