Surrey’s Jamie Overton regains confidence – and underlines that after he terrorises on Taunton return

BY MARCUS HOOK

Jamie Overton puts his resurgence with Surrey down to a new found confidence. The 28-year-old fast bowler, who is delivering with bat as well as ball for the South Londoners, was back in Taunton this week, giving his former team-mates a working over.

His hostile spell, just before tea on day one of the championship clash, with, amongst others, his twin, Craig, at the crease and in the firing line was captivating. So much for brotherly love.

Unfortunately, Craig Overton and fellow all-rounder Josh Davey were on the wrong end of deliveries that rose alarmingly, putting both of them out of the game following failed concussion tests.

“I didn’t want to hit Craig,” said Jamie. “He made it clear straight away that he was okay, so I knew there was no cause for concern, but it was the first time I had bowled to him since moving to Surrey and quite a strange experience.

“To be honest, he didn’t play the delivery too well! Unfortunately, I then hit Josh as well, but I have seen him since and he is okay too.

Picture : Keith Gillard

“It wasn’t that quick a pitch. The ball swung and Somerset actually got a few more than we had hoped, but it was still a good day for us, especially as they opted to bat first.

“In my first two spells I was probably bowling within myself a little bit. The wicket was a little bit slow, so I was concentrating on putting the ball in the right areas. But then, I thought I’d try something else and bent my back.

“I don’t want to hit people on the head, but, bowling short, it’s part and parcel of being a fast bowler and you have to give it a try now and again.”

In the Vitality Blast, which resumes tonight with a re-run of the London derby, Overton has carved out a new role with the bat at Surrey.

In his last three visits to the crease in T20, he has smashed 27 off 11 balls against Kent, 48 off 21 against Glamorgan and 27 off 12 against Middlesex.

“I feel good,” said Overton. “In the last few games I’ve got us up to some decent scores. I’m relishing having that role and I’m trying to be the best I can be with it.

“We are going strongly. We all know our roles, which is the difference between us and other sides, so there’s a clarity when we go out to the middle.

“You can go in and play your own way and you’ve got no worries of getting out if you play a strong shot.

“It was nice to get some runs and get us up to a decent score against Middlesex last week. Anything over 180, you’re always happy. It was a good wicket, so we knew we had to bowl well.

“Our aim was just to bash the top of off-stump, and throw in a few cross seams and wobble seams, but just trying to keep it simple really. If you try and over-complicate it, that’s when you go for runs.

“Jason Roy got us off to a rollicking start. He played himself into a bit of form before going off to the Netherlands, but everyone is capable of contributing. It’s not just one person every game. Everyone has put their hand up at some point during the first seven group games.”

 

SURREY V MIDDLESEX (probable line-ups)

Surrey:
Jacks, Burns, Evans, Smith (wk), Narine, Pollard, J Overton, Clark, Jordan (capt), Worrall and Moriarty.

Middlesex
Eskinazi (capt), Holden, Cracknell, Simpson (wk), Davies, Hollman, Green, Andersson, Roland-Jones, Walallawita and Behrendorff.

Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine of Surrey warm up ahead of the Vitality T20 Blast match between Surrey and Hampshire Hawks. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

KEY PLAYERS
Sunil Narine (Surrey) – The former West Indies spinner has been nothing short of sensational in terms of his economy rate in the Blast (5.20 runs per over). In the all-time list, no other player, anywhere in the world, with 75 wickets or more in T20 cricket boasts a more miserly record.

Stevie Eskinazi (Middlesex) – Before he was bowled by Narine for a 21-ball 47 in last week’s clash, at Lord’s, Middlesex looked on course for victory in the first London derby. Such is the north Londoners’ lack of runs in this summer’s Vitality Blast, only Eskinazi and Joe Cracknell have hit half-centuries so far.

FORM GUIDE
Since winning their first three in this season’s Blast, Middlesex have suffered five losses on the trot. In the South Group, Somerset would appear to be the only side capable of challenging the dominance of Surrey, who, following Lancashire’s edge-of-your-seat loss to Durham, are now the only unbeaten side in the competition.

STAT
Surrey are approaching the landmark of 35,000 runs in domestic T20 cricket. They go into tonight’s clash against Middlesex at The Kia Oval with 34,989. By way of a comparison, their opponents have made 33,846 – all since 2003.

STAR MAN
Will Jacks, whose 88 and 62 against Somerset was the difference between the two sides.

BEST MOMENT
Surrey winning their first championship game at Taunton since 1986.

NEXT FIXTURES
June 17 – Surrey v Middlesex at The Kia Oval (Vitality Blast)
June 19 – Hampshire v Surrey at The Ageas Bowl (Vitality Blast)
June 21 – Surrey v Somerset at The Kia Oval (Vitality Blast)
June 23 – Sussex v Surrey at Hove (Vitality Blast)
24 June – Surrey v Essex at The Kia Oval (Vitality Blast)

 

 


 

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