Thursday, 14 July 2011

Win the toss, win the game...?

Well we lost, and it leaves us needing to win against a strong Sussex side at Hove tomorrow, plenty of pressure on now. From the moment Hamilton-Brown called wrongly at the toss I feared for our chances.

Kent's strength lies in the depth of their batting, and on a good pitch being given the chance to set a total they immediately looked comfortable batting first. Despite Key being the first of four run-outs in just the third over, they kept the run rate and the pressure up, only Dirk Nannes and the returning Jade Dernbach were able to offer the captain much control. Full credit to Darren Stevens and Azhar Mahmood, both of them batted (and bowled as it turned out) superbly.

The final Kent total of 181 actually represented a good comeback from Surrey, at one point we were in danger of conceding well over 200. A few good overs from Nannes and Dernbach at the death made it much more competitive. We conceded probably 10-15 runs in the field that we need not have, Arafat was particularly poor in that department.

Hamilton-Brown and Roy gave us a good platform in taking us to 87-1 but they were both dismissed within an over or so, and herein lies the problem with the selection with which Adams persists.

When the opposition has us three down, with only the allrounders to come thereafter, they know they can put the squeeze on and there's no outlet for us. I know there is no fool-proof solution to this, but if Maynard and de Bruyn could play with a bit more freedom - the freedom afforded by another pure batsman in the side, we would not have had such a problem tonight I feel. That none of our bottom six players passed 20 says an awful lot.

I can see the argument behind having six bowling options, but our side has eight bowling options, I just think we can afford to play the extra batsman, and in a must-win game it's surely worth gambling on the fitness of Mark Ramprakash and adding him to the squad?

The situation is what it is, we have one game left to play, we have to win it, simple. We are a good side under pressure, and we've already shown we can beat Sussex this season. But make no mistake, Sussex have to win to guarantee qualification as well and they are no mugs. The composition of the side is unlikely to change significantly, only Wilson or Schofield can really come in given the squad named and given Arafat's performance tonight and the nature of the pitch at Hove, Schofield could well play tomorrow night. It's all to play for, come on the 'Rey!


Anonymous said...

We've both voiced our concerns many a time about Adams' selection policy and it became pretty clear once Roy went that we were going to struggle to get close to Kent's total. After the top 5, there isn't anyone who is going to be able to 'finish' the game. Granted, not many sides have the luxuary of someone like Eoin Morgan coming in at 6, but Surrey desperately need someone to fill that role. At the moment, looking at the squad, there isn't anyone else to come in other than Ramps. It isn't ideal, it would be great to give one of the youngsters a go, but if we are going to progress further in the competition, Adams may have to bite the bullet and call on the old faithful.

GreenJJ said...

Absolutely right. I think our shortcomings have been masked by batting first a lot and some excellent bowling, but against a deep batting team like Kent, if a couple of bowlers have an off day we're chasing a big total and with the makeup of our side there's too much pressure once a couple of wickets fall. I keep coming back to it, but Adams needs a plan b.

Anonymous said...

Two dismissals cost the game.

Jason got himself out, when all he had to do from that position was pick up the singles and wait for the bad ball on a flat deck.

Exactly the same can be said for Maynard. He didn't need to do what he did at that particular time because the poor over from Kent was around the corner. (See Riaz to Meaker)

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but both players were set (at the time of their respective dismissals)and had the opportunity to win the game.

Unfortunately, Jason is not a finisher. Wax lyrical all you like about the lad but ask him to finish a game? Don't think so.

Tim V said...

I think that Anonymous is overly harsh on Maynard, but Jason Roy fell into the same trap as Luke Wright did at Whitgift in not re-assessing things when the run rate had reduced. That said Jason had a great game with 50 odd quick runs, a good run out and a great catch.

I understand why the ECB want to rest Tremlett, but if Prior can play for Sussex tonight then it would be perfect if we could have brought in Pieterson for Arafat tonight. ;)

GreenJJ said...

Roy is a long way from the finished article, and undoubtedly needs to work on playing the situation a bit better. I think he'd have really benefited working with Thorpe a bit more this season - and maybe he will when he gets a Lions game!

I understand the frustrations re: Maynard, but frankly with only Arafat and the tail to bat with, he was only likely to go one way. To have so many players caught in the deep is frustrating, especially as we were up with the rate for the most part. Like you say though, hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Tim - share your thoughts on Prior/KP, double standards! Also think they could let Trem bowl his four, how much damage can he do?! Neither will happen though, and doubtless Prior will punish us tonight...