Saturday, 4 September 2010

Snatching a tie from the jaws of victory

Sussex, with batsmen numbers 8 and 10 at the crease required an unlikely 15 off the final over, Tim Linley conceded 14, including a wide, to allow them to tie the game.  The total was always vulnerable given the batting strength of Sussex, but credit to the bowlers and debutant Zafar Ansari in particular as they restricted their opponents - though ultimately not by enough.

Hamilton-Brown, after his barnstorming 80 off 41 on Wednesday, was out in the first over having taken three boundaries off Kirtley which heaped plenty of pressure onto the young shoulders of Jason Roy, and the very capable shoulders of Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen gave the most emphatic of answers to the selectors who won't be able to call on him in the first Twenty20 against Pakistan tomorrow by cracking 116 off 105 balls, after Roy's 60 the next highest score was Schofield on 18.  That 60 from Roy was made from the openers slot, giving us the bizarre situation of having three good openers in limited overs cricket and none in four day cricket.

For the umpteenth time our lack of power in the lower middle order cost us the 20 or so runs that would've won us the game comfortably, we dropped from 117-1 to 240 all out, the last eight batsmen added just 40 to the total.

Dernbach was again expensive, that he is our joint leading wicket taker in the competition with 12 at 45 apiece and an economy rate of over 7 from 11 matches really says a lot - he needs to work hard on his consistency.  Meaker was better today and aside from his disastrous final over Linley wasn't being carted about.  Hamilton-Brown left it very late to introduce Ansari who was probably the pick of the bowlers on the day, he was left with three overs unbowled which might have proved the difference in the final analysis.

In a competition that promised so much - we won five of our first six completed games, we tailed away really badly, failing to win in four of the last five matches, losing three of those quite heavily.  That smacks of a failure to adapt once 'Plan A' failed.  In too many games we suffered from a lack of batting depth - some of that can be attributed to the lack of a genuine allrounder at the club, but some can also be attributed to poor selection.

Adams and Hamilton-Brown now have two Championship games in which to strengthen the impression that this season has been one of progress, albeit limited, rather than stagnation.  Pietersen has four Championship innings to continue his run scoring, Ramprakash and Tremlett must come back in and on the strength of his performance today I wouldn't be disappointed to see Ansari come in to replace Batty.  Linley, Meaker and Dunn will compete for probably two bowling slots, and personally the latter two would be my preference.


Chappers said...

Arrrggg I was listening on the radio this afternoon. I couldn't believe Linley got given the ball for the last over. I was shouting for anyone else to bowl it!!

Good to see that talented youngster KP do so well. How are is England ambitions!!
Also I really hopes Jason Roy gets a game this week in the championship game...

GreenJJ said...

Can't help thinking if Ansari had been introduced into the attack earlier than he was, not only would he have had a chance to bowl three more overs more economically than the rest, it would also have enabled Meaker to keep a couple in the locker for the death. There's no way Kirtley would've paddled Meaker round the corner to give Rayner the strike when he did! Still, saying that, there's always a chance Meaker could've sprayed it around, who knows?! What we do know is that bowling a wide with two balls remaining was pretty daft.

GreenJJ said...

Oh and by the way, that KP character looks a bit good, glad to see him answering some of the naysayer Surrey fans who thought he'd be a waste of space. Roy should definitely play in both the CC games, as should Wilson.

Chappers said...

Talking about KP - I have been thinking - given that he wont cost Surrey anything, I don't see why Butch/Stewart/Adams are sayng that they don't want to sign him.

The way I see it, his work ethic and experience would really help the likes of Roy, Wilson, RH-B...
Given the terrible selection policy we have endured, i can see Roy getting dropped!!

GreenJJ said...

I agree, having him about can only be good for the younger players, and what a buzz for Roy to have batted with KP, and showed off some of his considerable talent to one of the finest batsmen of a generation!

Chappers said...

Just trying to work out who is goign to get picked for the next championship game. I came up with 10 - but with Jason Roy opening (which is a big ask) and seeking an alrounder to go in at 7. Your post about this being Chris Adams' task for the winter really holds true...
For me these 10 pick themselves, but I hav eno idea who will be the 11th player
Tom Lancefield
Jason Roy
Mark Ramprakash
Kevin Pietersen
Rory Hamilton-Brown (Captain)
Gary Wilson(Wicket Keeper)
Gareth Batty
Chris Tremlett
Jade Dernbach
Steven Cheetham

could be any one of...

Stuart Meaker
Matt Spriegel
Stewart Walters
Chris Schofield
Tim Linley
Matthew Dunn

I suggest they go for the extra quick, given our batting looks strong.

GreenJJ said...

I think I read somewhere that Cheetham has gone back to Lancs, so he won't feature. I suspect they'll go for Dunn, and Spriegel and Harinath might just retain their places - more for lack of alternatives than anything else! I think Adams/RHB will be too cautious to go for Roy as an opener in the championship, but I hope they do give him a try!

Chappers said...

Humm - what would we know...

The full Surrey Second XI side to take on Warwickshire in the Second XI Championship final at Wormsley Cricket Ground from Tuesday September 7th to Friday September 10th is:
Stewart Walters - Malden Wanderers
Matthew Spriegel - Banstead
Zafar Ansari - Weybridge
Mike O'Shea - Triallist
Rory Burns (Wicket Keeper) - Banstead
Eddie Ballard - Triallist
Shaun Cousens - Malden Wanderers
Simon King - Reigate Priory
Tim Linley - Wimbledon
Matthew Dunn - Egham
George Edwards - Spencer
Seren Waters - Weybridge

GreenJJ said...

Yep, shows what we know! Thought they might be tempted to give Dunn in particular a go, but they've gone for Schofield, which completely baffles me!