Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Poor Surrey slide towards defeat

With two days still remaining in this game, Surrey are staring head-long into the abyss with just five second innings wickets still intact but 112 runs in arrears.

They began the day with hopes of quick wickets, of seeing the back of Benkenstein and Collingwood to get into the Durham tail, but nothing of the sort took place. The not out pair overnight added another 71 runs to extend their steady partnership. Once both batsmen had been dismissed they had put their side exactly 100 runs ahead, and Phil Mustard was playing positively.

Mustard forged partnerships of 39 with Collingwood and 72 with number nine batsman Callum Thorp. Thorp was eventually last man out for 32, four runs better off than any Surrey batsman has managed in this match. A lot of lbw appeals went begging for Surrey, including one involving Mustard when he was initially given out but then reprieved. 

By the time Surrey finally ended the innings they were looking at a 181 run deficit, Durham's total of 310 was by a distance the best first innings total at the Riverside in 2012. They also recorded their best fifth and eighth wicket partnerships of the season.

Conditions were far better for batting today than yesterday, bringing further into question the decision to bat first, but it was another day to forget for Surrey in the field. For the second consecutive match we contributed 10% of the opposition's total in extras, Jon Lewis was again particularly culpable, handing over 14 runs in no balls and significantly contributing to an over rate which was at times minus three (and could result in another penalty point).

Another disciplined Durham bowling performance got them off to a good start. Ansari fell victim to a fine Collingwood catch off Rushworth for just one in the seventh over and Arun Harinath registered another disappointing innings with the bat, he was leg before to Stokes in the 15th. De Bruyn completed another in a string of matches to forget when he was run out for five, Roy became Stokes' second lbw victim and Steven Davies then fell with less than two overs remaining as he became the third wicket to fall in the final ten overs of the day.

The Surrey players will be hoping against hope that somehow Rory Burns and their tail end can mount a mammoth resistance, knock off the 112 run deficit and then build something resembling a lead. As we saw in the Middlesex game at Durham even a total of just over a hundred can be dangerous in the fourth innings. But Stokes' excellent performance with the ball this match, and the presence of Graham Onions in the opposition bowling attack make that a remote possibility.


Anonymous said...

Do we know what the over rate ended up as? It's a point off per over, isn't it?

GreenJJ said...

Unfortunately I don't, the last I heard was -3, and the penalty is indeed supposed to be one point per over. So in theory we could be set to lose the three bowling points we got!

Toby said...

Very disappointing again from Surrey. Hoping for the tail to get us out of this one is wildly optimistic, I think.

Credit to Durham, though: they've pulled out a decent performance and stayed sharp in the field, which has allowed them to take full advantage of the vulnerability of our batting lineup.

GreenJJ said...

Absolutely right, take nothing away from Durham, they're showing the sort of application to the task that we've been missing in this match. And a few others for that matter.

I fear you are correct about the optimism...112 runs with only five wickets left is pretty much curtains.

Rob D. said...

I don't wish to appear defeatist but the writing has been on the wall for a while now. And I think it's all but certain that we will be back in division 2 next season.

We've had chances to put games to bed and not taken them but more often than not we simply haven't put ourselves in a commanding enough position to take charge of games. That's the most galling thing for me. Only very rarely have we threatened the scoreboard with the bat.

Clearly, Tom Maynard was a real hammer blow but we were in trouble long before that. Much of it has to do with the fairly consistent failure of our top order but Adams also has to take responsibility for some iffy tactical and management decisions throughout the season.

So where do we go from here? I've always thought we came up a season too early but there's no point dwelling on that. We need to deal with the here and now and what I observe is a club seemingly in total disarray, with a captain who has gone AWOL.

And yet we could still end up with a trophy...go figure...

GreenJJ said...

Hi Rob

I think the most worrying thing is that we're entering a spiral of form that only points one direction. Like Adams said in his interview today we had a similarly abject performance this time last year vs. Kent and then won four in a row. Only problem is, this year we don't have Pragyan Ojha.

The batting has been dreadful and Adams has to carry the can for that. You're right to say that things weren't looking great before the events of June, although clearly as you say that event in itself was a big blow.

The decision to bat first in this game was terrible, it lost us the game, pure and simple. Again, this is down to Adams.

Where we go is a fine question. ZdB has to be dropped for me, RHB needs to come back (though not as captain). But that's only the start. I'm sure you, like me, would forego any chance of winning the CB40, and the one we won last year, to stay up in the Championship this year.