Saturday, 21 July 2012

Surrey play it safe with draw at Trent Bridge

After losing considerably more than half the game to the weather, a positive result was always unlikely and so it proved as the stand in captains shook hands on a draw just after 6pm today.

The Nottingamshire coach, Mick Newell had said yesterday that he expected both captains to be amenable to forcing a result and apparently Zander de Bruyn was offered a scenario by Chris Read in the morning but declined. Instead he elected to secure some bonus points with bat and ball. It may seem a negative decision from de Bruyn but he was probably mindful of the poor batting form of much of his side.

Read and Voges resumed for Nottinghamshire on 178-5 and the Notts skipper was positive from the word go. De Bruyn kept faith with Chris Jordan who'd bowled a testing spell on Wednesday, as he threw him the ball this morning but Jordan couldn't replicate his form of two days previously. He bowled nine overs for 39 runs and was rarely threatening.

Jon Lewis was brought into the attack at the other end and picked up the wicket of Voges leg before for 59, he and Read had added an excellent 145 runs in good time. Read continued to be positive, as did his new partner Ben Philips and the pair added 75 in just 15 overs. Read's innings was cut short just two runs shy of an excellent century by Stuart Meaker. Meaker continued his good work throughout the morning and also picked up the wickets of Philips and Adams to end with 5-78, including 3-30 from ten overs today. It was his third five-for of the season and took his tally for 2012 to 35 at just over 20 apiece.

Surrey had therefore secured maximum bowling points and had a little more than 50 overs to secure as many batting points as possible. Ansari and Burns were again sent in to open and made a much better fist of it than against Lancashire. They forged our equal-best opening partnership of the season, not bad for a pair who only boast 14 first class matches between them. They were parted when Ansari got a good ball from Andy Carter and was bowled for 31.

That brought Jason Roy to the crease and he continued his recent resurgence. He and Burns put on an entertaining partnership of 82 in less than 11 overs to push Surrey towards a first batting point. Burns' dismissal, again bowled but this time by Adams for a quite excellent 79, brought about a mini-collapse from 167-1 to 177-4 as de Bruyn and Davies also departed in quick succession.

However Jason Roy continued on his merry way as only Roy knows how. He raced to 50 from just 38 balls, reaching the milestone with a trademark straight six off Samit Patel. Later in his innings he reverse swept the England spinner for successive sixes before he was stumped off the same bowler trying for another big hit, his 83 came from just 50 balls. There was a hundred for the taking and its a shame he didn't get there, but his rapid fire innings propelled Surrey to a first batting point and towards a second at 215-5.

Matthew Spriegel, who had also been finding the boundary nicely, was also out with the score on 215 as Andre Adams found his mojo with a spell of three wickets for 19 runs. That left Chris Jordan and Stuart Meaker needing to find 35 runs in 9 or so overs to secure a second batting point. Meaker did the bulk of the work with 29 not out from 36 deliveries to complete another impressive match. The 250 mark was reached with two balls to spare.

A draw at Trent Bridge is no mean feat, even if the weather did play a huge part in this game. However with Worcestershire winning at Old Trafford three of the bottom four in the table now look mighty close. We are four points ahead of Worcestershire, who have a game in hand over us, and a point behind Lancashire, over whom we have a game in hand. There are still six games remaining and all is to play for, but we have to start winning games if we want to be sure of safety. The rest of the season will be a huge test for Chris Adams, I have no doubt that we have the players to survive in this division, but it will still be mighty tough to do so.


miltonkeynesman said...

A pretty good day in the end. Perhaps the Notts supporters deserved a couple of declarations and a run chase, but cant blame Surrey for declining the offer and in the end quite an entertaining day. Well done JJR.

The old CC is still pretty special when it throws up the other 2 Div1 results and one of the Div2 games ended in a close draw.

The Solanki acquisition is good. I assume money was a big draw. Like Lewis last year he does risk being in Div2 whilst his old team stays up - let's hope not.

I'm not sure how Lancs keep avoiding pitch penalties - and if they have similar games this season they might get on the right side of a result - which means Surrey need to produce a couple of victories from somewhere. To do that will require a settled side and clear responsibilities; good catching; and getting the batting tempo right. Also an Oval pitch to take some spin methinks.

I foresee bitten fingernails for the faithful.

Stroll on.

GreenJJ said...

I think if we'd been a couple of games down the line maybe de Bruyn would've gone for a result, but caution was probably justified yesterday.

I'm sure Solanki is earning pretty nicely for next year, but I do think he'll be a decent player for us.

The ECB are being a bit inconsistent with their penalties, didn't Hampshire get penalised for a track that heavily favoured the spinners last year? We'll definitely need to prepare turning tracks for our last two games at the Oval, handily they are against Notts and Middx, neither of whom have a spinner of the quality of Kartik, even if he has been a bit disappointing thus far in the CC. Bitten fingernails for sure MKM!