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South Group (N), Hove, June 09, 2023, Vitality Blast
(14.5/20 ov, T:259) 134

Surrey won by 124 runs


Laurie Evans sparks mayhem as Surrey hammer Sharks

He shares second-wicket stand of 157 with Sam Curran as Surrey post their highest Blast total

Laurie Evans is on a roll  •  Getty Images

Laurie Evans is on a roll  •  Getty Images

Surrey 258 for 6 (Evans 93, S Curran 68) beat Sussex 134 (Clark 43, Narine 3-12) by 124 runs
Surrey's batters rampaged their way to a total of 258 for 6 as they hammered Sussex Sharks by 124 runs at the 1st Central County Ground, Hove, giving their run rate a boost on the way.
It was their highest ever score in the Vitaly Blast - and the fourth highest by any side - beating their 250 for 6 against Kent in 2018. It left for dead their previous best against Sussex at Hove, the 221 for 8 they scored here in 2004.
The Sussex bowlers had no chance as Surrey replicated their form of two days before, when they piled up 236 against Glamorgan. And once again it was Laurie Evans (93) and Sam Curran (68) who created most of the mayhem, with a second-wicket stand of 157, the highest for any wicket against Sussex. Surrey, one of the strongest sides in the competition, have lost just twice in eight outings - and one of those defeats, surprisingly, came against Sussex at The Oval last month.
Sussex had gone into the match after their thrilling four-run victory at Lord's the previous evening, but still knowing they had to win virtually all their remaining fixtures to progress in the competition.
They got off to an encouraging start when Nathan McAndrew bowled Will Jacks with the last delivery of the opening over. But that was as good as it got for them.
The form of Evans, who scored a century in the Glamorgan game, was a painful reminder of how many top-class white-ball players Sussex have lost in recent seasons. Evans was a member of the star-studded Sussex side that reached finals day in 2018, as was the Surrey captain, Chris Jordan.
After ten overs Surrey were 107 for 1 (they were 107 without loss at the same stage against Glamorgan). Evans reached his fifty off just 28 deliveries when he pulled Henry Crocombe to cow corner for six - over the hospitality tents in the south-east corner of the ground.
The 150 came up off the last ball of the 13th over, as Evans square-drove McAndrew for four. Curran was finally out at 163 when he edged Tymal Mills to short third man. He had hit six fours and four sixes, two in succession over wide mid-on.
Evans looked destined for his second hundred in three days but he was caught at wide mid-on by James Coles off the bowling of Crocombe. But for Surrey there was no loss of impetus as Jamie Overton thumped 24 runs off 11 balls and Tom Curran 29 off nine, with three sixes and two fours. Crocombe and Mills went for 51 and 50 runs respectively, while Fynn Hudson-Prentice's three overs cost 46. All the bowlers looked shell-shocked as they dragged themselves off the pitch.
Sussex needed 13 runs an over and their task looked hopeless, especially when they lost Coles, pulling to backward square-leg, in just the second over. But after five overs they were 54 for 1, and ahead of where Surrey had been at that stage. But then the impressive Tom Clark was stumped for a 23-ball 43.
It needed something special from the Sharks captain Ravi Bopara. But he had scored just one when he attempted a slog-sweep against Sunil Narine and skied the ball to the keeper.
The Sussex batters had to keep swinging in pursuit of their improbable target and, inevitably, the wickets tumbled as the required run rate soared to 20 an over. They were all out for 134 in the 15th over and after Clark, Tom Alsop and Danial Ibrahim tied for the second-best score, 17.

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