It took under an hour for Surrey's bowlers to finish off the Sussex batsmen this morning under leaden skies with a ball only four overs old. A first victory of 2012 is now firmly under their belts and in doing so they played some impressive cricket against a solid cricketing side.
Jon Lewis was the man in the wickets this morning, picking up James Anyon, caught in the slips very early on. The excellent Luke Wells, who had moved to a well deserved hundred, was last man out, caught and bowled by Lewis. He finished with 3-40, plus a crucial innings of 24, all in all a very good debut and he'll be a difficult man to dislodge from the starting XI.
We will come up against sterner tests than this in Division One this season, but this was a display of efficient, resilient cricket from Surrey. There is still plenty to come from the mis-firing top order, Rudolph and Ramprakash in particular will be disappointed with their returns in this game, and Chris Jordan is not the solution to our lack of opening batsmen. Hamilton-Brown's superb second innings knock, and Tom Maynard in both innings, are the real positives on the batting front. Whether Steven Davies will come straight into the side for the Middlesex game having only returned from Sri Lanka today remains to be seen.
The bowling however proved to be a nicely balanced seam attack, with the usual solid back up from Gareth Batty. Jon Lewis, Jade Dernbach, Stuart Meaker and Jordan will be a tough proposition for most sides to negotiate in early season conditions.
21 points on the board is a very nice way to get the season underway and it provides some useful momentum going into a busy period. This game has confirmed that we are indeed a better side than we were last year, and with quality performers like Linley on the sidelines, and Davies still to come into the side, there's more to come from this Surrey team yet.