Friday, 2 September 2011

Surrey continue to dominate

Surrey are just six (possibly only five depending on Stephen Peters' fitness) away from a victory which would make the final weeks of the season very tense indeed.

Beginning the day already 190 runs ahead of their opponents Surrey started the day in fine style, de Bruyn and Davies accumulating with ease rather than seeking to blast Northants away - though they were by no means slouches in doing so. In compiling a 216 run partnership they effectively took the game away, and Steven Davies bagged his second century in as many Championship matches.

After securing his hundred Davies continued to keep the flow of boundaries going, he was eventually out on 156 top edging Chaminda Vaas behind. Maynard and de Bruyn didn't let up though and the runs kept piling on. De Bruyn eventually went to his third hundred, and 11th score of 50 or better this season. He's been as much of a lynchpin in the batting as Linley has been in the bowling this year.

The wicket of Jason Roy before tea brought the declaration which asked Northants to chase 486 in 138 overs. For reasons which are beyond me, Meaker was overlooked for the new ball again. I assume there is some logic somewhere to keeping the new ball away from him, but I for one cannot fathom it. If he was in poor form I could perhaps understand it, but having taken 5-37 in the first innings you'd think his tail would be up. Even Zander de Bruyn and Chris Jordan (both of whom had a bowl before Meaker today) would struggle to make the argument that they are better bowlers than he at the moment.

In any case, it was Tim Linley who made the breakthrough, first innings top scorer Rob Newton becoming his 100th first class victim. It doesn't seem that long ago that he was taking his 50th, he really has been outstanding for us this year. When Meaker was finally introduced in the 13th over he proceeded to bowl 10 overs on the bounce, and in tandem with Pragyan Ojha they accounted for three further members of the Northants top order.

So Northants begin the day tomorrow still needing 383 unlikely runs to win with perhaps only five wickets still in hand. Ojha is likely to become more and more of a handful as the pitch continues to wear and Linley and Meaker will be a constant threat even as the ball gets older. Wrapping up a sixth Championship win should be fairly routine, and it will take us to within a win of snatching second place from our opponents in this game - and we have a game in hand over them. It is still a long shot, but consecutive wins at this stage of the season is just what the doctor ordered.


miltonkeynesman said...

Made it over to the County Ground today. Excellent weather and top day for Surrey. Felt Northants were very passive in their bowling, Middlebrook (as usual) just seemed happy to contain. Surrey simply took advantage and batted sensibly but still entertaining. Northants prepared pitch and played for a draw. As often in these circs when it goes wrong they have no other option than to face defeat. Hopefully earlyish tomorrow !

Every time I've seen Roy bat his dismissal heralds him bashing his pads and looking petulant, perhaps as much disappointed with himself as the decision but nonetheless it aint cricket. Today he took a divot out of the ground near the crease and I wonder if the Umpire warned him. His first shot was a gorgeous cover drive. He does appear very talented but I would advise him to be a little more gracious.

Mr Ojha bowled nicely. A useful player and once again the old "you need a class spinner to win anything" comes to mind. If only he had got here earlier ... none the less if Arafat is fit (and Dernbach/Tremlett not available) I would go for him on Sunday and use the other spinning quintet as before.

And finally, Maynard stayed off injured after tea. Presumably precautionary, but if he was injured would Ramprakash play on Sunday or (oh no please not) Pietersen ?? Let's hope the weather holds and KP stays on holiday.

GreenJJ said...

Morning MK man

Agree, I've seen Roy get frustrated like that a few times and mostly I like it - but he does have to be careful how far he takes it. You're right about Ojha, Adams has gone for Arafat instead but I think he's a fine signing for the Championship - I'm sure he'll take a couple more at least in taking us to the win today. Maynard's also been named in the squad so I presume there's no long term damage. As for KP, I read an article in the Telegraph which suggested he wouldn't play in any games for us for the rest of the season - don't panic!