A day of peaks and troughs for Surrey. Well sort of, a poor first session with only one wicket falling was followed by a really good afternoon session with four wickets and back down to earth with an evening session with no wickets at all.
Surrey's new ball bowling has been both ineffective and a touch unlucky this season, the average opening stand after today's 90 partnership against Surrey is 47.3, as compared to an average opening stand for Surrey of 16.1 so far, is a major area where we are losing out. This time Steve Davies, impeccable yesterday, was guilty of dropping Niall O'Brien off the bowling of Andre Nel. O'Brien went on to make a rapid 44 of 54 balls.
After that, Jewell and Linley combined with Dernbach to remove four Northants batsmen in the afternoon session, before Mal Loye and Nicky Boje put together a huge 160 run sixth wicket partnership. Before this match Loye was averaging 12 in the Championship with less than a hundred runs all season. Surrey helpfully put him right back in form, just as they did with Strauss last week!
If the bowlers had rammed home the advantage with Northants five down we could've taken this game by the scruff of the neck, but as it is Northants are well in control. Hamilton-Brown will be particularly disappointed having put the opposition in to bat. Yet again, quick wickets in the morning session are the order of the day. I fear that 450-500 will be too imposing a total for Surrey's batting to stand up to.
The inability to transfer the confidence and energy of the CB40 games over the weekend into the Championship game is very frustrating, and to be behind the 8 ball on day one of another Championship game is bitterly disappointing. Hopefully (there's always hope!) we can get amongst them tomorrow morning and wrest the initiative back.
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