Friday, 20 April 2012

Struggles with the bat continue on a day for the bowlers

Surrey closed day two (after day one was completely washed out) teetering on 123-7 as their struggles with the bat at Lord's came back to haunt them at their home ground.

The day's play started on time and Chris Adams sprung something of a surprise in sending Jason Roy out to bat with Steven Davies. A not unwelcome surprise I might add. Roy began the day briskly but not without offering chances, three edges went between slip and gully from Alan Richardson's first couple of overs. Richardson would go on to taunt Surrey throughout the day with his usual tricky seaming and swinging deliveries.

Roy and Davies had though put on 48 together and the session was tending towards Surrey. However the next ten overs saw the morning sliding inexorably towards Worcestershire. First Davies nibbled at a ball from Richardson to give the 'keeper a catch and Richard Jones then served up two very good deliveries to send back first Ramprakash and then Hamilton-Brown.

Maynard and de Bruyn took Surrey to a rain-induced lunch sitting uncomfortably on 69-4. This was made all the more uncomfortable as Wisden Cricketer of the Year Richardson took centre stage again as De Bruyn edged one to the 'keeper immediately after the break. Surrey had slipped from 48-0 to 69-5.

Chris Jordan joined Maynard and as they gained in confidence they began to forge an entertaining partnership. Maynard seemed determined to counter attack and between the 28th and 31st over between them they scored 34 runs. There were more than a couple of edges amongst them but it was probably the right approach in the circumstances.

Rain intervened again and the players were off for three hours of the afternoon and evening sessions. The break came at precisely the wrong moment from Surrey's perspective as Jordan and Maynard were rattling along nicely. A brief spell of three overs were managed towards the end of the day, during which Surrey contrived to lose a further two wickets. Maynard was LBW again, to Richardson and Jordan was clean bowled by the same man just minutes before they were off for rain again.

Worcestershire's main man ended the day with an impressive haul of 5-42. Overhead conditions and a pitch that had sweated under the covers in rainy conditions for over 24 hours made for a very tough day for Surrey's batsmen. Not to mention some excellent bowling from Richardson and Jones, and an on-and-off day which disrupts a batsman's concentration and allows the bowlers a rest. The forecast over the next couple of days makes a result unlikely in this game, and with our first innings in tatters even batting bonus points also look to be a pipe dream at the moment.

I imagine Batty, Meaker and Lewis will be given license to attack the bowling tomorrow morning, and in any case I don't think the three of them would play any other way! The bowlers will relish the chance to take on Worcestershire's batsmen in similar conditions to today, and will want bowling bonus points squarely in the bag.

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