Under gloomy skies on a pitch with reportedly plenty in it for the bowlers, Hamilton-Brown was probably justified in sending Derbyshire in to bat this morning. And at 16-2 he must've been a very happy man, Linley's opening burst sending back both openers. But thereafter it was Derbyshire's day. I am struggling to think of times when we really pressed home an advantage this season.
Three times we've sent teams in to bat this year and three times they've closed the day well in excess of 300 and never with more than 7 wickets down, that is pretty poor going. Linley should be singled out for praise today, another four-for against Derbyshire (4-71 to be precise) and Batty at least offered a modicum of control. Dernbach didn't have his best day although he did pass the edge of Chesney Hughes' bat early in the day.
That man Hughes, who is staggeringly only 20 years old, went on to score an impressive 124 to provide the backbone to Derbyshire's innings. Wes Durston and Dan Redfern provided ample support.
I am sure Hughes' knock was a very good one but we have only ourselves to blame for being under the cosh again. Principal among the offenders today was Chris Jordan, who to my mind is not ready for Championship cricket this year. He returned 0-72 off 10 overs. That's unacceptably expensive in a one day match never mind four day cricket. He has now taken 4 wickets at 64 in 2011, giving away 4.3 runs an over in the process. It's clear that the captain doesn't trust him as today he bowled just those 10 overs out of 96. I am in no doubt that Matthew Dunn would have been a more potent weapon today and was disappointed not to see him named. Tom Jewell did ok in only his second match with 1-68 off 16 overs and for much of the day his economy rate was far better than the 4.2 he ended with.
If the rain holds off tomorrow Derbyshire are well set to push for their final batting point and Tim Linley deserves to get his five-for, but then Surrey could be in trouble. Turner, Palladino, Jones and Clare are unlikely to be as profligate as our bowlers. In any case this looks likely to be another game which slips by without a win for Surrey unless things improve dramatically. Not good enough today.