Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Lancashire take charge on day one

Woodbridge Road somehow managed to dodge the worst of the showers today as miraculously 81 overs were playable. Surrey's return to Championship cricket didn't quite go to plan though as Lancashire ended the day in the driving seat at 245-3.

Chris Adams sprung no surprises with team selection as Tim Linley and Chris Jordan were left on the sidelines. Lancashire's position at the end of the day will be ever more a source of frustration to Adams and his skipper Batty as he won the toss and sent them in to bat. On the face of it that didn't seem the worst decision, Guildford is an out-ground which has been under covers for much of the last few weeks. It was also likely to be an on-off day, which is always tough on the batting team.

However, Lancashire played their hand very well. There was not a huge amount in the pitch by all accounts, but neither did Surrey bowl especially well. Chris Tremlett, playing his first Championship game for Surrey in almost exactly a year, opened the bowling with Jon Lewis but neither was able to force a breakthrough.

Lancashire progressed well to 47 without loss and once again it was left to Stuart Meaker to make the first inroads, which he did in the 14th over having Moore LBW for his 28th wicket of the season. The next wicket, also in Meaker's column, didn't come until the 50th over though as Horton and Brown forged a 122 run partnership to seize the initiative.

Another 50+ partnership between Ashwell Prince and Horton, who in the process went to an excellent hundred. Days when the players are on and off a number of times are very difficult for batsmen to find fluency, but Horton played the situation well to post his second hundred of 2012. He finally fell to Tremlett just nine overs before the close but Steven Croft played out the remainder of the day with Prince to leave Lancashire in the box seats.

This was not the barnstorming return to Championship cricket we'd hoped for. Perhaps the bowlers struggled to adapt from a month of playing the shortest format and in hindsight electing to bowl was perhaps not the right call. However, we dropped a couple of catches and there is bounce in the pitch though so with 17 overs in his legs today Tremlett should be looking to make good use of that tomorrow (and cut out the no balls). His final spell of 5-2-9-1, as opposed to 12-4-35-0 for the rest of the day, suggests he improved as the overs ticked by. 

Our batsmen should look to their Lancashire counterparts, who accumulated rather than flashed their way to scores of substance. With the weather and a pitch that doesn't hold too many devils, we should not be entertaining thoughts of losing this game.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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