Monday, 30 July 2012

Ansari and the weather save Surrey on final day

Surrey's game with Warwickshire petered out into a rain affected draw, with 35 overs lost to the weather over the final two days. But the weather wouldn't have mattered had Zafar Ansari not played the sort of rearguard innings that the situation demanded. He ended unbeaten on 83 to rescue the game.

In his first class career before this innings he had faced just 553 deliveries, yesterday evening and today alone he faced 257 balls. He was ably assisted late in the day by a controlled innings from Jason Roy, the likes of which we rarely see from him but it was no less impressive for that. He ended with 42 from 101 balls (having been 9 from 55 balls at one stage) to stave off any fears of a collapse after Harinath and de Bruyn departed for not many runs.

Warwickshire were guilty of some lapses in the field, de Bruyn was dropped twice by close-in fielders but ultimately that didn't cost them a huge amount. Ansari and Roy did a fine job of digging in for their side. After the mammoth total that the opposition posted batting out the game, even bearing in mind the rain and the flat pitch, will have given the team a good lift.

A draw is only worth three points these days, but that's three more points than we'd have ended up with had we collapsed in a heap today. Those three points could be critical come September.

There is plenty to take heart from in this game. In the absence of an experienced pro in any kind of form, the younger players stood up. Ansari is clearly something quite special, always calm and composed, he is not only a key batsman for Surrey's future, but also a future captain. Towards the end of the day there was a hundred in sight but he maintained his composure, he batted for the team, not for himself.

However it's not all rosy. Facing the prospect of the next Championship game without Meaker or Tremlett, Jon Lewis in the midst of a lengthy lean spell and Dernbach returning from injury, the bowling is now also a concern. Linley must be considered, and Jordan must not on the strength of this showing.

We have come away from Trent Bridge and Edgbaston with draws. Although neither was a vintage performance, we have stood up to be counted against the best in the division. The next game, against Durham, now takes on extra significance. It goes without saying that we must avoid defeat and really a win is all but essential.


Rob D. said...

Zaf has been a revelation as opener - don't where Adams pulled that one from, but it's looking like an inspired "strategy"!

GreenJJ said...

He's done a fine job. He's such a smart cricketer I think he'd do great wherever we stick him! The amount of openers Adams has tried, the law of averages dictates something had to work!