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Curran dominates Derby bunfight

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Tom Curran demonstrated his considerable promise with a career-best five-wicket haul that spearheaded an impressive Surrey bowling performance as Derbyshire collapsed to 153 all out on the opening day of the LV= County Championship match at the 3aaa County Ground.

The 19-year-old South Africa-born seamer bowled with pace and control to take 5-51 from 17.4 overs in only his sixth first-class match while Jade Dernbach returned 3-3 in eight balls as Derbyshire lost their last seven wickets for 53 runs in 77 deliveries.

Marcus North top-scored with 44 but it was a disappointing batting performance by Derbyshire and, although Mark Footitt removed Rory Burns with the second ball of Surrey's reply, Hashim Amla played some cultured strokes as the visitors reached 44 for one when bad light forced an early close.

Surrey's bowlers had toiled all day at Bristol on Thursday for a single Gloucestershire wicket but they were soon in business after Derbyshire decided to bat on an overcast and muggy morning.

There was swing and movement off the seam to encourage Surrey's pace attack and Chris Tremlett rattled Stephen Moore's helmet grille with a ball that lifted alarmingly before Paul Borrington had to call for the physio after he was rapped painfully on the glove by the England fast bowler.

Only eight runs came in the first 35 minutes but the openers appeared to have survived the worst when Curran showed why Surrey rate him so highly by striking twice in successive overs.

Moore was hit painfully on the side of the knee as he crouched to try and play one that kept low and Wayne Madsen edged a ball that lifted and moved away and was caught behind.

Curran maintained a consistently good line at decent pace and troubled all the batsmen, although it was the left-arm spin of Zafar Ansari that snared Borrington who pulled a short ball to midwicket after battling through 26 overs for 17.

North made batting look less demanding and briefly threatened to take the initiative away from the bowlers with some flourishing strokes either side of lunch. Curran was pulled for four while Tremlett was twice driven down the ground when he returned at the City End.

North was even more severe on Dernbach, straight-driving and pulling him for four boundaries in 11 balls, but the England paceman responded by having the Australian caught behind.

Alex Hughes fenced at his second ball with minimal foot movement and was snared at third slip by Ansari, while Scott Elstone was brilliantly caught by Amla diving at first slip when the ball appeared to have gone past him.

Derbyshire's decline continued when David Wainwright, fresh from his century at Grace Road last week, went without scoring when he drove loosely at Curran and gave Ansari another catch before Tony Palladino was caught behind off an inside edge.

Gareth Cross played some defiant shots but top-edged a pull at Tremlett to mid-on and Tom Taylor became Curran's fifth victim when he sliced a drive to fourth slip where Vikram Solanki held a sharp catch.

The domination of the bowlers looked set to continue when Burns was lbw playing back to Footitt and Amla survived a loud appeal against Tony Palladino but he was beginning to assert himself when the umpires decided the light was not good enough, even with the floodlights on, and play was abandoned at 6.20pm.

Derbyshire's elite performance director Graeme Welch said: "It was quite difficult in the morning, it nipped around a little bit but I think we could have put up a little bit more fight after lunch. They got their tails up, Dernbach bowled well and so did the young lad Curran but we gave too much width to Amla and they've got off to a bit of a flier."

Surrey spinner Gareth Batty said: "It was an exceptional day. The spell in the middle from Jade and TC (Curran) was quite incredible. They bowled immaculately well and complimented each other.

"Tom bowled really well and it was quite a long spell for a young fella; to command a spell for that long and keep going was really impressive but he's been impressive all season and it's nice that he gets the rewards with the wickets."

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