Whitgift School has a lovely cricket ground but I had my doubts about whether it was suitable for Twenty20 cricket. Those doubts remain, but Surrey collected a good win against Sussex there tonight.
All told 18 sixes were scored this evening, half of them by Sussex's opening pair in attempting to chase down Surrey's total of 203. At 109-0 in under ten overs it looked like they were well on target but in the end the pressure of runs on the board told, along with a bizarre decision to promote Wayne Parnell up the Sussex order.
Steven Davies scored a superb 99 not out in batting through the Surrey innings and was ably supported by a fifty from Hamilton-Brown and a quickfire 29 from Tom Maynard who was dropped twice in the field. In the innings break 203 looked a good score but not out of sight.
The game was being bullied out of our hands by Luke Wright with 72 from 31 balls before Chris Schofield pegged Sussex back with two wickets and Zafar Ansari bowled intelligently to restrict their batsman. Meaker too was excellent towards the end of the innings. Those three bowlers' economy rates of at or around seven an over would equate to something much lower at, say, the Oval. Gareth Batty didn't bowl a single ball and Hamilton-Brown reasoned that bowling off-spin with such small boundaries in a high pressure game is too tough. That doesn't quite sit right with me, they knew the size of the boundaries before the game and even with that in mind Batty is one of the most experienced hands in the side.
As ever I might not agree with the intricacies of the selection, but I can't argue with the result. We now sit a point behind Somerset, Sussex, Kent and Essex with a game in hand on Somerset and a marginally superior run rate to Kent and Essex, in short, there is still everything to play for. A win against Middlesex on Thursday would set us up nicely going in to the final three games.