Surrey v Sussex, NatWest T20, The Oval June 13, 2014

Roy's dream sequence hammers Sussex

Vithushan Ehantharajah at The Oval

Surrey 149 for 0 (Roy 81*, Amla 61*) beat Sussex 148 for 5 (Joyce 45, Peterson 2-26) by ten wickets
Scorecard

This was a mauling, whichever way you play it. Sussex were missing key players in Michael Yardy, Chris Jordan and Matt Prior. But Surrey, on their patch, played out the match with the control of champions. They have bounced back from defeat here last week against Essex in the best way possible.

It was efficient and ruthless. They were frugal with the ball and deadly with the bat.

In Hashim Amla and Jason Roy, Surrey had two players at different phases of their career, in terms of reverence, working in tandem to eviscerate Sussex and see the team home to a first ever 10-wicket win in T20 cricket. The winning runs took the pair past Surrey's previous highest opening stand.

Amla has made his name; a batsman of great temperament, with a masters' appreciation of his art, empowered by sharp, hammer-like wrists. Roy has had his promising years. Gone are the days when his cameos were extrapolated to box-office knocks on the grandest stages, in front of the world.

In that parallel universe, he is not here, chasing a meager 149 for Surrey's third win of the NatWest T20 Blast campaign. He is not gifting £1,000 to a punter dressed as a banana by finding him in the OSC stand with a clean hit over mid-on off the bowling of Will Beer. In that world, he is on the other side of London, in England white, because of his ability to destroy some of the best bowling attacks in the world.

In reality, Roy has donned three lion whites. But only as help; a handful of 12th man duties earned through his fielding, which has been at a consistent high since he came onto the scene.

Admittedly, this is a tad melodramatic for a player who turns 24 next week. But there is little doubt that his talent alone is deserving of the bigger stage. Of course, without application, talent is almost useless.

Given the backing of Graham Ford and the Surrey hierarchy in the off-season with a new two-year contract, he has emerged this season with greater purpose. He says he feels more at ease with his game and it shows; his bat comes through that big crisper, his timing spot on.

Off the back of his career-best Championship score against Gloucestershire, in which he brought up three figures in just 55 balls, he looked unstoppable. While Amla took the usually unflustered Yasir Arafat for three consecutive fours through cover, Roy had his sights on Ashar Zaidi. Despite the left-arm spinner reinforcing the off-side of the ring in the third over, he was taken for four boundaries through that region, with each drive through cover that little bit squarer than the last.

Amla's influence on Roy was telling. At the halfway stage, he approached Roy, looked to the scoreboard and informed his younger partner that the start they had made - 94 after 10 - "don't usually happen". Roy, on 50 off 27 balls, agreed. "Next thing I knew, I looked up and we needed just eight to win." Currently, he leads the competition's scoring chart, with an average just over 71.

The boundaries were inviting without being garishly small, but Sussex were unable to make good use of them. Gary Wilson did not have to veer far from his playbook to keep the visitors in check. His bowling changes were formulaic and they did not need to be anything more. The seamers kept the lines tight and their pace varied, his slow bowlers kept it flat and on the money. Those on the boundary rope were alert to ensure there were no easy twos and those in-field choked the top order.

Luke Wright, Matt Machan and Rory Hamilton-Brown all fell attempting to break the shackles. With 10 overs and those three gone, Sussex had just 66 to their name.

Were it not for Ed Joyce and Ben Brown, Sussex would have had to settle for a miserly total. Their partnership of 76 helped the visitors go from 76 to their final total of 148 in the space of six overs including 42 off the last three.

In truth, it was never going to be enough, but it was taken to with disdain to send a raucous crowd home with satisfied appetites and Roy in their eyes.

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  • dummy4fb on June 14, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    ok, well, we can'twin a real match to save our lives but the thumping of a good side like sussex can only help surrey to believe we can be feared in one competition at least. cheerful again after letting glors off the hook? let's hope so

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