Another week, another heavy Surrey defeat to contemplate. It almost seemed unfair that the Hove groundstaff had to get out of bed on a Sunday in order to complete the mere formality of a Sussex win this morning. And complete it they did, in style, it took them barely 45 minutes to take the last Surrey wicket and knock off the 33 runs needed for victory. Sussex certainly look too good for this division and completely outclassed us.
So I thought I'd take a "quick" look at Surrey's last 33 matches, i.e. every game since the start of the 2008 season (only the Lancashire game at Old Trafford saw no cricket at all), to see how things are progressing. A few quick stats which I'm sure all Surrey fans are aware of: in those 33 matches, we've won once, against Northamptonshire in 2009, and in games ending in a draw, only 8 times out of 33 have Surrey taken more wickets than the opposition. In all games Surrey take on average 12 opposition wickets, and lose on average 15 of their own. As for run-scoring, Surrey muster on average 347 first innings runs (so 3 bonus points on average), but concede on average 405 runs. Thing were particularly bad in 2009 where the corresponding numbers were 355 and 432 - Surrey conceding, on average a 77 run deficit in the first innings.
If you look at things graphically it doesn't make for happy reading either, the graph below shows first innings runs scored in every game by both Surrey (the blue line) and those conceded by Surrey (the red line):
So you can see that early on in the graph, around the start of the 2008 season when, incidentally we were playing in the first division against the likes of Lancashire, Durham and first division Sussex, the lines are relatively close (though rarely in our favour). Thereafter however the lines start to diverge and save for a brief period in the middle of the '09 season when captain fantastic Stewart Walters was scoring runs for fun, the lines are becoming increasingly far apart!
The next graph shows graphically the number of wickets Surrey have taken in matches (the blue line) and the number of Surrey wickets to fall in matches (the red line):
Unsurprisingly, the lines in this graph follow along similar lines, with things looking particularly bad since the game against Essex at Chelmsford last season - 136 out of a possible 140 Surrey wickets have fallen to the opposition in those seven games and Surrey have taken 76 - barely half of the opposition wickets possible.
So not only have they been utterly rubbish, consistently, for the past two-and-a-bit seasons, but they are (improbably!) getting worse! I know its early days in Hamilton-Brown's captaincy so its not time yet to damn him, but it just shows the enormity of the task he has on his hands!
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