Sunday, 8 July 2012

A Twenty20 win at last

Surrey can take some heart from signing off their 2012 Twenty20 campaign with a win against one of the leading sides in the competition. It was a win that looked very unlikely at one stage.

Chris Adams sprung another couple of selection surprises. Although maybe we shouldn't regard the selection of de Bruyn ahead of Burns as a surprise any more. He also selected Chris Jordan, not necessarily a bad call in itself, but it was in place of Murali Kartik, who has been pretty impressive in the T20s this season.

Sussex won the toss and chose to bat, which I always think is a bad move with the possibility of a rain affected game, but for the first (and as it turned out, only) nine overs of their innings it looked like the right decision. Although the start was relatively quiet, just 10 runs came from the first two overs but from then on the Sussex openers began to cut loose.

Perhaps with half an eye on the weather Luke Wright and Chris Nash went on the attack. 23 runs came from Tremlett's first over and all told 93 runs came between overs three and nine. As the rain began to fall heavily Sussex were looking very strong indeed.

The rain break was lengthy and the umpires only deemed any more play was possible at 6pm. They decided that Surrey had five overs to flay 62 runs. Such situations are even more of a lottery than Twenty20 normally, but with Kevin Pietersen and Steven Davies to open the batting, and Jason Roy in the locker, you always felt there was a chance, however slim.

Davies cracked his first ball from Mike Yardy for four but fell to an excellent Chris Liddle catch the very next ball. The first over was quiet and left Surrey a required run rate of almost 14. When Jason Roy was out to another Liddle catch in the second over, the game looked all but up - and I must admit I didn't hold out much hope.

Kevin Pietersen had other ideas though. He and Wilson took 30 runs from the next 12 balls to leave just eight needed from the final over. Wilson was caught off the final ball of the fourth over so it was left to Ansari and KP to finish the job. The pair ran hard to take four off Luke Wright's first two balls and the stage was set for a Pietersen special. He duly finished the job in style, aiming a six straight at BBC London's Mark Church in the commentary box, it landed against the window with a loud thud. The perfect way to end his Twenty20 campaign.

Pietersen ended unbeaten on 36 runs from 16 balls and you'd have to say there are not many batsmen in the world that could have done it with such apparent ease. He might be something of an outsider but I think his presence in the side this last week has been a real boost and I for one am pleased he's going to be in the Championship side for the Lancashire game at Guildford.

Three wins from ten games does not reflect the talent in our side, of course, but neither do the numbers give an idea of quite the turmoil that the players have been going through. I won't go through it all again now but suffice it to say I think they have shown a massive amount of courage and character to get through it together. I don't think the management have made the right calls on selection, and the batsmen didn't always pick the best shots, but I cannot fault the attitude shown.


Anonymous said...

Good post. I think KP has won a quite a bit of respect from Surrey fans this week. Or he has from me, at least.

The d/l calculations are highly dubious for T20 but Surrey have been on the negative side of that themselves on other occasions. Same for all sides and Sussex chose to bat knowing what could happen.

A win is a win.

GreenJJ said...

Exactly, I did think it was an odd call to bat because d/l does tend to favour the chasing side (plenty would dispute that). I think the T20 D/L calculations are supposed to improve as more data is gathered, but I agree it isn't great at the moment.

Glad you agree on KP, think he's done a bit for his reputation, among Surrey fans at least!