OLLIE Pope warmed up for his Test recall by launching Surrey’s Vitality Blast charge with an exciting victory over Glamorgan.

They won by four wickets with one ball to spare in front of a 16,000 crowd at the Kia Oval on Friday, Pope heavily involved first keeping wicket and then hitting 62 from 64 balls before being dismissed in the penultimate over, when nine were still required.

He was followed two balls later by Jordan Clark (17), which left Surrey in danger of losing a match they had seemed to have under control after being set 174, but Jamie Overton (6no) and T20 skipper Chris Jordan (3no) settled the matter.

Pope was one of many England players to suffer a disastrous Ashes campaign during the winter and was left out of the side on the subsequent tour to West Indies. But new captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum have recalled the 24-year-old for the series against New Zealand, which is launched at Lord’s this week, and have asked him to bat at number three – something he has never done before in a first-class match – following fine form in the early weeks of the season.

So far he has scored 417 at 69.5 apiece, a factor in Surrey heading the LV County Championship Division One table.

Runs in any format are always welcome and Pope was delighted with Friday’s success – but only to an extent. He explained: “We are really happy with the win but should have finished it off an over earlier.

“I’m pretty disappointed with the way I got out as I should have seen us over the line from that position. That’s the lesson for me – be there at the end.”

Pope was one of five victims for veteran Australian paceman Michael Hogan, who kept Glamorgan in the match, and admitted: “Michael Hogan bowled a really good 19th over but it was a very good pitch to bat on and we felt they were 10 runs or so under par. Fortunately we got there in the end.”

Surrey’s preparations for the first stage of the Blast had been badly disrupted by bad weather and they found themselves up against a Glamorgan side who have an excellent T20 record at the Oval and had beaten Sussex 24 hours earlier.

Sent in by new captain Jordan, their 173-5 was built around Sam Northeast’s 65 from 51 deliveries, keeper Chris Cooke also hitting a rapid 46 from 27 balls which included four fours and two sixes. West Indian spinner Sunil Narine’s debut for Surrey brought 1-17 from four tight overs, opening his account when Reece Topley leapt for a dramatic catch to remove Kiran Carlson (9).

The lofty paceman’s evening went downhill when he conceded 24 runs off the 19th over as Glamorgan reached 173-5. Hogan then removed both Jason Roy, having made 15 on his first appearance of the season following a lengthy lay-off, and Will Jacks (6) in the third over.

Pope was soon ticking over though, first in company with Laurie Evans (23) and then added 62 in six overs with Sam Curran (36), going on to reach his half-century with two outrageous reverse-flipped fours off Dan Douthwaite. He flat-batted another boundary in the same over to take toll of the former Reed’s School pupil.

Hogan’s return to remove Curran, Pope and then Clark almost tipped the balance but it wasn’t quite enough.

Surrey entertained Gloucestershire at The Oval on Tuesday, with Hampshire visiting on Bank Holiday Thursday. A frantic schedule sees Jordan and his men head to Canterbury on Friday for the second jubilee holiday match, the return tie against Glamorgan at Cardiff coming on Sunday before hosting Sussex on Wednesday.

Vitality Blast T20 fixtures (all home matches at the Kia Oval) – June 2: Hampshire; June 3: Kent (Canterbury); June 5: Glamorgan (Cardiff); June 8: Sussex; June 9: Middlesex (Lord’s); June 17: Middlesex; June 19: Hampshire (Ageas Bowl); June 21: Somerset; June 23: Sussex (Hove); June 24: Essex (Chelmsford); July 1: Kent; July 3: Somerset (Taunton).

Tickets available at kiaoval.com