Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Semi-finals here we come

For the first time in what feels like a very long time, Surrey are into the latter stages of a major competition after a comfortable 130 run victory over Warwickshire tonight, with fully 11 overs remaining.

Even taking into account Warwickshire's focus on their Championship fixture against Hampshire starting tomorrow, this was probably our best CB40 performance of the season. But for some determined slogging from Steffan Piolet at the end the margin of victory would probably have been even higher.

On a surface which was much better suited to our battery of five (including Hamilton-Brown) spinners than Warwickshire's seam-heavy attack, our openers got off to their third consecutive flying start putting on 50 in five overs before Davies was out for 40. Hamilton-Brown and Roy continued to race along at nearly 10 an over until the former was caught behind, Chris Schofield came in at number four again but could only manage a three ball duck today.

At 96-3 it could've been panic stations but a steady 66 run partnership between Roy and Maynard recovered things. Then Maynard and de Bruyn then fell within four overs of one another, de Bruyn recording his fourth single-figures score in a row, and Spriegel was required to see Roy to his hundred, which he duly did.

Where previously Roy has perished hitting out perhaps a little early in his innings, today he showed great resolve and intelligence in reining himself in. His first limited overs hundred will not be his last by a long shot, we should count ourselves very lucky to have such a special batsman on board.

Matthew Spriegel played a crucial knock of 40 not out from 40 balls and shepherded the side to 282 which didn't look completely out of reach, but looked very useful.

It turned out to be way more than we needed with Arafat bowling economically and picking up the crucial wicket of Shiv Chanderpaul. Spriegel complemented his effort with the bat by bowling really well, 3-39 was his reward and in snaring Carter, Porterfield and Troughton LBW he took the guts out of the Warwickshire innings. Jade Dernbach returned identical figures to Spriegel, bowling well towards the end of the innings before Piolet started throwing the bat.

So a semi-final, possibly a home semi-final beckons and it's the first real success in competition terms for Chris Adams and Hamilton-Brown - they can be very proud of that achievement. The semis, with Sussex, Somerset, Durham and Nottinghamshire possibly involved will be a different prospect entirely but with the players we have in our squad, on our day we can beat anyone. Well played gentlemen.


Anonymous said...

I hope this was as satisfying to write as it was to read SCB!

How exciting to anticipate possible success in matches now.


GreenJJ said...

It is nice to write about us winning! And what a big win today, actually in a proper semi-final!

Anonymous said...

Good news ... how do the semis work then? Group winner + best runner up which means we are through. But do we play the best out of Sussex and Group C?

GreenJJ said...

Yep, group winner and best runner up, the two teams with the best overall record get a home semi and then I think its a random draw as to who the opponent is, but not completely sure!

The Chimp said...,311907,EN.html

Seemed to be a random draw from last year, although difficult to tell from last year's draw.

The Chimp said...

Off that, these are the rules:

21.10.3 The first-placed team from each group and the best
second placed team will qualify for the draw for the
semi-finals. This will be a free draw save that the two
best first-placed teams will receive a home draw.

If you finish equal on points then the split is ...

1) Most wins; then
2) Higher net run rate; then

3 options:

1) If we finish 2nd in group B (ie we lose to Durham and Leics, and Durham beat Leics, and Durham's NRR is better than ours (we'd both have 9 wins)) then we've got an away semi final regardless of our points total. And we could be drawn against any one of Sussex, Somerset, or Durham.

2) But if we finish 1st in group B (ie we get at least a tie/no result from the Durham or Leics matches) then we'd have a home semi final guaranteed (that's because Somerset could only get to 19 pts and we'd have 20 pts).

3) If we lose both the last two matches and Durham don't beat Leics, then we'd still finish 1st in Group B & we'd get a home semi final providing either (i) Somerset didn't win all of their last 3 matches + finish with a better NRR than us (as we'd both have 9 wins) or (ii) Sussex didn't get at least a win and a tie/NR in their last 3 matches + finish with a better NRR than us (as we'd both have 9 wins).

Trust that makes sense.

GreenJJ said...

Thanks for that, made sense with me eventually! Basically we're looking pretty good for a home semi-final, which I think is important given our side full of spinners. I think we've got a good shout of beating Leics, Durham will be tough especially as they'll probably have something to play for.

The Chimp said...

I think I'm right ... might need to get someone else to read through.

Will we have Meaker back from Lions duty by then?

Quite fancy Surrey v Sussex I think, they owe us a win sooner or later.

miltonkeynesman said...

As someone who cant get to many games, I've enjoyed your blog as much as Mark Church's commentaries ! Thanks.

I did get to Northants on Monday and like you was a bit pessimistic after Northants innings. However a well timed run chase - just. Both H-B and Roy play in such a way that dismissal from over-attacking is always pending. Great to see the latter get to a 100 last night. And joy - Spriegel got to bowl and lo and behold he took wickets. Lot of positives out there, not least some/most of the fielding.

I think with the 5 spinner approach we could do with a home draw for a S-F.

Keep up the good work.

GreenJJ said...

Chimp - no I think your analysis is spot on. We should have Meaker available again but I wonder if Adams will go with his tried and tested approach again. I suspect much will depend on whether it's a home tie and who the opposition is - don't fancy going into a game against Somerset with five spinners!

MKMan - thank you, to be mentioned alongside Church is an honour! I have wanted Spriegel to bowl his full quota from the word go but with so many bowling options he's often been held back, I'd really like him to settle in the side as a proper allrounder - he can be more than a 'bits and pieces' player but needs to be given the opportunities. Fingers crossed for a home SF!