doc

Surrey captain Gareth Batty has backed former Weybridge Cricket Club youngster Sam Curran to become a top all-rounder.

The 17-year-old, who played nine games for Weybridge last summer and one this year, hit a mature 39 in Saturday’s Royal London One Day Cup final six-run defeat to Gloucestershire.

Curran seemed to be steering his side to victory as they chased Gloucestershire’s 220 all out.

But the teenager was out on the first ball of the final over trying to clear the boundary with his Surrey – then on 214 for eight - needing seven runs to win, before Batty was the last man out two balls later.

And the veteran skipper, who shouldered the blame for the surprise defeat, tipped Curran for the top.

“He is very matures for his age,” said the captain, who won the toss and chose to bat first for the first time in the competition.

“He is a big character. Characters like him, where you can throw them into the big occasion and they flourish, do not come along very often.

“In his age group cricket he is considered more of a batsman, but I think he has the potential to become a top all-rounder.”

He added: “I changed the season’s formula for this game with that toss and take full responsibility for losing a game of cricket.

“The blame has got to fall somewhere and there is no way I will expect the young boys to take any criticism.”

Batty’s men had been cruising to victory at 143 for two with Kumar Sangakkara (60) and Rory Burns (56) at the crease, but their respective departures in the space of 13 balls left a frantic finish.

Curran, who only turned 17 in June, replaced Burns at the crease with less than14 overs to go and appeared in complete control- as Surrey collapsed to 214 for eight – until the last over.

Curran was caught by Benny Howell in the deep off the bowling of David Payne and Batty fell as he was caught at deep square leg by man of the match Jack Taylor.

Earlier, Jade Dernbach had claimed 6-35 as Gloucestershire recovered from the loss of prolific captain Michael Klinger for 0 off the third ball of the match to post a score.

The former England seamer returned at the death to clean up the Gloucestershire tail with a hat-trick to remover nine, 10 and 11 in successive balls.

Ashes winning wicket keeper Geraint Jones marked his last match with a half century and a trophy at Lord's.