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Tom Curran surprised several South Africa batsman with his speed Getty Images

By Julian Guyer

Taunton: England newcomer Tom Curran believes he can bowl even quicker after taking three wickets on his international debut. Although he appears slightly-built the Surrey paceman surprised several South Africa batsman with his speed on the way to figures of three for 33 in his maximum allowed four overs in the second Twenty20 international at Taunton on Friday. And even if his haul could not prevent South Africa winning by three runs to square the three-match series at 1-1 heading into Sunday’s finale at Cardiff, the lively Curran’s return could yet prove to be of greater significance to England than this result. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs South Africa 2017 – 3rd T20I at Cardiff

It took Curran just two balls to strike, removing Proteas opener Reeza Hendricks. He also accounted for Chris Morris before a excellent yorker bowled Andile Phehlukwayo for a golden duck. England captain Eoin Morgan reckoned Curran had got quicker to face and the bowler himself said he was reaping the rewards of some hard work in the off-season. “Coming out of school I’ve had my first couple of summers with Surrey,” he said. “I’ve bowled a lot of overs and that limited how my pace was. But I worked hard in the gym this winter and gathered a yard. So that’s positive. You get stronger, you get to know your action a bit more and you’re just developing. I’m still only 22 and hopefully as I get older I can put on a couple more yards.”

Curran, the son of the late Zimbabwe all-rounder Kevin, was born in Cape Town, where he played representative schools cricket. But it was there too that he was ‘spotted’ by former Surrey captain Ian Greig. The ex-England International s intervention led to the then 17-year-old Curran playing Second XI cricket for Surrey in 2012 and the following year he made his first-team debut for the London-based club. ENG vs SA 2017, 3rd T20I at Cardiff, preview and likely XI: Stage set for a thrilling decider

Brotherly ambition

In time, he was joined by younger brother Sam, currently involved with the second-string England Lions. Many successful Surrey sides have featured sets of brothers, be it the Bedser twins, Alec and Eric, who starred in the club’s run of seven consecutive County Championship titles in the 1950s or the Bicknells, Darren and Martin, who featured in the team that won three Championships at the turn of the century.

But Tom’s hope is that he and Sam will following in the footsteps of Adam and the late Ben Hollioake, team-mates of the Bicknells, by playing in the same England team. “We’re both taking small steps at a time and hopefully this is the start of a long career with England for myself,” Tom said. “The dream is to play for England with my brother and I guess you could stay this is the start,” added Curran, whose grandfather also played first-class cricket, for Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe] when the country took part in South Africa’s domestic competition before it gained independent international status. JJ Smuts credits AB de Villiers’ captaincy for 3-run win in 2nd T20I

Tom Curran was called up halfway across the world to England’s senior squad in the Caribbean as cover for the injured Jake Ball in March after impressing in the Lions’ unofficial ‘Tests’ in Sri Lanka. “I was obviously disappointed not to play in the Caribbean, but it was a great experience for me to be around that environment for the first time,” said Curran.

He added: “I was backing my skills and I knew when I got my chance I would be ready. But I don’t think anything can prepare you for when you actually get out there the nerves, the adrenaline. Being critical there’s a few things I would improve on, but if you’d offered me those figures at the start of the day I would have bitten your arm off.”