CAMERON Delport smashed an astonishing 129 from only 49 balls as Essex crushed Surrey by 52 runs in their Vitality Blast battle at Chelmsford that had been reduced to 15 overs per side because of a rain delay.

It was carnage that had the crowd repeatedly taking evasive action as a torrent of sixes rained down upon them.

In all Delport cleared the ropes on fourteen occasions while recording the fastest century in the competition by an Essex player.

He reached three figures from only 38 deliveries but was not the only one that had the spectators ducking for cover as Essex ran up a remarkable 226 for 4.

Dan Lawrence joined in the big-hitting spectacular with an unbeaten 57 from 22 balls that included six sixes and two fours. He reached his half-century from just 17 deliveries while creating another slice of Essex history.

It was the fastest 50 for the county in the competition and with Delport added 135 in only seven overs.

Delport walked off to a standing ovation after being caught on the long-on boundary of Jade Durnbach, the only Surrey bowler who emerged with decent figures.

His permitted three overs went for only 21 while in complete contrast Tom Curran conceded 63 in his permitted three overs while being hammered for six sixes and five fours.

Surrey needed something bordering on the miraculous if they were to make a fight of it and Will Jacks very briefly suggested the impossible might be achieved.

He smashed four successive fours in Shane Snater’s opening over and then dispatched the first two deliveries from Matt Quinn for six.

But in the same over, one which proved remarkable, he was caught at mid-wicket by Ravi Bopara.

That was the first of three wickets that Quinn collected in the space of four deliveries as Surrey crashed to 32 for four.

Sam Curran was caught behind while Ben Foakes was caught in the deep. Adam Zampa then weighed in with the dismissal of Rikki Clarke, the third duck of the innings as the visitors lurched from one disaster to another.

Aaron Finch who watched the demise of his colleagues at the other end did his best to give the Surrey innings a hint of respectability by making 40 from 19 balls, that included two sixes and four fours, before he was bowled by Bopara.

Tom Curran’s night to forget was compounded by him scoring only four runs before he became a victim of Snater.

Rory Burns and Jordan Clark also died bravely whilst scoring 47 not out and 45 respectively at better than a run a ball as they posted a partnership of 79 in 7 overs late in the innings but it was not enough to save Surrey from their first defeat at the hands of Essex in five matches in the competition, as their innings closed on 174 for 7.

THE TURNING POINT: Surrey’s uphill task was made mountainous when Matt Quinn took three wickets in four balls in their second over after the first deliveries had been smacked for sixes by Will Jacks.

SHOT OF THE MATCH: The maximum blow by Delport that cleared the boundary to bring up the 100 and was well on its way into the next county before it landed!

UNSUNG HERO: On another day, Dan Lawrence would have attracted more attention for his 58 from 22 balls that included six maximum blows.

WHAT’S NEXT: Next up for Essex is a match against Kent at Canterbury and therefore they have the opportunity to hone their skills in this discipline of the game. Meanwhile Surrey are back in action on Tuesday with a London “Derby” against Middlesex at what is expected to be a packed Kia Oval.