Sussex 134 all out
Surrey win by 124 runs
In a commanding batting display, Surrey hit their highest ever T20 total before the feeble Sussex Sharks capitulated in the second innings, losing by 124 runs at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove.
Laurie Evans’s masterful 93 off 51 balls led the visitors to 258 for 6 from their 20 overs – the fourth-highest T20 blast total of all time.
He was supported admirably by the aggressive Sam Curran. From 35 balls, Curran smashed a blistering 68 runs.
After a steady start, the all-rounder took on Shadab Khan, heaving the leg-spinner for four before unleashing a monstrous slog-swept six in the seventh over.
Evans also got in on the act as the lacklustre Khan was belted for 43 runs from his three overs.
The pair shared a second-wicket stand of 157 before Curran edged a wide Khan delivery to Mills at backward point.
Having left Sussex for the visitors three years ago, Evans returned with a point to prove. In the third over, he flicked Nathan McAndrew for consecutive fours as the onslaught began.
After several forceful blows, the opener went to fifty in the ninth over, slogging Henry Crocombe for six over Cow Corner.
The 21-year-old bowler has enjoyed a successful start to the season but leaked 51 runs in the first innings. He managed to somewhat save his figures in his penultimate over, claiming the crucial wickets of Jamie Overton and the excellent Evans – both caught in the deep.
Yet there would be no let up in Surrey runs once their talisman fell. From nine balls, Tom Curran hit five freakish boundaries to reach 31 before departing to Tymal Mills with one over to spare.
Mills also claimed the wicket of Jamie Smith who picked out Gully from his first ball. However, he and McAndrew were not excused from the mauling, Evans and co plundering a combined 97 runs off the pair.
In reply, Sussex had no choice but to attack. Opener Tom Clark did just that, clipping a classy boundary off the innings’ first ball.
He continued taking risks against the off-spin of Will Jacks which yielded consecutive fours in the fourth over.
Jacks would claim his revenge in the final over of the powerplay. Eager to continue the attack, Clark ran down the wicket and completely missed a looping delivery. Wicketkeeper Jamie Smith removed the bails.
The home side then completely crumbled, succumbing to Surrey’s excellent spinners, and were all out for just 134.
West Indian star Sunil Narine was the pick of their bowlers, taking three wickets and conceding just 12 runs despite his opponents’ attacking intent. He extracted the top edges of both Ravi Bopara and Nathan McAndrew after foxing Fynn Hudson-Prentice, who was out caught and bowled.
Cameron Steel also took three wickets although his came at the expense of 41 runs.
After conceding a couple of boundaries, he bowled Michael Burgess with a flatter, turning delivery before Daniel Ibrahim was caught in the deep and Tymal Mills stumped.
Tom Lawes was the only seamer to have any success for the visitors, claiming the wickets of Tom Alsop, bowled, and Shadab Khan, caught at point.
The victory keeps Surrey second in their T20 Blast group while Sussex languish in second last.
After the game, Sussex Sharks head coach Paul Farbrace said: “We’ve got so much to learn as a bowling group and all we can do is keep chipping away at that learning.
“It’s not just on the players. It’s on the coaches as well. And we’ve got to think about how we’re going to help this team and help individuals improve.
“Every game is any opportunity … It’s an opportunity for every player in our squad to show they deserve to be here.
“They can show they want to be here by their performances or they can shrink and hide and they’re not people for us going forward. Every game is an opportunity. It really is.”