Friday, 29 April 2011

When it came, it came swiftly

Defeat that is. I'm not sure how much a blog today can add to what I wrote yesterday, suffice it to say that Surrey collapsed in another heap to 200 all out before tea on the third day, losing to a fine Middlesex side by an innings and 42 runs.  We now sit rock bottom of Division Two as the only side without a win and having played a game more than the side immediately above us.
Steven Davies slaps Collymore for four
Steven Davies was the only man who put up any sort of resistance, compiling a fine and well paced 94 before he played at a distinctly un-threatening Neil Dexter delivery which cannoned back on to his stumps. His dismissal signalled the effective end of Surrey's hopes of making Middlesex bat again.

Captain fantastic Dexter took 3-46
After Davies departed Arafat didn't hang about long and Jade Dernbach flailed at the first delivery he faced and skied the second for a two-ball duck. Among the abject disappointment that was the Surrey performance it should not be forgotten that we came up against a re-invigorated and undeniably talented Middlesex side. Neil Dexter added three wickets to his first innings hundred to complete a fine captain's performance and Toby Roland-Jones went past 50 first class wickets with 4-38, his average now stands at 18.5.

The impressive Roland-Jones ended with 4-38
Again the same old problems surfaced, Wilson flashed at a wide-ish delivery, Maynard slapped Dexter straight to Crook at short extra cover and Hamilton-Brown and Jordan also went after balls wide enough to leave. For all the good bowling from Middlesex, they didn't exactly have to work their socks off to get them.

There will be a lot of soul-searching for Adams and Hamilton-Brown tonight, and to his credit Adams in his post-match interview said simply "we weren't up to the challenge...we were outplayed this week." I don't envy them, they have a tough task on their hands to pick the team up ahead of a packed schedule over the next few weeks.

The one good piece of news to emerge today is that Mark Ramprakash is due to make his comeback from injury remarkably early, he will play for the Second XI on Saturday and if he makes it through the game without aggravating the injury he could be in contention for the Leicestershire game next week. Add Meaker, Tremlett and Ramprakash himself into the mix and this team has a very different look about it. On the strength of the last three days, it needs a different look.

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