Sunday, 22 August 2010

We're still in it....just

Rory Hamilton-Brown and Steve Davies carried on in their attacking vein, but where against Worcestershire it was completely inappropriate, today it was just what the doctor ordered against the Unicorns.

They might have the worst name, possibly in the history of county cricket (and there's plenty of competition) but the Unicorns have proven no pushovers in the competition so far so when they won the toss and put Surrey in RHB and Davies could've been forgiven a note of caution.  But their brains don't seem to work that way so it was attack from the word go and while the skipper was out for a rapid 52, Davies raced to 101 from 85 deliveries - another stunning knock from the young wicketkeeper.

Their 106 run partnership laid the perfect foundation for the rest of the order.  Stewart Walters continues at three for reasons that are beyond me, he played well today but I am baffled as to why he is in ahead of Mark Ramprakash.  Indeed today even Matthew Spriegel was in ahead of Ramps, utterly bizarre.  I think 273 was at the low end of the totals we could've expected, in compiling his 78 not out Walters hit one fewer boundary than Hamilton-Brown did in scoring 50.

Still, a total of 273 should prove winning against the the Unicorns, and so it was, though they did get off to a decent start, Jade Dernbach was a little profligate in his opening spell but Steve Cheetham was excellent from the get-go in picking up 4-32.  Hopefully that's banished the memories of the savaging he received at the hands of Mark Cosgrove not so long ago.  Stuart Meaker was also impressive today, his 8 overs cost just 34 runs and his first four went for just 13.

I think against a more experienced batting lineup, say that of Somerset or Sussex, that total may have looked a little more vulnerable but Surrey did the job today and we're still in with a chance of securing a semi-final spot.  We'll be relying on a slip-up from Somerset, but if we win our three remaining games we give ourselves a great chance of either qualifying or picking up the 'best loser' spot in the semis.

I don't think we can afford to continue to experiment with the batting lineup like we seemed to today.  Ramprakash is, as we all know, a class act and I feel sure that given the length of innings Walters had today he would've ended on more than 78.  There is no shame in that for Walters, Ramps is just one of the finest players county cricket has ever seen!  Walters has proved adept at coming in at the end of an innings and complementing a set batsman.  Jason Roy's failure today shouldn't worry unduly, I imagine with the innings poised as it was he was instructed to find the boundary wherever possible.

Anyway, its nice to be back to winning ways after the bitterly disappointing performance against Worcestershire.  It is crucial though that the likes of Davies and RHB get into the four day mindset in time for the visit to Grace Road starting on Tuesday.

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