At 70-0 in the 11th over I was quietly drafting the blog about a heavy defeat with Surrey having posted a below-par total of 206 but from the dismissal of Josh Cobb for an aggressive 45 onwards Surrey were largely in control.
I was sceptical of Adams' selection of Spriegel, Batty and Schofield in the same side and when Davies, de Bruyn and Roy were out with the score below 50 it looked like it was about to backfire. However Hamilton-Brown, in need of some runs, and Tom Maynard gave the total some respectability with fifties. Some useful runs down the order from Spriegel and Schofield also helped things along.
Cobb and du Toit were excellent in the early overs, Cobb the aggressor and du Toit more circumspect. However when Batty was introduced to the attack in the 11th over Cobb tried to hit over the top but just found Spriegel in the deep. Three overs later Zander de Bruyn had the dangerous Taylor excellently caught behind for just three. De Bruyn and Batty's spells were crucial in putting the brakes on Leicestershire's innings and ultimately this is where the damage was done.
Meaker was just given one over to begin with but he came back into the attack and had Matthew Boyce caught excellently at slip by Hamilton-Brown and then Maynard ran out du Toit, Surrey were right on top all of a sudden. There was a bit of a lower order fightback, particularly from Hoggard who slapped 23 off 13 balls, but Meaker and Arafat finished the job expertly.
I am still unsure that selecting so many bowlers is either necessary or wise. Even if Leicestershire had lasted 40 overs, Arafat and Meaker would both have been left with overs unbowled, but its about winning and today we won. Not so long ago heads would have dropped after the start Cobb and du Toit gave Leicestershire but not today, we came back superbly after the first 12 overs. The bowling wasn't great to begin with and neither was the fielding, but they rallied round beautifully.
So that gives us three wins out of three in the CB40, only Somerset and Northants have similar 100% records. More importantly it gives the players a great deal of confidence, the three wins haven't been stunning performances but collectively the team have cobbled together victories. You could call it 'winning ugly', either way, a win is a win, and long may it continue!
Azhar Ali - One of the World's Best
6 days ago