Friday, 21 May 2010

Chris Schofield: Matchwinner

I'd all but written my review castigating Surrey's laughable attempt at a run chase, and then Chris Schofield went and played probably his best innings for the club.

When Matt Spriegel got himself out with 98 runs still needed from 85 balls, and only four wickets remaining, it looked like Surrey's unbeaten run was about to come to an abrupt end, but Schoey was having none of that.  He proceeded to play some really quite superb shots in an innings of 64 from 55 balls to win the game, in spite of some stupid top order batting from Surrey.

Hamilton-Brown began the reply, needing just 5.6 an over to overhaul Glamorgan's 223, as if every ball needed to go to the boundary and after playing some nice aggressive shots was out for 21 off 11 deliveries trying to hit his fifth boundary.  Walters - Hamilton-Brown's opening partner - lasted barely six overs more before he missed a straight one to be LBW to David Brown.  Afzaal and Ramprakash looked comfortable in putting on 42 at exactly a run a ball before Afzaal played his now customary utterly stupid flash outside off and was well caught at slip.  His feet movement was extremely poor and having already hit a boundary in the over didn't really need to press the accelerator too hard.

But a multitude of batting sins, Afzaal chief among them with Wilson running himself out for a duck close behind, were hidden by Schofield's knock.

Surrey's bowling started poorly, Nel went for 22 in his first three overs and while Tremlett was able to keep it tighter at the other end, Dernbach leaked 30 runs from his horrible first three overs.

The spinners choked the middle of the innings nicely and after Cosgrove and Allenby put on 88 for the first wicket it could've been a lot worse than Glamorgan's final total.  For some reason though Gareth Batty, who was statistically the pick of the bowlers with 2-25 and was turning the odd one nicely, only bowled 6 of his allotted 8 overs.  Gary Wilson effected two impressive stumpings in a decent display behind the sticks.

Surrey's fielding was again poor, countless fumbles and a couple of drops from Hamilton-Brown and a particularly poor one from Schofield cost them plenty of extra runs - though he later did more than enough to make up for that!

Despite Schofield's heroics, I still think there was one too many bowlers in the side.  The management's insistence on continually stuffing the side full of bowlers is baffling, but what do I know, they're unbeaten so far!  I would expect Dernbach to be dropped for the game on Sunday, probably for Linley, but I think they'll go with the same sort of balance.  Davies back in at the top of the order does shore up the batting somewhat in any case.

Another resilient performance from Surrey which is good to see.  If we can continue to grind out those results with Brown, Jordan and Younis, not to mention Symonds still to come in our limited overs sides, we could spring a surprise come the end of the season.


Wes said...

Ha what a nice re-tale. Interesting to read about the perception of someone who actually saw it. The Surrey radio man's style is to talk things up a bit, although on the one hand he sounds like an old English gentleman he tries hard to keep things interesting and maybe it sounds more dramatic than it is in the end. Nevertheless, the see-saw nature of the match made the final result pretty unpredictable until the last overs.
Here's how I perceived it:


GreenJJ said...

Cheers Wes, I presume you're talking about Mark Church, he's not as critical of the players as he should be, but fair enough, he does have to seem them every day!

It was see-saw indeed, I was certain it was a lost cause at three quarter distance, just goes to show what a difference a bit of character makes!