Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Honours even, mostly (but stop the no balls please)

In an ideal world, when you send a side in under cloudy skies you don't want them to be batting at the end of the day, but this is Whitgift so its unlikely to be a devilish surface. I think Surrey and Essex will both be reasonably happy with their day's work, though the wicket of Graham Napier before close would've been very useful and consequently Essex will probably be the happier of the two sides.

The morning session saw just two wickets fall and with Alastair Cook still at the crease come lunch Hamilton-Brown might have been regretting his decision to send them in.  However Cook was gone soon after lunch becoming Tremlett's second victim.  Matt Walker and Adam Wheater then put on 130 in 31 overs to put Essex in a good position.

However wickets from Meaker, de Bruyn and Arafat put Surrey back on terms.  I find it a bit odd that with a five man attack our sixth bowler bowled as many as 14 overs, but if he was doing a job then why not?  This is clearly not a pitch for the spinner just yet.  I'm also a bit concerned about our bowlers' propensity to bowl no balls, Yasir Arafat's running total now stands at 25, Chris Tremlett bowled 7 today alone.  To put that in perspective Jade Dernbach bowled two no balls in 14 games last season.  Giving away so many runs for free is less than ideal and its a simple enough thing to fix.

At 318-6 Essex are pretty well placed to post 400+ but as long as we bat sensibly there's no reason we can't match that.  With no side dominant on day one on what is likely to be a pitch reasonably good for batting, its very difficult to tell where this one is going.  All things being equal this one looks like it might be headed for another draw, but there's still three full days play to come yet, assuming the weather holds, so anything is possible.

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