Surrey's jolly to the North East is completed on Saturday with a trip back to the Riverside (or Emirates Durham ICG) for their ninth fixture of this year's CB40.
Chris Adams has named a squad of 13, the names and a possible XI are as follows:
Bench: Zander de Bruyn, Chris Jordan
As is typical for Chris Adams it is a spinner heavy squad, with five spin bowling options (and three wicket keepers to boot). Its a formula that has served the club well in this format so there is no reason to abandon it now.
The batting is the biggest concern. Of the 21 teams in this competition only five teams have scored fewer runs than Surrey and yet we're sitting pretty atop the group. We have relied on our bowlers strangling the opposition batting and they will look to do so again. With only one (Burns) of the nine batsmen named in the squad in any kind of form it would take a massive reversal in fortunes for us to post a big total. Zander de Bruyn's form in the CB40 is barely better than his woeful Championship form so I hope he is dropped for this game, as Gary Wilson returns and Hamilton-Brown's journey back to full first team fitness continues.
Jade Dernbach was wayward but occasionally lethal against Notts and picked up three wickets in the Championship game against Durham. In the continued absence of Tremlett and Meaker he will be expected to take wickets up front. I would expect Spriegel to continue his job as opening bowler, he was quite exceptional against Notts as he reeled off 8 overs on the bounce to return figures of 2-21. He and Ansari have been critical in keeping the run rate down, indeed of bowlers who have bowled ten overs or more in the CB40 they are both in the top ten most economical.
Durham will be on a high after polishing us off in a little more than two days in the Championship. Although they have lost four of their eight matches in this format so far they are still a danger. They are one of only two sides to have beaten us in the CB40 over the last two years and their batting form is superior to ours. They have three batsmen with 200+ runs to our one. Muchall, Stoneman and Mustard have all been in the runs, while Benkenstein, Stokes and Collingwood all pose a threat. Their leading bowler in this format is Chris Rushworth but Ben Stokes is clearly in good form with the ball. Scott Borthwick will be hoping for some turn and if the wicket is the same that the Championship game was played on he may get some, though this would also play into Surrey's hands.
Our form in the CB40 has held up impressively this year and it is obviously the format that Adams and his charges feel most comfortable in. They have a good formula and are sticking to it - it goes to show what can be achieved with consistent game plans. After the hammering in the Championship game the last thing we need is another defeat, and a win would put us in a very competitive position to progress.