Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Northants take the spoils on day one

Northamptonshire will start day two with all 10 wickets still intact and a mediocre Surrey total of 269 firmly in their sights. We'll have to bowl extremely well tomorrow to have any hope of a win in this match.

And bowl extremely well is exactly what Northants did today, none of their bowlers gave away more than 3.3 runs an over and it was disciplined bowling that did for Surrey. Steven Davies continued his good form with 81 and Zander de Bruyn pitched in with 58, he's only failed to pass 50 in four of his 14 Championship matches this season. But those two aside, there was little from Surrey's batsmen.

Davies and Ramprakash settled in before lunch to build the only 50 partnership of the innings but Ramps' dismissal after the break precipitated a disappointing collapse. In the end the final nine wickets fell for 165 runs with only de Bruyn's contribution standing out, word is that the pitch isn't up to any tricks either.

Chaminda Vaas ended the innings with 4-57 to give him 65 wickets in what has been an outstanding season. Andrew Hall, James Middlebrook and Dave Burton shared the other six wickets between them. Rob Newton and Kyle Coetzer saw out the final five overs of the day, delivered by Linley and Jordan, Linley extracting seamingly endless inside edges in the process.

Northants will be very pleased with their day's work and they are definitely making the running. However we're by no means out of the game and can learn from Northants' example that all it takes is a disciplined line and length to get wickets (when has that ever not been the case?). Such is his form that Tim Linley will doubtless be in the wickets but he could do with some back up from Meaker and Jordan, both short of form.

If we can restrict them to a small-ish total Pragyan Ojha ought to make batting last a tricky prospect - but there's a long way to go until that's a factor. Tomorrow we need to show a lot of guts under plenty of pressure, or we're kissing any lingering promotion hopes goodbye.

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