Saturday, 23 July 2011

Back from the dead

To say it was a day of contrasting fortunes for Surrey yesterday is something of an understatement (although a couple of players did just have a shocker), for the most part our second innings, following on, represented a spectacular fightback.

Sixteen Surrey wickets fell in a single day, and our first innings was as abject a collapse as we've seen for some time. Middlesex gave us a lesson in ruthlessly finishing off an innings, while we had them 51-4 and let them recover well, they had us 64-4 and blew us away for 117 runs all told - 20 of which were extras. There were four ducks and seven scores of 10 or less, it was a shocking performance and Middlesex were threatening to roll us over inside effectively two days.

Following on, things looked even worse as Arun Harinath was out for six, five more than he managed first innings but Adams will have reason to doubt whether he can play that role at the top of the innings. Rory Hamilton-Brown blazed away and with Ramprakash he put on 70 for the second wicket.

But then Ramps, Hamilton-Brown and Davies fell within 30 runs of each other to leave us reeling at 114-4, still well short of making Middlesex bat again. Enter Tom Maynard and Zander de Bruyn to steady the ship...well not quite.

Tom Maynard - 105 not out
Maynard and de Bruyn proceeded to add 170 runs in 21 overs at almost 8 runs per over, easily the biggest partnership of the entire match. By the time de Bruyn was out for 82 the partnership had taken us past Middlesex's total and 93 runs into the lead. Jason Roy, batting in the middle order to which he is more suited, was unable to hang around to support Maynard so it was left to Tim Linley to block up an end until close, which he did.

This morning we still have Batty and Meaker to come, both of whom should be able to stick with the set batsman to build on the 115 run lead we have. Our first innings was a horror show and if we lose the match that combined with some poor bowling towards the end of Middlesex's innings will be why. However credit should go to Maynard, de Bruyn and Hamilton-Brown, while their innings were not the traditional ones you might expect from a side following on, they have given the scorecard a degree of respectability, and our bowlers will hopefully have something on the order of 150+ to bowl at - and they'll have to bowl a lot better than they did first dig. We're still in this, but this side still has so much to do, today and in the coming weeks.

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