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The Oval, September 22 - 25, 2015, LV= County Championship Division Two
(T:215) 410 & 125/5
(f/o) 110 & 514

Match drawn


Currans take all ten to dismantle Northants

Tom and Sam Curran became the first pair of brothers to account for all 10 wickets in a County Championship match since 1950 as they skittled out Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire 110 (T Curran 7-35, S Curran 3-46) and 223 for 1 (Duckett 116*, Wakely 93*) trail Surrey 410 (S Curran 61*) by 77 runs
Tom and Sam Curran became the first pair of brothers to account for all 10 wickets in a County Championship match since 1950, as they skittled out Northamptonshire in 29.5 overs, for just 110, at The Oval. It was Tom who took the older brother's share, with 7 for 35, while younger Sam was content with his lot of 3 for 46.
The last siblings to take 10 wickets between them in a Championship innings were Charles and Jack Oakes for Sussex against Somerset, 65 years ago. In 2011, Bernard and Nicolaas Scholtz of Namibia achieved the feat, against KwaZulu-Natal Inland, with slow left-arm and legspin respectively. Chances are neither the Oakes nor the Scholtzs sported a man-bun or were facing a winter of A-Level coursework while doing so.
There was an absurdity to the events: combined figures of 10 for 81 at a combined age of 37 - the same as Gareth Batty or Kumar Sangakkara, who watched on from mid-on and first slip as Northants suffered first-innings death by a thousand Currans. What's more, their late father Kevin used to play for Northants.
The differences between the brothers stand out: mostly, the hair. Tom tightens his top-knot on the way back to his mark; Sam brushes his side sweep out of the way, which also bounces during his scurry to the crease.
The similarities seem ingrained: neither has a pronounced leap just before delivery, instead they use a little skip that has them hovering to the crease, like cartoon characters scampering out of harm's way. They even broach disappointment in the same way: "ooh"ing then turning back to look to the skies before settling on identical teapots. There wasn't too much of that here.
Were it not for Sam's freakish end of season, most of the fawning could easily have been directed Tom's way. In just his second season of Championship cricket, he has taken 74 wickets. This demolition job was not even his best figures of the summer - those being an earlier seven-wicket haul against Gloucestershire, for the concession of just 20 runs.
After his eighth over of the Northants first innings, in which he tempted Rob Keogh into an edge to Jason Roy at second slip with some late movement and trapped Adam Rossington lbw with more of the same three balls later, he walked away like a bowler who had more than 500 overs in his shoulders. But this was a swagger rather than a slump.
He is not shy of a few words to opposing batsmen and his celebrations speak volumes. When Graeme White was made to look a fool by a delivery which decked in a mile and clipped his off-stump, he jogged on, spreading out his arms, drinking in his own brilliance. He has all the bolshiness of a 20-year-old and plenty of talent to back it up. It was often said Kevin that people would misunderstand his confidence as arrogance. The same can be said of Tom.
This was noticed early on by coaches at Surrey who were surprised by how quickly Tom assimilated into the academy side during a tour of Cape Town in 2012. It was not a tour he started on - Tom had been invited to train with the Surrey party after impressing former county captain Ian Greig while playing school's cricket in South Africa.
Gareth Townsend, director of Surrey's academy, who has worked with some of the most talented youngsters in the country, is still struck by how easily bowling comes to him. "The first thing you identify with a young player is how you can push them to be better. With Tom, it was about ensuring he just keeps doing what he does."
As for Sam, his arm-speed did for Rob Newton, who was stationary on the crease for an lbw that looked a tad harsh as it might have been sliding down. A fine take from Gary Wilson, off David Murphy's inside edge was followed by Maurice Chambers playing across the line while in front of all three. After each vociferous appeal, he broke back into character and swept his hair aside once more.
It looked like things would continue to fall their way, as Tom removed Newton just three balls into Northants' follow-on innings. But from there, Alex Wakely and Ben Duckett batted through till stumps, compiling 223 runs - a club record for the second wicket against Surrey. Duckett completed an exceptional hundred, his fourth of the season, off 123 balls to show those present that exciting young talent doesn't just exist in south London.
Duckett glanced to his left while walking off to take in the electronic scoreboard which had his three-figure score beaming back at him to take a mental picture. Hours earlier, people were queuing up to take a picture of it, as Northants' Curran-ridden first-innings card was left up a little longer. People left the Oval with history - and two of them were Currans.

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LV= County Championship Division Two