Any lingering fears that this year's Twenty20 competition would get off to the non-start that last year's did were dispelled rapidly this evening as Surrey romped to an 8 wicket win against Gloucestershire.
Surrey got off to a great start with Alex Gidman caught behind off debutant Dirk Nannes, and two overs later he had Craig Taylor caught off a top edge. Surrey took regular wickets thanks to impressive bowling from Nannes, Tim Linley and Gareth Batty in particular. Yasir Arafat and Chris Schofield were expensive, the former in particular was poor and bowled too much on the legs. Matt Spriegel didn't bowl terribly but I don't think his bowling was best employed, I remain convinced that Spriegel's bowling works better earlier in an innings.
That Schofield and Spriegel both only bowled half their overs, and de Bruyn was not called upon at all only served to emphasise that there was room for the extra batsman in my opinion, apologies for belabouring the point.
Not that he was needed in the end as Gloucestershire's total of 155 was made to look woefully inadequate. Hamilton-Brown and Davies resurrected their powerful partnership which was so successful last year but has been absent in the CB40 games this year, they put on 100 in 10 overs. Davies was his usual excellent self square of the wicket and while Hamilton-Brown trailed him initially he started to open up towards the 10 over mark.
Jason Roy looked in good touch, especially for a man who was eventually out for only 10 off 13 balls and Tom Maynard was barely needed. Davies ended 92 not out from just 55 balls, he dealt particularly well with Muralitharan and Surrey coasted home with 19 balls remaining.
It means Surrey have still only been beaten once in 2011 and today I really got the feeling this was when the batting began to approach top gear. I may not think the selection was 100% right, but I cannot fault the performance, well played.
The Steve Smith infographic
1 day ago