BY MARCUS HOOK
Jason Roy was ruled out of Surrey’s final Vitality Blast group game against Glamorgan due to a self-inflicted facial injury and is currently sitting out the four-day County Championship match against Lancashire at the Oval while further medical investigations are conducted to ascertain the extent of the damage.
The 28-year-old England batsman suffered the blow last Wednesday after throwing a bat in frustration, following his dismissal in Surrey’s seven-wicket victory against Hampshire. However, news of the injury did not emerge for another 24 hours.
Roy was quoted as saying: “I’m extremely embarrassed and apologetic to my team-mates and fans for this moment of stupidity.
“I want to apologise to Surrey as a club and all the members. Following my dismissal, I threw my bat into the ground purely out of self-frustration. It bounced, hit me, and as a result I sustained the injury.
“I’ve never been so motivated and so positive about my game, and I assure you I will learn from my mistake as I am my own biggest critic.
“In the meantime, I’ll be doing all I can to support the team as we aim to finish the season successfully.”
Sophia Dunkley’s final over heroics against Western Storm on Saturday settled a breathtaking contest and sent Surrey Stars through to next Monday’s Kia Super League finals day at Hove.
With three runs required, Dunkley struck the winning blow to set-up a repeat fixture, as the two sides now need to slug it out again (in the second versus third place play-off) to determine who will face table toppers Loughborough Lightning in the final.
England captain Heather Knight’s 62 had looked to have given Western Storm the initiative after they were put in to bat. But Lizelle Lee’s brutal 48 and Bryony Smith (39) kept Stars in the hunt ahead of the tense finish.
Anya Shrubsole returned to attack to have Lee caught by Stafanie Taylor in the covers for 48 from 28 balls. Taylor then deceived namesake Sarah Taylor, bowling her for just one.
When Smith fell to a stunning catch in the deep by Danielle Gibson, three wickets had fallen for five runs in the space of eight balls.
Stars skipper Nat Sciver (30) and all-rounder Dane van Niekerk (25) then did just enough before leaving it to Dunkley to see Surrey over the line with two deliveries to spare.
Sciver said: “It was really to-and-fro, wasn’t it? Heather batted very well and showed us how to play on that wicket.
“But we had a really good opening partnership, which managed to nullify the opening bowlers and allow us to have all our wickets in hand at the end of the powerplay.
“Sides need four fielders out instead of two when Lizelle and Bryony play like that. They assessed the situation really well and took their opportunities when they could.
“It got tense, but that is cricket, isn’t it? It brings pressure, but we managed to build a partnership again, between myself and Dane.”
Surrey have won the race to capture Lancashire all-rounder Jordan Clark, who has signed a three-year contract, starting next season.
The news comes just three weeks after it was announced that Yorkshire and England’s Liam Plunkett will be coming to the Kia Oval, also on a three-season deal.
In 2013, Clark became the first English professional cricketer to achieve the feat of hitting six sixes in an over, during a Lancashire second team match at Scarborough.
More recently, the 27-year-old became only the second man to take a hat-trick in a Roses Championship game, when he dismissed Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow – all of whom are in the top 10 of the ICC’s Test batting rankings – at Old Trafford in July.
Clark, who was described on the Lancashire CCC website as being “unavailable for selection” for his county’s current four-day game against Surrey at the Oval, has made 156 appearances for Lancashire in all formats, taking 150 wickets and hitting over 3,000 runs.
Clark is also averaging 34.28 with the bat and 27.34 with the ball in this year’s Specsavers County Championship.
Clark told Surrey CCC’s official website: “I’m really excited at the prospect of joining Surrey. I’m at the stage of my career where I want to challenge myself to see how far I can go in the game and feel I need a change of scene to push me on.
“I look forward to getting to the Oval and joining such a talented squad. At the same time, I’d like to thank everyone at Lancashire for their support over the last few years and wish them well for the future.”