Sunday, 21 August 2011

Ten out of ten - full marks!

The Surrey CB40 juggernaut rolls on as we today recorded our tenth consecutive win in this format, only one no-result against Durham blotting the copybook ever so slightly.

I said after the last game that Jason Roy's maiden List A hundred wouldn't be his last but I didn't expect him to make a second just four days later. Today's hundred was quicker but no less impressive as he guided Surrey from 12-2 to 244 by the time he was out. Some very useful runs from Matthew Spriegel and Yasir Arafat boosted the final total to an impressive 292. Roy now sits second in the list of leading run scorers, his 538 runs comfortably eclipsing any Surrey batsman's best effort from last season (Davies with 485). Spriegel has also been accumulating his runs nicely, 307 runs at 51 and a strike rate only just shy of 100 is impressive. His form with the bat has meant Adams' allrounder-heavy approach has paid dividends - credit to both of them for that.

I also said that Leicestershire had a tendency towards the collapse and today they did so again. After a rapid 50 from Josh Cobb saw them to 75-0 they then crumbled in a heap to Jade Dernbach (who recorded stunning figures of 4-7) and Chris Schofield (4-26) to 151 all out. Du Toit, Jefferson and Taylor all passed 20 but none got more than 26 and the final six wickets fell for 20 runs.

I wasn't all right though, of the bowlers who I named as potential dangers, Gurney and Naik both went for 10 an over or worse. And it wasn't quite all positive for Surrey either, Arafat was expensive and again failed to take a wicket, he now only has three scalps in his last four CB40 games - not good enough for a strike bowler. His lusty lower order hitting can be valuable but Adams might wonder whether Linley, Meaker or Dunn might be worthy of a chance against Durham on Bank Holiday Monday. Ansari leaked runs as well and where in the T20s he was largely quite economical in the 19 overs he's bowled in this format he's gone at nearly 7.5 an over, though he still offers his exceptional fielding talents which counts for much. So clearly abundant is his talent I think Adams will stick with him.

Our last two victories have been by 130 runs and 141 runs, and ten wins out of ten means a home semi-final is guaranteed. One fixture remains, a home game against Durham in eight days time and although there is nothing riding on it from our point of view, momentum is still hugely important. For the time being though, I'm sure they'll be basking in the glory of an exceptional run of form.

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