The inevitable defeat that is, Surrey ended the day today 110 for 6, and still a massive 146 runs short of making Middlesex bat again. A combination of good batting, a lack of scoreboard pressure and better batting conditions made for a very bad day for Surrey.
As if we needed telling, Dawid Malan showed again why he is so highly rated with an accomplished 100 and that along with contributions from Shah, Newman and Dexter, plus useful lower order runs from Murtagh and Roland-Jones saw Middlesex snap up full batting points. The only Surrey bowler who seemed able to keep the runs down and take wickets was the ever-impressive Chris Tremlett who ended with 4-90 from just under 30 overs.
The Surrey reply began well, Lancefield and Davies might not have broken the run of matches without a hundred opening partnership but they looked as comfortable as you can facing a 250 run deficit in getting to 75-0. Thereafter though a cluster of wickets fell, 6 for 35runs to be precise and the game is now as good as lost.
This game and the game last Sunday with Somerset are bitterly disappointing for Surrey fans. Its too easy to say 'one step forward, two steps back', but without question consistency is something this side is still searching for, and still some way short of. It makes for a very frustrating time to be a fan of the club.
Middlesex should wrap up the win quite quickly and quite comfortably tomorrow and deservedly so. The pair of Collins and Murtagh bowled well first innings and young Roland-Jones was quite excellent this evening with his 5-for. They may have been severely depleted by England (Finn, Strauss, Morgan) and injury (O'Brien), but their squad players came in and have done the business, credit to them for that.
I'll admit something now, I did harbour very cautious hopes of promotion before this game after the good County Championship but I think that's now out of the window, and perhaps it might be no bad thing for this side to remain in Division Two for another season - Division One would expose them badly too early. It might make it tough to attract the one or two quality signing we could do with though....anyway, that's for another time, for now the players need to knuckle down and find exactly what they had against Northants, because it went seriously AWOL in this game!