Liam Dawson takes Hampshire to win over Surrey in Royal London Cup
A superlative all-round performance by Liam Dawson propelled holders Hampshire to the fifth win of their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign, and to the top of the south group, with Surrey being seen off by 53 runs at the Kia Oval.
All-rounder Dawson, so unlucky in many eyes not to be included in England’s preliminary World Cup squad, continued fine early season form by hitting a 93-ball 108 in Hampshire’s 307 all out and then taking 2 for 39 with his accurate left-arm spin as Surrey were dismissed in reply for 254 in 46.2 overs.
Dawson, who hit four sixes and seven fours, now has 232 runs at an average of 46.40 in the competition so far, plus 13 wickets at just 18.00 from his 59 overs bowled, at an econony rate of just under four runs per over. If England’s one-day team needs him over the next couple of months, he is clearly ready.
Watched by John Emburey, a member of England’s scouting panel with particular responsibility for monitoring spinners, 29-year-old Dawson came in at No 6 with Hampshire stuttering somewhat at 124 for 4 after being put in by injury-weakened Surrey.
Tom Alsop had gone early for a duck, well caught at slip by Rory Burns off Stuart Meaker, and after some glorious shots – one of his five fours was a magnificent back foot force through mid off – James Vince was bowled for 28 by a superb ball from Meaker that beat the batsman’s forward defensive to clip the top of off stump.
Sam Northeast played nicely for 24 before being bowled by a Ryan Patel nip-backer that looked to have caught a thin inside edge before disturbing the stumps and Rilee Rossouw was also castled by medium pacer Patel, making his List A debut, for 14.
Meaker, the pick of Surrey’s seamers with 3 for 58, later sent back Gareth Berg for 15, caught in the deep, but was withdrawn from the attack when sending down a second full toss over waist high towards the end of his ninth over.
By then Dawson had rallied Hampshire, initially in a partnership of 77 in 14 overs for the fifth wicket with the impressive South African opener Aiden Markram, whose 88 from 90 balls featured nine fours.
Markram eventually fell to a good running catch at deep mid wicket off Will Jacks’ off spin and paceman Conor McKerr, who had suffered earlier at the hands of Vince, who hit him for three fours in one over, returned strongly to snap up three lower order wickets – first that of Aneurin Donald for 12 and then James Fuller and Kyle Abbott in successive balls.
?? HAMPSHIRE WIN! ??@Kyle_Abbott87 picks up the final wicket, removing Meaker (27) who holes out in the deep, dismissing @surreycricket for 254 and securing @OneDayCup victory by 54 runs! ?? pic.twitter.com/aLm7pqgDvr— Hampshire Cricket (@hantscricket) April 30, 2019
Dawson, who reached three figures with a four swatted past mid on off McKerr, flipped Jordan Clark’s seam-up for six behind square leg at the start of the final over before being caught on the boundary from the next ball.
Surrey’s reply only really threatened when openers Mark Stoneman and Jacks put on 66 with some ease – Jacks playing one gorgeous straight drive for four and then flicking fast bowler Brad Wheal almost contemptuously for six to wide long leg.
Dawson, who had been brought on to bowl the 11th over, made the breakthrough in his second over when he turned one enough to have Jacks caught at the wicket for 29.
Dean Elgar got himself into a tangle against a short ball from Fuller on 5 and gloved a catch to keeper Alsop, and Stoneman’s excellent 70 off 68 balls, with a six and 10 fours, ended tamely when he miscued Markram’s off spin to point.
A promising 19 from Ben Foakes also finished in disappointing fashion when, aiming towards mid on against Berg’s medium pace, he lobbed a catch to mid off.
Dawson struck again when he had Burns caught for 38 in his penultimate over and, with 132 more runs still needed from the last 15 overs, the Surrey innings slid to 202 for eight, as Abbott and Fuller whittled their way through the lower order, before some defiant late blows from Freddie van den Bergh and especially Meaker, who flipped an extraordinary six over the keeper’s head off Abbott before holing out on the cover boundary next ball for 27.
Hampshire have now won five of their six group matches and are close to securing qualification to the knock-out stages, but for Surrey it was a fifth defeat in six games and only Kent are below them in the south group.
Liam Dawson said: “I am not thinking about England. If I was to get called up, brilliant. But you can’t worry about it.
“This was a massive win for us after the loss against Essex at Chelmsford, and it really sets us up for Thursday’s game against Sussex at home, which is another huge match.
“We want to win the group because then you go straight to a home semi-final and you’re only one match away from a cup final.
“With the bat I tried to be sensible when I got in today and things came off for me.Playing a lot of franchise cricket, even though it’s T20, has helped me to react to pressure situations. Getting 300 was a decent score and we were confident about defending it even on a good wicket.”
Surrey head coach Michael Di Venuto said: “We don’t seem to be able to put together a whole game in this competition so far- our bowling wasn’t bad today and I thought it was a gettable total on a good surface with one short boundary and a fast outfield.
“We started pretty well and we needed around 150 from the last 20 overs with seven wickets in hand. But then we played some pretty ordinary cricket.”
Surrey - Mark Stoneman, Will Jacks, Dean Elgar, Rory Burns(c), Ben Foakes(wk), Jamie Smith, Jordan Clark, Ryan Patel, Stuart Meaker, Freddie van den Bergh, Conor McKerr
Hampshire - Tom Alsop(wk), Aiden Markram, James Vince(c),, Sam Northeast, Rilee Rossouw, Liam Dawson, Aneurin Donald, James Fuller, Gareth Berg, Kyle Abbott, Brad Wheal
© Cricket World 2019