There is nothing good I can say about Surrey's performance today. Ok, in this match Chris Tremlett bowled well for his eight wickets, but today, in this innings, we were a disgrace.
Already four down overnight, Davies and Rory Hamilton-Brown could perhaps have had in mind the big blob of rain clouds I saw hoving in the direction of Worcester on BBC Breakfast this morning. But no, apparently what they had in mind was an early finish and perhaps some golf in the afternoon. That is the only reason I can see behind the pair of them coming out and thrashing 50-odd off 40-odd deliveries. Why?
Shamefully Surrey were done and dusted inside 14 overs from Lancefield's wicket falling last night to Chris Tremlett being the last man out today. Facing a total of 369 the idea today should've been to play out some time, not thrash it about the place. Only four batsmen made it into double figures and Spriegel and Walters who so recently have looked in good nick cannot buy a run at the moment.
This match was lost in not closing out Worcestershire's first innings once we had them 106-5, and then failing to do so again in the second innings when they were 125-5. To have a side 5 down with less than 130 on the board twice and let them pass 300 twice is going to result in defeats more often than not.
Of course credit must go to Worcestershire. In the first innings James Cameron was excellent and in the second Kervezee was outstanding, they were ably assisted by Shakib al Hasan's bowling today. Surrey's batsmen might have gifted him the wickets, but I don't doubt he was bowling excellently.
I understand there was some ruckus between Gareth Batty and the Worcestershire supporters which resulted in the latter dissolving into tears in the dressing room. As the Cricinfo report points out he ought to have developed a thicker skin by now, but there's absolutely no room for that in cricket. Batty might not have covered himself in glory in this match but he's a good cricketer, I think he can count on the support of the Surrey fans when he gets back to the Oval.
So where to from here? I don't think many Surrey supporters are going to enjoy reading descriptions like "a collapse of rare ineptitude" and "it was remarkably gormless cricket", and Adams' frankness in expressing that "we're far off where we want to be" is welcome but frustrating. He's approaching two years in charge and sometimes it looks like we've made precisely zero progress. Yes there are the flashes of brilliance and the limited overs stuff has been a vast improvement, but in the County Championship, where it matters most, we are nowhere.
There are specific issues - the opening partnership is a million miles from settled and the bowling, particularly in the spin department, is too frequently found wanting. But worryingly there are more general issues about playing the situation, elementary stuff I'd have thought, which far too few of the players seem to comprehend. I'm not suggesting we need a clearout at the top, but I think captain and coach need to take a long hard look at themselves, two times in three games we've been played off the park against teams we should at least be on a par with.
Pakistan Cup Ramblings...
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