Monday, 20 August 2012

Win or bust for emotional Glamorgan tie

Tomorrow night's CB40 tie at the Oval has been nominated as the memorial game for Tom Maynard. It is the first time the two sides that Maynard called his own have met since his passing and it will also be used as the launch for the Tom Maynard Trust. As part of that Tom's father Matthew, along with Andrew Flintoff, Steve James and others is cycling from Cardiff to London in support of the charity. You can donate to the cause here.

In amongst all the emotions that will no doubt define the game it is also a must-win game for Surrey if they are to give themselves a chance of successfully defending the title they won in 2011.

Chris Adams has named an unchanged squad from the game with Hampshire, the names and a possible XI are as follows:

Rory Hamilton-Brown
Steven Davies
Kevin Pietersen
Jason Roy
Zander de Bruyn
Matthew Spriegel
Zafar Ansari
Gareth Batty
Murali Kartik
Stuart Meaker
Jade Dernbach

Bench: Gary Wilson, Jon Lewis

There is little reason to think Adams will name a different side to that which lost to Hampshire on Sunday. The batting was as brittle as it has been for much of this season but it is unlikely that room will be made for Wilson, who was in fact very unlucky not to be playing in the first instance. De Bruyn finally found some form and was un-droppable anyway, Spriegel is a key bowler and also scored runs at the weekend, Ansari likewise and I just can't see Adams dropping any of the top four, however poor their record this season may be.

I said it before the last game so I'll say it again before this one, Jason Roy is due a big score. A haul of 98 runs from nine CB40 innings this season clearly does not reflect what he is capable of. As is so often the case with Roy it'll just take one or two strokes for something to click and he'll be away. Pietersen's first ball dismissal against Hampshire was unfortunate but can happen to anyone, it won't set him back. Hamilton-Brown is still feeling his way back in and could really do with cracking a few boundaries to make him feel at home in the middle again. For him, more than almost any other, tomorrow night will be emotional and I hope he can harness that emotion and bag himself a big score.

The bowlers on Sunday did a decent job, barring one or two big overs they kept the Hampshire batsmen largely under control. I would expect Stuart Meaker to play a bigger role tomorrow though, certainly he should bowl more than the two overs he was given yesterday.

Glamorgan have not had the best of seasons but they did record a (rain affected) win over Nottinghamshire recently so they do carry a threat. The last meeting of the two sides earlier in the season ended in a relatively comfortable win for Surrey but not before they'd been given a fright. Cosker, Jones and Harris are always a danger with the ball and Marcus North remains a classy batsman. Jim Allenby seems to enjoy playing against Surrey as well. On paper, the home side are favourites for this tie and if we get back to playing CB40 the way we know how, i.e. avoiding a horror-show at the top of the order, we should have too much for Glamorgan.

It won't be easy for players on either side tomorrow to put their emotions to one side when they cross the boundary, indeed not all of them will, some may decide that the memory of a close friend and team mate will spur them on to a big score or lots of wickets. Either way, Surrey desperately need a win to keep themselves in the running and get the winning momentum going again.

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