After two galling defeats in the week Surrey showed a great deal of character, and no little talent, in beating Somerset (comfortably in the end) by 21 runs at Taunton today.
Trescothick won the toss on a beautiful pitch in perfect conditions, clearly confident that his batting lineup could chase anything, and when Surrey were reduced to 47-4 it looked like it might have been the right move. However for the first time in the T20 this season two batsmen stood up to be counted, Ramps and Younus both scored 59, off 38 and 41 balls respectively and put on 84 quick runs at a crucial time. Davies again looked in very good touch at the top but got out for less than 20 for the third successive game, very frustrating - not least for him I'm sure.
Nonetheless Surrey's 160 at a ground where the par score in T20s is 178 looked short. However our bowlers continued the good work started against Essex. Nel and Tremlett picked up two apiece and Dernbach picked up just the one but only went for 19 runs from his four overs. His economy rate in the tournament this season is 5.7 and his slower ball (quickest ball today was 89mph, his slower ball is about 73mph, very tough to play) is right up there with the best - it comprehensively accounted for Buttler - his career economy rate is over 9 so its fantastic to see him improving so much.
Bizarrely after giving away just three runs from a powerplay over, Spriegel was given just one over while Symonds and Batty gave away 40 from 4. Which leads me on to team selection which to me seemed very odd. After two games where our batting really struggled we dispensed with an (admittedly out of form) batsmen in Afzaal and replaced him with an off-spinner - Batty, who wasn't introduced until the 14th over and only bowled 12 balls. And then promoted him to number three, whereupon he absorbed 11% of the powerplay in getting out for a duck, a very strange move, but not punished, which is a relief.
Again Spriegel was wasted in the batting order, down at number 8 which if he isn't going to bowl much is strange, but on a day when we finally picked up maximum points, perhaps I shouldn't be dwelling on the negatives!
But the best thing to see today was the character showed by the players. It must be difficult for them to come out after two terrible performances and hold your head high but they did just that. The bowling remained good, the fielding was excellent and although some of our top order failed again, we still posted a good total against a good side. Well played boys, some pride has been restored.
Test Cricket's 10K Club
8 hours ago