Surrey were heading for a distinctly underwhelming total at 205-7 with four overs to go, but the man who combined with Jason Roy to rescue our innings against Hampshire did so again today; take a bow Matthew Spriegel.
For the third time in four matches Hamilton-Brown departed in the second over having been asked to bat first by Scotland. He now has 61 runs in four matches, and 57 of them came in one knock, he needs to find some form. Despite the early loss Steve Davies and Roy set about Scotland's bowlers and clobbered 90 runs in 9 overs, Surrey looked set for a score around the 300 mark.
However Roy's dismissal, stumped off Haq, triggered another mini-collapse of 3 wickets for 17 runs and where 93-1 looked very handy, 110-4 with Surrey's long tail looked precarious. Schofield and Batty came and went without adding too many and when Arafat came in at 205-7 something around the 230 mark would've been welcome. Spriegel fancied a few more though.
In a partnership of 52, Arafat scored only six runs, Spriegel went berserk having gone to 50 off 64 balls, he moved to 82 from the subsequent nine deliveries he faced. Yes there were some edges in there but he'd earned them by sticking fast in the middle. Surrey's total of 257 looked well beyond Scotland, and so it proved.
Not content with almost single handedly dragging us into respectable territory Spriegel also took the first wicket of Scotland's reply, and added another before the innings was over. Four wickets in four games for him, plus 139 vital runs - but he can't rescue us every time. Dernbach and Arafat took two apiece while Meaker and de Bruyn got in on the act with one each. Scotland's innings never really got going, only the Mommsen-McCallum partnership really threatened but by then the game was already beyond them really.
I stand by my assertion that we're playing too many bowlers, Meaker was left with half his overs unbowled today, Spriegel and Batty both had two left in the bank, de Bruyn three and Schofield five. An extra batsman is required without question in my mind.
Four wins out of four in the CB40 is extremely good, but we have beaten a poor Scotland side twice and Leicestershire once. The performance to beat Hampshire was good in the end, but we did our best to lose that one too. Six games against Durham, Warwickshire (who demolished Leicestershire today) and Northants will provide much sterner challenges.
What can they do apart from win the matches they play though? Eight points from four matches, a healthy net run rate and some welcome confidence, keep it up chaps!
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