An up and down day for Surrey which saw an outstanding bowling performance, followed by a dreadful start with the bat, followed by a sterling rescue job by two of Surrey's younger batsmen to see them home with 39 balls to spare.
There didn't seem to be any devil in the pitch, a typically placid Rose Bowl surface encouraged Dominic Cork to bat first when he won the toss. However two more wickets for Arafat and one for Dernbach in the first five overs undermined him fatally. Arafat was again a touch expensive in his six overs but if he returns 2-39 every game I'll be happy. Dernbach too was a bit expensive in the early overs but came back expertly at the end to mop up the tail and finish with 4-33, Hampshire left fully 10 overs un-batted. A nod to another handy effort from Linley with the ball as well, the key wickets of the in-form Dawson and Nic Pothas in his 2-21.
141 seemed woefully short of par and Surrey could've afforded to be circumspect in chasing such a low total, but that didn't seem to be part of the game plan. After Rory Hamilton-Brown mirrored his effort yesterday precisely, getting out to the seventh ball of the innings, Davies, de Bruyn, Maynard and Wilson followed him in quick succession with a smattering of not particularly good shots. At 45-5 Hampshire had all the momentum and were favourites with pressure heaping on, memories of Lord's were probably flooding back. However, Roy had other ideas.
He set down a marker with a trademark straight six off Chris Wood and while he rode his luck throughout he was always looking to stamp authority on the innings. At just 20 years old, you have to think he's going to be as big a part of Surrey's future as any player at the club right now. Today was his best innings for us, he's not all crash-bang-whallop, he can play the situation. He simply has to have a run in the four day side now in my view. Credit should go to Matt Spriegel as well, the man with probably the coolest head at the club can hopefully cement a place in the side, he's a smart player and I reckon he's a future captain.
Today wasn't the most certain of performances, there was a chance to put in a thumping win but it didn't quite go to plan. However we shouldn't dwell too much on that, Hampshire are a good side and to have beaten them at the Rose Bowl is a fine achievement. Two wins out of two and some momentum to carry into the Leicestershire game starting Wednesday.
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