Timm van der Gugten produced match-winning figures of 4-14 as Glamorgan stunned Surrey at the Oval to win by eight-wickets to get their Natwest Blast season off to a dream start.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Steven Davies and Jason Roy set about getting the hosts off to a flyer and after a couple of early boundaries for the pair at 28 without loss after three overs, it looked as though the large Oval crowd could be set for some fireworks. Van der Gugten had other ideas though and he produced a fine spell of bowling to silence the home crowd. He first removed Davies for 11 who slashed to Craig Meschede. The Dutch international then struck the vital blow in the same over, Kumar Sangakkara edging a drive through to Chris Cooke behind the stumps.
In truth, the hosts never recovered from that double blow as wickets continued to tumble. Early in the next over the visitors were off celebrating again, Michael Hogan the man with the wicket as he induced a rash shot out of Jason Roy who skied a catch to Colin Ingram – who took a good tumbling catch to remove the England one-day opener for 15. It became 32/4 when Zafar Ansari edged Meschede through to Cooke to fall for a duck, suddenly you could hear a pin drop inside the Oval as Glamorgan continued to dominate.
Sam Curran and Gary Wilson attempted to lead a Surrey recovery and the pair shared 24 for the fifth wicket, in a stand dominated by Curran who struck four boundary fours in his 21 to get the crowd back on their feet, but he soon fell to the bowling of Meschede. The former Somerset man forcing the youngster into a loose stroke that found the grateful hands of David Lloyd. In the same over it got worse as Azhar Mahmood, who had saved the London club last week at Chelmsford with a match-winning knock set off for a single, only to tear his calf. The Pakistani all-rounder was forced to retire hurt and wasn’t able to return to the field for the remainder of the match.
His departure left the hosts effectively on 56/6 and in all sorts of bother that soon became 60/7 when the impressive Van der Gugten returned to bowl Wilson around his legs for 5. The Australian-born Dutchmen was not only picking up wickets but was also economical and he picked up a double wicket maiden when he trapped James Burke plumb in front for a duck to finish with excellent figures of 4-14 from his four overs.
The evergreen Dean Cosker returned to the attack to finish off the Surrey innings as the hosts limped to 93 before the spinner removed Tom Curran who found Meschede in the deep to fall for 20. In his next over Cosker rocked Pillans middle stump back to cap a brilliant team fielding display for the Welshmen.
In reply, the visitors coasted home to victory with Lloyd smashing six fours in his 21-ball stay for 31 before he hit Pillans down the throat of Gareth Batty. Colin Ingram came in and smashed the first six of the night during his eight-ball cameo for 11 before he went for one too many and was well held by Pillans off the bowling of Burke.
They had a cool head in the experienced Jacques Rudolph though, and he hit at just under a run-a-ball to lead his side home to a comfortable victory finishing 34 not out as his side ran home comfortable winners with seven-and-a-half overs to spare.
Report by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
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