Friday, 19 April 2013

Dogged Surrey fight back well on day three

My assertion yesterday that Surrey's faltering batsmen would need to rely on the rain to survive in this match was not only overly pessimistic, but proven quite wrong by an impressive batting effort today. The day ended with Surrey having declared on 366, 18 runs behind in order to have a couple of overs at the opposition under the evening cloud cover.

The day began with the home team in a precarious position and with one eye on the follow on target. But once the wicket keeping pair of Rory Burns and Steven Davies had settled down in the face of some disciplined bowling the panic ebbed away. The pace was not electrifying from either player but while both are capable of aggressive strokeplay, that was not what the situation demanded. Both players played the situation expertly and gradually built a sizeable partnership.

The pair took the team to lunch safely still only two wickets down. Somerset continued to search for a wicket after lunch but it wasn't till the 92nd over that Burns and Davies were parted - and even then it was gifted somewhat as Burns strangled one down the leg side for a superb 115. He really is starting to look like a very special player. The partnership had reached 159 - the biggest of the match and Surrey were out of serious peril. There was work still to be done and although Gary Wilson didn't make the most of his chance at number seven today, Gareth Batty ensured that Surrey proceeded carefully towards first innings parity. He was eventually out for 36 off 86 balls to the bowling of Overton and the job was all but done. Steven Davies confirmed his return to form today with a expertly compiled 147 - he was last man out. I sense this year he'll be of enormous value to Surrey.

With time running out in the game and some very solid sunshine expected tomorrow, Smith elected to give the Somerset openers a test under the lights this evening. However neither Dernbach or Meaker were able to make a breakthrough in the 12 balls they had. Somerset will resume tomorrow on 6-0.

On a slow, flat pitch which has shown little sign of breaking up its hard to see anything other than a draw in this game, but stranger things have happened. A full 96 overs will be possible tomorrow and if the seamers get amongst the wickets early there could be life in the game yet. Its frustrating that on a pitch we deemed suitable to play two spinners, only two wickets have fallen to spin bowling in nearly 250 overs. We'll need to work on pitch preparation if that's our chosen modus operandi.

Today was a very stoical and characterful performance from Surrey. Where they could have wilted in the face of probing bowling they stood firm. It will stand them in good stead for a tough season to come.


miltonkeynesman said...

Josh - Seasons Greetings.

Warmish day and Surrey had a good one. Two excellent centuries. I think it was a definite disadvantage not to have had a first class match last week, particularly for the bowlers. Having said that I agree with you that Tremlett or Linley would have been a more logical selection than 2 spinners.

Anyway we are up and running. Cant see past a draw here, but let's recall that we won our first game last year and then had a downward spiral. So let's hope we improve game on game.

I thought we missed out on a third batting point. We seemed to stall in the last 10 overs of the first 110. Perhaps we were focussing too much on closing the deficit and ensuring a draw ? Probably wont matter, but things like that can affect momentum.

Also have my head being scratched over the Azhar re-signing. He probably will produce a moment or two but it means somebody missing out and already the opportunities for the youngsters are quite restricted. If I was Dunn or Edwards, I might, like Spriegel,start to think about departing elsewhere. I would hope that Roy & Ansari are already pencilled on the team sheet in the limited overs games.

If you are off to watch tomorrow I hope it's entertaining, weather looks ok. Look forward to further reports.


GreenJJ said...

Hi MKM, welcome back!

Two spinners in this game does look a bit silly and will look even sillier if it doesn't do anything tomorrow, but I don't think I'd blame Adams for that, I hopr he asked for a spinners pitch and that doesn't seem to have been delivered. Agree with you about the third batting point, seemed there for the taking but I guess caution was the order of the day.

On Azhar, I agree that for the younger members of the squad its not a good sign. I thought it might've been a cover signing, in case of England calls for Dernbach/Meaker/Trem, but im hindsight its hard to see him sitting on the sidelines. He can stilll be effective, and does balance the side, but like you I'd be sad to see him edge out a young lad.

I am indeed off tomorrow, might need the sun cream by the looks of it!