Sunday, 4 September 2011

Lord's here we come!

Surrey continued what is beginning to look like a suspiciously good end to the 2011 season by comprehensively beating Sussex by 71 runs in the shortened CB40 semi-final at the Oval today.

The rain threatened to curtail the day's play completely until it finally relented at about 3pm and play began 45 minutes later with the game cut to 24 overs aside. Earlier in the day Surrey had won the toss and asked to bat first. When they did eventually get going Hamilton-Brown, dropped by the 'keeper early in his innings, helped us off to a fine start. Each batsman that came and went thereafter helped keep the run rate above 9 almost throughout.

It was an outstanding knock of 60 off just 33 balls from Tom Maynard which did the bulk of the damage. Scoring his runs almost exclusively on the leg side he hit four huge sixes, while Davies, Roy and de Bruyn all did their bit to keep the pressure on the Sussex bowlers. Monty Panesar was the only bowler who was able to exert any control over our batsmen, though Chris Liddle did bowl a lot better than his economy rate of almost 8 an over suggests.

In the end Surrey managed 228 off their 24 overs, significantly eclipsing a couple of totals they've managed at the Oval in full 40 over encounters this season. Again Hamilton-Brown opted to open the innings with spin though this time it was Spriegel rather than the captain himself. His faith was rewarded as he had first the dangerous Prior caught at cover, and then he caught Murray Goodwin off his own bowling to set Sussex back early on.

Yasir Arafat also bowled two good overs early on but Ed Joyce remained at the crease, threatening to single handedly make Sussex competitive. Gareth Batty soon accounted for him though, and Joe Gatting soon after. By the time Chris Schofield was introduced into the attack Sussex we under massive run-rate pressure but he nonetheless bowled some good deliveries and ended with 4-22, including the final wicket to fall, that of Monty Panesar for a first ball duck.

It was as comprehensive a victory as we have seen this season, against a very good, albeit slightly short-of-form Sussex side. We now move on to a major domestic final at Lord's against final-specialists Somerset, sure to be a massive test but we really are getting on something of a roll at the moment. I said at the start of the season that the CB40 was probably our best chance of winning something, it hasn't quite happened the way I thought it would, but we are still there!

The ECB have confirmed that England players who are fit and selected will be available for the final, which means Jade Dernbach will play for us. What that means for Chris Tremlett and even Kevin Pietersen I don't know. For now though, let's just focus on the the major positive - Surrey are 80 overs away from a trophy - just to be in the final is a real achievement. The players can be very proud but most of all, take a bow Rory Hamilton-Brown and Chris Adams, I hope you enjoy this!


Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary on a 'wake me, I must be dreaming' game! Thank you!

Being a curious person, I would love to know more about this, 'I said at the start of the season that the CB40 was probably our best chance of winning something, it hasn't quite happened the way I thought it would, but we are still there!'Hahaha!

I'm confused by the possibility of Jade Dernbach, and even KP, being eligible to play in the final. Didnt we have a bit of hoo-haa about players having to have played in previous CB40 games?
I might be hallucinating about this, after all the excitement! great result after recent years of so many losses.

GreenJJ said...

Hi ShanghaiBelle!

Yes it was a great game, not sure it's really sunk in yet that we're in the final! What I meant by that was, I've been whingeing all season about us needing an extra batsman and having too many bowling options (which I think is still valid to a point) so I thought we'd go a long way in this competition by fielding a different balance to the one we have - but who cares, the players who have got us to the final deserve all the praise they get!

The hoo-haa was not a hallucination, there is a rule about players who have not played in group games being ineligible for latter stages games - but I think this applies only to overseas players. As I understand it, if Adams wants to select Tremlett, KP, even Ramps for the final, he can - but I could be wrong!

Here's to a great couple of weeks for Surrey CCC!

miltonkeynesman said...

A very good display all round. However Sussex were not impressive in the field and managed to drop/miss 4 chances. Their bowling wasnt too incisive, apart from Panesar. Still you can only do your best and Surrey were on top of their game. Thought Spriegel really did well opening the bowling and we used just 4 overs of seam. Roy & Maynard batted delightfully.

Sadly I noted some homophobic abuse from some Sussex fans on the Eastern Terrace and indeed some less than sporting attitudes - those complaining loudly about Bulgarian football fans might like to take note.

Anyway, onwards and upwards, let's enjoy the day out at Lords...

GreenJJ said...

Good point about the fielding mkman, they were dreadful, Panesar alone must've cost them 10 runs through misfields.

I didn't hear any such abuse but I am horrified to hear that you did. That kind of rubbish has no place at the Oval - or any ground for that matter. Sickening.

Anonymous said...

I was on the Eastern Terrace later on in the afternoon, and I think the Sussex fans were pretty unpleasant.

But the collapse shut them up, and by the time Nash was out they were all sat there glumly & quietly (while being baited by the Surrey fans each time a wicket fell ...).

Anonymous said...

What did you think about the attendance btw? I know it was wet at lunchtime (and we only came up from S London when it was clear there would be a game), but it was pretty disappointing - 3 or 4k maybe?

Anonymous said...

I live down the road so left and came back when it stopped raining. I have to say I thought the attendance was disappointing both before and after the rain...

As for the eastern terrace - I can't say I heard anything homophobic, but I did hear them "amusingly" yelling "don't panic Yardy!" at their own captain, which in the circumstances seemed fairly tasteless.

Great win for Surrey. But we really only had one effective seamer - Linley went for quite a few. Effective in the shortened game but had we been there for fifty overs.... love the Viscount for what he's done for us this year but I would have preferred Meaker in there, I must say - and would do at Lords too...

- @SteveTheJones

Anonymous said...

Would you swap Linley for Dernbach if he was available?

I also think it's very risky only playing 2 seamers, because if Arafat misfires then he can be very expensive (although he bowled well yesterday, and can bat), which helps with the long tail.

GreenJJ said...

Dernbach has to play at Lord's, he's in sparkling form and he's been exceptional for us this year in the shorter formats. It is a gamble only playing two seamers and but to get a third in there would necessitate a re-jig, and at this stage it looks unlikely that Adams will want to do that. Linley had a bad over, three poor balls really, he's been a bit up and down in the CB40 but his form elsewhere more than makes up for it. I don't think he'll play in the final with Jade back in the reckoning.

I was very disappointed with the crowd but my mate who came in at about 2.30pm said he saw a lot of people leaving, so maybe we lost a few in the rain delay. I'd say 4,000 is about right, maybe a touch less, I think it'd be nearer 12k or 13k to be honest, but there you go.

Have heard a few things about homophobic comments from both sets of fans now which is deeply worrying - I've never heard anything before and didn't yesterday, but the clubs needs to act fast to stamp this out, it is totally unacceptable.

The Chimp said...

I guess you are right re Adams not changing his mind, but Lord's is a different pitch obviously.

But Spriegel, Schofield, and Ansari have all got runs this season so it would be difficult to choose which one to drop.

I thought De Bruyn batted well yday, I've been a bit anti him in one day cricket as he's started v slowly in some of the matches I've seen, particularly because of the match at Beckenham.

GreenJJ said...

You're right, Lord's is a different pitch, perhaps he'll find room for Meaker and Dernbach (seems unlikely now that Tremlett will be fit again this year). I think perhaps if anyone was going to make way it would be Ansari, harsh on the lad because he's been class at times this season, but his CB40 bowling has been a touch expensive and more to the point, Spriegel and Schofield have made themselves very difficult to drop in recent games.

De Bruyn's performance at Beckenham was bizarre, I was on holiday at the time and was completely baffled when I checked the scorecard, one of the most unfathomable T20 innings I've ever come across. Generally though his batting has been a positive rather than a negative - looks like he could be hitting another purple patch at just the right time.

The Chimp said...

So it could be:

De Bruyn
Meaker or Ansari or Linley

Shame if there is no Trescothick in the final, but obviously better for us. Was it 3 years ago (or maybe 4) him & Ramps got a 100 each in the day/night game at the Oval?

I'm guessing no KP & no Ramps for us either.

GreenJJ said...

That was a magnificent game, 2007 I think it was, I remember thinking there's no way anyone could better that Tres innings but I think Ramps was even better on the night.

News of KP's 'wrist injury' seems to suggest he won't be available for county games, otherwise I'd suggest there is still an argument for the extra batsman in the side.

I would guess the side you name above is most likely, probably with Meaker in, but the choice between the three isn't easy.

miltonkeynesman said...

Just looking at the other blog comments I did wonder if I ought to contact Surrey CCC about it but was interesting that there were no terrace stewards out on the East stand in contrast to the Twenty 20 nights when they are there in numbers - but probably as much to check tickets for the allocated seats as to "keep control".

I do think it the case that whereas the big one-day matches of 20-30 years ago attracted the football fans with their songs and their (usually witty) comments, today sees a great deal more unpleasant edge and some people spoiling for an argument if not a ruck. On Sunday there was little communication between different groups of supporters where I was, we all hunkered down and generally avoided eyesight. There were some who didnt seem to want to applaud anything - not sure if they would know what to applaud anyway.

Is this linked to the low turnout ? I agree it was low for the "Cup Semi Final". Well the weather and the crap presentation of the tournament spewed over a whole season randomly didnt help so its difficult to be sure. In an ideal world the Surrey team might have done a parade of the ground, but Davies, Batty and Maynard were entitled to say "no thanks" after what was shouted at them. There was a guy who repeatedly shouted "Matthew" whilst Tom Maynard was out on the boundary. Was he trying to be funny or just ignorant ? The fact that he later mentioned him being a Welsh c**t might give a clue - it might also demonstrate why not so many people turned up.

Ho, hum, sorry, Josh, not meant to be a downer on your excellent blog. Keep going for the next couple of weeks. May the force - and the weather - be with us !

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