Sunday, 24 July 2011

Key CB40 test against Warwickshire

Surrey continue the Guildford festival at the Woodbridge Road ground today with a crucial 40 over match against Warwickshire. Morale is likely to be pretty low given the events of recent weeks so a big win will work wonders.

As with most festival grounds, Guildford is pretty small and the wickets are usually good - last year over 500 runs were scored as Sussex comfortably chased down Surrey's total of 252. The squad and possible XI is as follows:

De Bruyn

Bench: Arafat, Schofield

It's difficult to know the route Adams will want to go down given the last CB40 we played was a couple of months ago, but that it will be allrounder-heavy is a given - the squad above has eight genuine limited overs bowling options. As ever, the top five pick themselves because there's only five batsmen in the squad. Spriegel has been recalled having not made the squad for the Durham game last week so I suspect he may play. It's difficult to say which two of Batty, Ansari, Schofield or Arafat will play, but Batty and Ansari are the men in possession so that seems most likely. If Arafat continues to sit on the bench you can't help but feel we've badly wasted our overseas signing (if you don't already think that).

Warwickshire are three points behind us in the table having played a game more, and somehow contrived to lose to Scotland in a rain-affected match a week ago. But they should still present a stiffer challenge than we've faced in the CB40 so far. Varun Chopra and William Porterfield have been in decent form at the top of the order and they have the likes of Carter, Troughton, Maddy and Rikki Clarke down the order. Not to mention Chris Woakes, who would comfortably make it into Surrey's top six. He can also bowl a bit you know, and Jeetan Patel has proved a canny overseas signing again.

It seems likely that Roy and Davies will rekindle their Twenty20 opening partnership given the Hamilton-Brown-Davies partnership hasn't yielded a single 50 partnership in six games this season. Batting first twice this season we've made 257 and 311, relying on a couple of rapid 50s from the top five. With our enormous tail, that's what we have to hope for today.

After the result against Middlesex this week promotion in the Championship seems a long way off and we're out of the Twenty20 - the CB40 remains the only competition we're genuinely competing in. If we can overcome a very handy Warwickshire side it will go a long way to giving the side some belief back.

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