Cricket matches these days are almost turning out to be like movies. They have suspense, nail biting finishes, historic moments and at times they’re poised with the impossible so much so that the numbers begin to appear fictional. Something similar had happened in the Friends Provident Trophy back in April 29, 2007. The English county team Surrey smashed a stunning 496-4 in 50 overs in their match against Gloucestershire. As Surrey achieved this stellar total, they also raced towards the world record for the highest team total in limited overs cricket. So what exactly was the story line of this historic match? Who portrayed the knight in the shining armour? Here are some numbers and twists from the match;
Surrey openers Ali Brown and James Benning were the protagonists as the two shared an opening stand of 294, before their collaboration was broken as 37-year old Brown was dismissed for 176 off 97 balls. The innings was studded with 20 fours and eight sixes. The Surrey batsman’s century had come off just 50 balls.
Benning played the anchor while Brown took pleasure in playing the aggressor. Benning’s innings was comparatively more composed as the opener scored 152 of 134 balls having hit 15 fours and four sixes, before being dismissed by Gloucestershire’s Anthony Ireland. However there was no respite for Gloucestershire as came in the supporting cast. Rikki Clarke, came in at No. 4, and played a cameo with a quick fire 82 off a mere 28 balls. At the end of the first innings the score board was definitely not something the Gloucestershire team would have liked to look at. The visitors had conceded 22 sixes and 47 fours in total.
Despite having a humungous target to be chased Gloucestershire made a steady start as they scored fluent 44 before losing a wicket. But the flow was broken with a marvellous delivery from Surrey’s Mohammad Akram who clean bowled opener Kadeer Ali for 18. Gloucestershire began stumbling as Craig Spearman soon followed Ali as he was clean bowled by Azhar Mahmood in the seventh over. Although Mark Hardinges and Stephen Adshead scored 50’s in their stand of 114, there were no hopes for a miraculous turn around as Gloucestershire had began falling like a back of cards. Gloucestershire were bundled up for 239 in 34.1 overs courtesy some fine bowling by Surrey’s Mohammad Akram (4-36) and Chris Schofield (3-38).
Surrey’s cricket manager, Alan Butcher was elated yet stayed grounded and spoke to The Guardian about their innings; “It was a pleasure to watch. You won’t see too many matches like this in one-day cricket where a team racks up this many runs. Conditions were very good for batting but it was still an incredibly faultless display by the likes of Ali Brown, James Benning and Rikki Clarke. These kind of performances will really hold us in good stead for the rest of the competition. I was really pleased at our courageous effort on the final day of our Championship match with Hampshire, getting so close to what was a huge fourth innings victory target, and now today’s display really shows how destructive our line up can be.”
It has been ten years ever since Surrey reached the feat and it still holds the record for the highest limited overs total;
Here is a list of five highest scores in limited overs cricket:
Surrey – 496/4 (29 Apr 2007)
Nottingham – 445/8 (6 Jun 2016)
England – 444/3 (30 Aug 2016)
Sri Lanka – 443/9 (4 Jul 2006)
South Africa- 439/2 (18 Jan 2015).