Surrey dishing out batterings is a rare thing indeed, but today they did just that, beating Lancashire by 8 wickets with almost 100 balls to spare, a superb performance.
On a pitch with plenty of even bounce and carry Surrey were asked to bowl by the opposition, and got off to a real flyer. Tremlett and Nel bowled fantastic lines and lengths with plenty of pace and aggression, and Dernbach at first change was even better. The much-vaunted (by me!) Lancashire top order were made to look very uncomfortable indeed. They duly reduced Lancs to 39-5 and but for an excellent 100 partnership between Chilton and Sutton it would've been far worse for them. Dernbach's back-of-the-hand slower ball in particular was impressive, but the bowling unit as a whole deserves much praise.
The fielding was also superb, a huge improvement on Friday's performance. Nel, Afzaal, Dernbach, Schoey and Wilson made excellent saves on the boundary and elsewhere the lads were excellent.
Even when it looked like Lancashire could recover and post a half decent total, Nel and Dernbach came back in during the batting powerplay to successfully restrict them and the eventual total of 165 always looked short.
Davies and Hamilton-Brown, reunited at the top of the order, made it look silly though. RHB came out blazing again and this time it came off for him, by the time he was unluckily bowled off his pads by Smith for 65 off 46 balls the match was as good as won.
Davies was there at the end, a quite superb 82* from 69 with three sixes and now averages 111 in the CB40 competition with three fifties in three innings. He scored many of his runs behind square on the off side and bizarrely it took until the game was gone for Lancashire to bowl around the wicket to him instead of feeding the cut shot which he played incredibly well. The first fifty for Surrey came off 37 balls, and the second two came off 44, superbly paced throughout.
Evans came in at three after Ramps was rested and looked a touch out of his depth, he was out to Croft's part time spin for 3 from 14. I hope his time will come, but I'm not sure his time is right now.
The selection was still a bit odd if you ask me, Wilson, a man with a batting average of 17, picked as a specialist bat pencilled to come in at eight, very strange. But that said, they steamrollered Lancashire and full credit to everyone.
I hope the side can take this sort of confident batting, bowling and fielding into the Championship game with Northants starting tomorrow. The fact that the schedule over these three weeks sees Surrey playing 18 days of cricket in 22 days is ridiculous, but I won't harp on about it here!
Well played Surrey!
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