Surrey succumbed to another heavy defeat against Hampshire on a very gloomy night in South London, taking the edge off first Kevin Pietersen's first Twenty20 appearance of 2012.
Surrey won the toss, again, and chose to bat first, again. With just 10 overs to bat Kevin Pietersen was sent in to open in order to give him maximum time at the crease. The idea was right, but the execution was wrong, he slapped the first delivery of the game to an excellent catch from Jimmy Adams.
Cue Steven Davies who played beautifully, and without taking excessive risk, in scoring 30 runs from just 11 balls. 24 of them coming in boundaries. Zafar Ansari was promoted up the order after his calm innings on Saturday and he was in the runs immediately with two fours off Glenn Maxwell's bowling. Jason Roy, who had played second fiddle to Davies early on, had scored only four runs before hitting Dawson straight to Chris Wood in the deep. He is in a pretty lean patch at the moment and can't be in the best place psychologically.
Zander de Bruyn, selected ahead of Rory Burns, was the next man in and he continued his run of poor form. He swallowed up more than two overs of bowling in scoring just 8 runs. He managed just a single boundary, and that was off a thick edge. But for his insipid effort we looked set for a total around 100. I'm sure Burns was looking on quizzically. A fine over from Chris Wood to close the innings meant the final target for Hampshire was 85. Largely down to Davies and another classy, intelligent knock of 35 off 25 balls from Zafar Ansari.
Dirk Nannes was given the new ball and after showing a bit of promise in two and a half overs on Saturday, he began really impressively, allowing just two runs from Hampshire's first over. Chris Tremlett could not back him up though as he leaked 16 from his first including, criminally, a front foot no ball.
Nannes' second over was not a repeat of his first, with the Hampshire batsmen now settled and confident in the middle he leaked 12 runs and at the end of the three over powerplay Hampshire had raced on to 31 without loss. Even the introduction of the skipper into the attack couldn't stem the flow of runs. Surrey had no answer to the powerful, classy batting of Vince and Adams. The umpires took the players off after just over five overs had been bowled as Hampshire recorded a 19 run Duckworth-Lewis victory.
Another defeat, making it four on the bounce, makes it incredibly difficult for us to progress and in truth, we don't look like we can compete with the best in this format without the talent that all of a sudden we are missing. It doesn't help that we selected the wrong balance of players again, and I don't see that changing. Four wins from four games are needed, where have we heard that before? Nothing is impossible, but with the weather forecast as it is for the remainder of the week, it's not looking too clever at the moment.
The Steve Smith infographic
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