Friday, 27 May 2011

(Some) Pride Restored

After being outplayed for three quarters of the game today was something of an exercise in redressing the balance, even if in the end it was another disappointing draw, the fourth such result in our six matches so far.

There was some good news today, Jason Roy scored his maiden Championship hundred and did so at more than a run a ball, bringing up his hundred with what must be his favourite shot, a straight six into the pavilion. He and Hamilton-Brown also constructed Surrey's second century opening partnership in consecutive matches.

I'm not sure if the captains agreed before the day's play that the target would be 400, but if they did then chances of a result were all but knackered there and then. The teams went into lunch with Glamorgan 320 ahead and a very brave skipper might have sent Surrey back out right after lunch, but Petersen elected to bat on. I personally think 350 in what would've been roughly 55 overs would've been ideal, but they pressed on before eventually declaring, leaving Surrey needing a desperately unlikely 395 runs in 50 overs. Roy and Hamilton-Brown motored along at the required 8 an over for close to 20 overs, playing with the freedom that comes with an almost unattainable total. Given the rapid start it was a bit disappointing to see them give up the chase as soon as one wicket fell, it was perhaps worth pushing Maynard or Davies up the order to have one last dart. That may be nit picking because it would have been even at that stage an incredibly unlikely win.

We are never going to be fighting for promotion by drawing two thirds of our matches, yes its better than losing every game but we've got to be creating opportunities to win games. Over the past few years we've been able to look at the pitches as the culprit but I don't think we can blame the pitch this time. It wasn't a raging green top, zipping about all over the place, but there was a bit of life in it, hence Glamorgan's rookie seam attack dismantling our batting for less than 300 runs in the first innings. We failed to win this game, and in reality we were never in a position to win it, because we didn't play close to our best cricket and that is a concern.

The next game against Derbyshire comes hot on the heels of this one, beginning on Sunday. They're no pushovers but we should be looking at beating them, especially if Meaker is fit again. Many a positive word has been spoken by Adams and Hamilton-Brown this season about taking opportunities when presented, and pressing home the advantage, but that hasn't been backed up on the pitch sufficiently. That needs to change, and quickly, if we are to make any progress.

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