Saturday, 9 June 2012

Sussex complete deserved victory

The task was simple enough, bat out the day and the game is saved. It proved too much for Surrey though as a determined Sussex bowling effort saw them to victory by 10 wickets despite a fine rearguard effort from Rory Hamilton-Brown.

Hamilton-Brown, who came to the crease with the score on 145-4, was left with too much to do thanks to the failures of his top order colleagues. He stood firm with another lengthy innings. In 32 matches before this season he'd only ever see out 100 or more balls four times, in 2012 he's done it four times in just eight matches including this innings of 47 from 167 balls. He was eventually last man out leaving Sussex needing just 22 runs from six overs. The captain was however also involved in one run out, and one near run out, which is criminal when you're clinging on for dear life.

Mark Ramprakash, with 37 from 102 balls was more like his old self towards the end of his innings today, his first nine runs came from 70 balls but the next 28 came from just 31. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come. But he, Davies and de Bruyn were all dismissed when well set, although de Bruyn was dropped twice on his way to 21, his poor form could cost us dear.

The victory was no less than Sussex deserved, and to their credit they bowled well for the most part and in the match situation they held all of the cards. Yardy was able to rotate his main seamers around while Panesar, with relentless accuracy, completely tied up one end - he bowled 21 maidens in 32 overs. Ed Joyce and Chris Nash saw them to victory in just 11 balls.

Make no mistake, this game was lost in the embarrassing 40 over innings of 124 all out on day one. Yes the bowling could maybe have been better against the Sussex tail, but really all that did was serve as notice of how poorly Surrey's batsmen had played. Save for six mad overs on the second day, we were outplayed in every single department and in every single session.

Half way through the Championship season and we've registered just a single victory. Yes we've been close to winning one or two others, but more often than not we've been fighting to save games early on. The batsmen simply must buck up their ideas, as it stands only Hamilton-Brown looks willing and able to play an innings of substance. One batsman does not make a batting order. It's looking a lot like a battle to survive over the next eight games, and it feels like an awfully long time since anyone was tipping us to win the County Championship.

3 comments:

miltonkeynesman said...

Josh - thanks for the regular updates and analysis.

From 150 miles away yesterday's defeat seemed to be the end of a pretty inept performance. Certainly the batsmen fell well short, again, of where they need to be, but the bowling on Day 3 didnt cover itself with glory particularly during the 10th wicket stand (a week of big 10th wicket stands mind you).

We appear to be more than flirting with relegation despite Durham and Worcester's "best" efforts. Our fixture list does not look as favourable as in the first half of the season. Still it makes life interesting.

Anyway a good result in the CB40 with Durham collapsing in a heap in wet Wales. I hope the weather in the SE improves for the Twenty20kick off but it does not look promising.

Keep up the good work. If ever Churchy moves on, you must be on the shortlist for his job.

Cheers
MKM

GreenJJ said...

Hi MKM - no problem!

Re: the bowling vs their tail end, it was well below par but it was the batsmen that put the bowlers under the microscope in the first place. That said, tail end runs are such a pain for us.

We don't have much cricket at the Oval left and have to go to Durham, Warwickshire, and a (potentially) massive game vs. Lancs at Old Trafford. All will be tough, and we won't have the luxury of preparing spinning pitches for Kartik and Batty/Ansari/Spriegel. Plus I don't think Durham will continue to be as rubbish as they are, they've got a lot of quality bubbling under.

Have to hope that the T20 kick starts our season, but at the moment, I'm feeling pretty downbeat.

That's a big if, why would Churchy ever move on from such a plum job - obviously I'd give my right arm to be in his position!

Fingers crossed things improve for us soon.

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