Up against a side who have only lost once in their last 15 or so Twenty20s, Surrey came up well short today. In numbers terms, we were 39 runs shy in the end but the gulf in class was in truth a bit bigger.
Again we bowled OK, the pitch was a good one for batting and although we probably gave away 10-12 runs in fielding lapses, a total of 160 looked about par to me. Tremlett continues to pick up wickets here and there and bagged another 2 today but it was Schofield who was the star, without his 2-21 the innings could have raced away from Surrey. His two scalps were key players too, McCullum and Smith, both of whom were looking to really kick on before Schoey intervened.
Again we used 7 bowlers and Linley, despite bowling decently enough, was given just two. If he isn't going to act as our third seamer then we can probably afford the extra batsman.
And Surrey's innings pointed towards us needing just that. Sussex opened the bowling with Chris Nash's off spin and Hamilton-Brown sought to punish, cracking him for two massive sixes into the OCS Stand. The captain perished though at the appearance of James Kirtley, going for one big shot too many. Steve Davies still has yet to produce the big innings we're expecting, he found Dwayne Smith in the deep off the leg spin of Will Beer.
Ramprakash was perhaps slightly unlucky, he over balanced and was smartly stumped by Hodd and thereafter Surrey were dead and buried. Symonds, Younus and Walters all went playing not especially clever shots. Younus was particularly disappointing, a much vaunted sub-continental batsman looked all at sea against the spin of Nash and Beer.
This Sussex side is a class act, make no mistake, and they dispatched Surrey with disappointing ease today. I would consider making a couple of changes at this stage. I think we have to acknowledge that this side has done well to come back from the disappointment of the early results, but a couple of tweaks would improve things in my opinion.
Symonds is not best used as a number four. Walters should come in up the order, and if his particular brand of cricket fails to come off, we still have some real class and power to come in. Not to mention the fact that most of Symonds' best knocks in the IPL came from the number six slot. The second change I would make, although he's done nothing wrong, would be to consider dropping Linley, especially if the skipper doesn't fancy him to bowl four overs. He doesn't offer the same kind of wicket taking threat that Dernbach does, and the batting needs shoring up. Jason Roy might be worth a go in the middle order.
Today wasn't a disaster, but it wasn't great either. The nature of Twenty20 means that a side at this stage of development will be very unlikely to string lots of wins together, so we shouldn't panic. The Southern Division is so close, that we're not out of it by any measure, but we need to continue improving if we are going to compete in the latter stages.
Mohammad Hafeez is Back!
2 days ago