Today was comfortably Surrey's best day in the County Championship so far in 2011, here's hoping the two CB40 wins at the weekend have instilled that much needed x-factor, otherwise known as confidence.
I worried yesterday that James Taylor was almost single handedly capable of hauling Leicestershire up to and beyond Surrey's total, but that danger was snuffed out in the over before lunch when Gareth Batty clean bowled him. Surrey sensed an opening and for the first time this season they rammed home the advantage.
Once Taylor had been dealt with the other 7 wickets subsided for just 109, including a spell of 3 wickets for just 3 runs, only Wayne White and Claude Henderson offering any real resistance. Surrey's four man pace battery was too hot for the Leicestershire batting on a still-green pitch and with a bit more cloud around. Stuart Meaker was the pick with 4-43, taking his season's tally to 15, but he was very ably backed up by Tremlett and Dernbach who both collected two wickets.
A first innings lead was established and the openers set about their task of consolidating that lead, Jason Roy raced out of the blocks and although Hamilton-Brown departed for 14 in the 10th over, Surrey had already added 57 to the lead. Roy and Ramprakash added another 49 in 11 overs before the former was caught behind off Henderson - his 76 runs had come in just 68 balls.
Zander de Bruyn joined Ramps, and while the opening pair had a combined age of 43, the partnership that saw us to the end of play had a combined age closer to 80. Ramprakash looked, as ever, in fine form for the five overs I managed to catch at the end of the day, he ended on 53*.
We are well on top in this game and with such a fine bowling attack waiting in the wings, the captain ought not need anything more than a 400 run lead in his pocket. With 277 already in the bank he could have Leicestershire back in not long after lunch. Well played gentlemen!
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