Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Profligate Surrey behind on day one

Warwickshire will have been surprised to end the day having faced 35 overs from Surrey's bowlers after they lost the toss on a prime batting wicket. They finished the day's play on 106-1, having seen off Surrey's careless batters for just 223 runs.

When you win the toss and bat on a sunny day in South London you expect to bat well into day two. Surrey didn't even have enough time to face a second new ball.  Criminally two of the first five wickets to fall were run outs. When 40% of the top five batsmen require no action from the bowlers in getting out, you know you've fouled up. What's worse, it was two set and in-form batsmen, Davies and Hamilton-Brown, who were run out.

BBC Warwickshire's commentator remarked that Surrey's innings was more like a one day game, and he was spot on. Just because the sun's out and the pitch is true doesn't mean you have to throw the kitchen sink at everything that comes your way. To Warwickshire's credit they rotated the bowlers well and apart from a Barker spell early on, they were rarely bowling poor lines and lengths.

As expected, Chris Adams opted for Chris Jordan's all-round talents at number seven but he failed again for a duck. Jacques Rudolph, moved to number four in the batting, also failed and now has just one innings remaining at the club. Jon Lewis, second top scorer in the innings today, is now just 15 runs shy of the man signed as an opening batsman.

Where Surrey were wasteful, Warwickshire were watchful. Where Surrey's top three scored 71 from 97 deliveries, Wawickshire's scored 96 from 211 balls.  None of Surrey's batsmen waited longer than 13 deliveries to crack their first boundary, Varun Chopra waited 23 to hit his first, Porterfield 25. Who were the unbeaten batsmen at the close of play? This might seem like a meaningless stat, and maybe it is, or maybe it's indicative of a lack of patience on the Surrey batsmen's parts. Even though it was a good pitch, Chopra and Porterfield still waited four overs to assess the pitch and situation before going after the boundaries.

Of course I am only too happy to praise the side when their swashbuckling style pulls a rabbit out of the hat. It's entertaining and occasionally effective, but that doesn't mean its the way to play all the time. There was a game for the taking today, and we didn't take it.

Warwickshire will look to bat and bat, just as we should have done. Varun Chopra already has two hundreds to his name in 2012, he'll be on the hunt for a third. The one saving grace is that hopefully the pitch will remain a good one into days two, three and four, but Surrey now have a mighty tough task ahead of them to resuscitate their chances in this game. Here's hoping they do just that.


TimV said...

Very disappointing. It seems like we are back playing as we were a few years back.

That said, if I recall correctly, after 6 games last season it would have been fanciful to imagine we'd be mid table in Division 1 in a year's time!

GreenJJ said...

Hi Tim

It was disappointing and you're right, not dissimilar to 2009-ish type play.

Still, impressive fightback today, really good stuff from the bowlers!

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