Monday, 11 July 2011

A disappointing end, but still a nose ahead

A clutch of wickets towards the close of play took the shine off a decent day for Surrey, though they ended with a healthy lead of 275 and with two players at the crease still capable of adding another 40 runs or so.

Kent begun the day with captain Key and Sam Northeast at the crease and they progressed to 52 without loss before Stuart Meaker chipped in with his second wicket. Van Jaarsveld followed just an over later, Key and Stevens were also back in the dressing room soon after leaving Kent 87-6.

Surrey should've moved in for the kill at that moment with an eye on making Kent follow on, but not for the first time this season we let the opposition back into the game, with Geraint Jones and Alex Blake putting on 130 for the seventh wicket. However once Jones was dismissed by Batty for 61 the last three wickets fell for just 25 runs, a first innings lead of 137.

It then fell to Jason Roy and Rory Hamilton-Brown to begin building that into a lead of 400+ with plenty of time left in the game, but both fell, in Chris Adams' words in the members forum after the close of play to "pretty poor shots." Ramprakash and de Bruyn mounted a mini recovery but the latter couldn't repeat his first innings heroics and Ramprakash was also out soon after to leave Surrey 78-4. Maynard and Davies put on an aggressive 38 in eight overs but they too fell in quick succession, Davies to a terrible shot off Joe Denly, especially bearing in mind that the close of play was just 6 overs away. Denly then bagged his fifth wicket of the match getting Gareth Batty LBW for a duck, this game has seen the Kent opener shrink his bowling average from 54 to 45.

Zafar Ansari played a couple of nice strokes before close and Stuart Meaker stuck with him, Surrey were 138-7 at the end of play, a lead of 275. After the game Meaker claimed that a lead of over 300 was the first target, and there did appear to be some variable bounce so if Surrey can exploit that 300 should be plenty.

We have, without question, the firepower to skittle Kent tomorrow - the way we dealt with their top order today is evidence enough of that. We must be careful not to let them off the hook though if we get into a similar position, 300 is a good lead but low enough that one big partnership will get Kent most of the way. The bowlers must be right on the money from the word go, don't waste the new ball and keep the pressure up through the day.

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