Surrey took a big step towards the CB40 semi-final with a close-run win over Northants at the Oval yesterday evening.
Adams elected to go into the match with four spinners, five if you include Rory Hamilton-Brown and just two seamers in the shape of Linley and Arafat. With such a glut of allrounders it was important that we won the toss and put a score on the board, which we duly did but they will feel the eventual total of 273 could have been closer to 300.
For the first time this season the opening partnership of Davies and Hamilton-Brown passed 50 in the CB40, and rapidly too as they put on 60 runs in the first seven overs. Two wickets fell in quick succession as the captain departed for 43 and Roy soon after for just four.
Tom Maynard and Davies then compiled a good 99 run partnership at a rate of over seven, but once they were out the innings stuttered a little, only 67 runs were scored in the final 12 overs. Only Matt Spriegel of the bottom six batsman was able to clear the ropes.
Northants' pursuit of 274 got off to the best of starts as Mal Loye and David Willey put on 138 in 20 overs but there again their innings stuttered as only Alex Wakely below the top two was able to pass 30. Hamilton-Brown and Gareth Batty, who took 5-75 from 15 overs between them, were the bowlers who did the damage. Arafat bowled very poorly in returning 2-53 and Tim Linley was bizarrely restricted to two one over spells. In the end Northants came up 12 runs short.
We now sit on 15 points with four games to go. Two wins from the final four fixtures will probably be enough to see us to the semi finals which is a significant achievement. Yesterday was yet another case of us winning without playing our best cricket - perhaps they're saving that for the final!