Monday, 2 July 2012

Surrey fall to rain affected defeat against Hampshire

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.


TimV said...

Thanks for keeping the reports coming.

The dressing room can't be a happy place at the moment for all the obvious reasons. But one victory of any sort and perhaps the boys can use their pent up emotions to go on a great run.

Rob D. said...

When is this bloody weather going to take a turn for the better?!

T20 is not a version of the game I enjoy particularly, although after work it makes for a reasonable evening over a couple of beers if the weather is good. The 20 over game is a fairly one-dimensional slogfest at the best of times but I really fail to see the point of playing an even shorter version of the game. 15 overs is no real test and it doesn't constitute value for money for the punters. I know we can't do anything about the weather but these events do pose significant questions about the value of this competition.

Overall, it seems to me that arguing about the wrong balance of players is pointless in these circumstances - you simply choose your big hitters, most in-form bowlers and hope for the best! (which is probably why I'm not a cricket coach!)

GreenJJ said...

Tim - I guess that's all we can hope for, not that the weather will allow it this evening. What we don't want is to collapse in a heap in all the remaining games.

Rob - I agree up to a point, but you have to be pragmatic with your batters, at the moment there is so much pressure on the top three with the allrounders coming in at five, and de Bruyn, who can't hit it off the square, at four. I just don't understand why Burns was left out, and why you'd pack the bowling so much.

Rob D. said...

Yep, agree with that - in these circumstances you'd bat to 7, surely?

GreenJJ said...

Well that's certainly how I'd structure the side, look at Sussex, the best side in the competition in my opinion, they've got Yardy in at seven. He's no power hitter, but it is a bit more of an insurance policy than Batty who hasn't been in the best of batting form this year.