Thursday, 8 September 2011

Positive Surrey press on

Surrey go into the third day of the crucial tie with Essex 166 runs ahead with six second innings wickets still in hand. And guess what? The match is still in the balance.

It was another bravura performance from Tim Linley that dragged Surrey back ahead of the curve today. Essex's openers had put on 100 steady runs in 37 overs before Linley intervened and took four wickets inside ten overs. It was the eighth time this season that the Viscount had snared four or more victims in an innings.

Pragyan Ojha took the wicket of Wheater before Meaker cleaned up the Essex's lower and middle order to record his second consecutive 5-for in Championship cricket. Their first four wickets fell in the space of ten overs and the last five fell in almost exactly the same timeframe. It was only a rapid 56 from Ryan ten Doeschate which saved Essex from an even bigger first innings deficit.

As it was they were bowled out for 253, 62 runs behind. It would seem that Surrey had in mind the grim-looking weather forecast for Saturday throughout their second innings batting. Davies fell in only the third over but Hamilton-Brown, de Bruyn and Maynard all looked to score quickly. Hamilton-Brown was out for 23 off 31 balls, his eleventh score this season between 20 and 40. His role in these situations is to put pressure on the opposition bowling by scoring quickly but with Davies gone so early I thought he might have been a bit more circumspect.

De Bruyn and Maynard were motoring along at better than a run a ball in the evening session and Surrey were looking well set for a decent lead with time left to bowl Essex out. Maynard though was out LBW to Masters off what was the final ball of the day's play.

So Surrey have six wickets left and will want at least 270 runs on the board - with Roy, Batty, Jordan and Meaker still to come, that is possible. De Bruyn needs to stay in while others come in and score around him, the forecast for tomorrow is warm and humid - good conditions to bowl in. A draw in this game does us very little good and with rain likely on Saturday it might be win-or-bust at Chelmsford tomorrow.


miltonkeynesman said...

Presumably you are there. Been listening on and off to Mr Church doing his fine job. Less keen on the Essex man but he's genial enough with a few good stories.

I had a premonition of a classic late night collapse against an Essex new ball - one or two of those over the years. We might just have got away with it, although Maynard's wicket wasnt what was needed. We ought to win from here but not a chicken counting scenario just yet.

After all those seasons of Ramps runs to no avail for the team as a whole, we could have done with a few in this match. Still its a team game and tomorrow calls for a couple of batters to step up and the bowlers to bowl as a unit. If it does start to turn more then Ojha will be the key but with support needed from the other end.

Be interesting to see how Glam/Middx shape up. If they do very little then it could yet be tight for all three in the last matches - but that is getting too far ahead....enjoy tomorrow.

GreenJJ said...

Alas I am not, work getting in the way as ever, I've had to rely on Church (between meetings!). One of those games where its difficult to say what is a good score to chase because there have been so many collapses - if a couple of batsmen really dig in they could be fine. Still, I think we're in a good position, Roy and de Bruyn should get us a few, then over to the tail again. Ultimately the weather might have the final say, but I hope not!