Let me start with the positive, well done Stuart Meaker on your maiden first class five-for, I sincerely hope it is the first of very many! That is, as ever, where the positives end. I suppose I should feel fortunate that we even had one.
Inside three days Surrey have been rolled over comfortably yet again. It was a low scoring match, but really that has to go down as the most abject batting performance yet, once more only Steven Davies scored anything of note, though Harinath again proved himself to be a doughty competitor, he will go far.
Otherwise though no one batted with any responsibility, the likes of Afzaal and Ramprakash ought to take a long, hard look at themselves, they are providing little towards the team at present. The positives of the Worcestershire game, i.e. positive - but sensible - batting and plenty of runs seem to have all but disappeared.
We let the Gloucestershire tail wag far too much, we had them reeling at 139-7, and yet they clambered up to 248 before dismissing them, leaving our out of form and out of confidence batting lineup a mammoth 300 to chase. In the end the margin of victory flattered us, if it wasn't for some lusty hitting from Tremlett and Rao, we would've been even further off the mark.
Another of county cricket's classy overseas players did the business for our opposition while ours floundered (and credit to the rest of the Gloucs side, they bowled well). James Franklin is a mediocre test match allrounder, but a top class county one, and he scored 130 runs and took wickets too. Chris Rogers did for us against Derbyshire, Rana Naved against Sussex, and now Franklin here. Rao on the other hand was barely bowled and only registered three wickets in the match, I hope this is the last time we see him, he looks disinterested and has not performed.
To be perfectly honest I'm not sure if there is a solution to halt the seemingly inexorable slide to the foot of the table...again. Our batting is weak and lacks depth, and our bowling is fragile, expensive and inconsistent. Laurie Evans will likely come in for the next match, please let it be at the expense of one our our panoply of bowlers, but he's no world-beater. Unless we get a class overseas player in sharpish, we will continue to lose heavily, and even then one man does not make the team. We are in deep trouble, and I don't envy Rory Hamilton-Brown just now.