In Southampton back on the 13th of this month, 201 played 191 in Hampshire's favour, today at the Oval 200 played 189 in Surrey's favour. These two sides have been closely matched in the last couple of seasons, the margins of victory from the four matches amounts to just 40 runs.
We've only won twice at the Oval in the last two years in Twenty20, and the losing side both times has been Hampshire, so they might feel somewhat hard done by. But today it was a comprehensive T20 batting performance from Surrey and a couple of players in particular.
Davies finally delivered that big innings we've been waiting for, he brought up his fifty off just 18 balls which according to him was his quickest ever (including garden cricket). The innings was packed full of shots which oozed class and he thoroughly deserves the plaudits. The other innings of note came from Andrew Symonds who stood up to be counted at the Oval again with 63 off 33 balls. And guess where he batted? Yep, number six, and he should stay there.
Hamilton-Brown was out cheaply as was Roy, despite hitting a massive six into the top of the pavilion. Younus played the anchor role and perished while trying to go big at the end of the innings. Credit to Andre Nel who brought up the 200 with a six off the final ball, given the situation I think he should've come in above Spriegel.
The bowling was less good but it was a cracking pitch in perfect batting conditions. Again Nel and Tremlett were excellent, Tremlett collecting another 2 wickets. Schofield was expensive in his three overs and the skipper probably gave himself one too many overs, despite picking up two wickets. Batty bowled well for his 1-28.
Despite an excellent performance you won't be surprised to hear I've still got something to whinge about. On what was a lovely batting track we played three spinners, and between them the spinners went for nigh-on ten an over. We rightly strengthened the batting, but in the process we weakened the bowling. I think a balance can be struck but it might involve dropping one of Schofield or Batty, a tough choice to make without doubt.
That win takes us to four wins and four losses, but with a net run rate still well in the negative. We're right in the mix in the southern division and if we can maintain this sort of performance, progression is well within our grasp. Come on the Rey!
Note: I forgot, I made a mental note to specifically mention Jason Roy's fielding, I knew from 2008 that he was a class fielder but tonight he was a cut above. His ground fielding, one particular pick up and throw with one hand in one movement was breathtaking. His throwing from the deep was arrow straight, and I'm sure he has the ability to save us 10-15 runs in the field in some matches. If he can continue to develop with the bat, he'll be a real gem.
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