Graeme Smith's tenure as captain of Surrey was in danger of getting off to an ignominious start as Surrey closed a rain-interrupted day two on 98 for 4, 286 runs behind.
In fact Surrey may have to look to the heavens for salvation from now on in this game, the forecast for tomorrow at least holds some hope for them in that respect. All is of course not yet lost but a match that looked hard to win yesterday now looks nigh on impossible. Saving the match is probably Surrey's only hope.
They began today needing two quick wickets and while they didn't come quick enough (it took an hour and the addition of 40 runs to Somerset's total) it was better than some of our recent efforts to finish of tail-ends. Dernbach continued his excellent work from yesterday and made Thomas his fifth victim with a patented slower ball. Meaker, who was yanked from the attack early on by Smith then returned to collect the final wicket.
Somerset's total, while not massive was still imposing and Surrey needed a solid 15 overs to take them to lunch unscathed. They didn't deliver. Smith's debut lasted just three deliveries as he edged a good Peter Trego delivery to Hildreth at slip and on the stroke of lunch Arun Harinath was out to Alfonso Thomas in the same fashion. 30 for 2 would not have made for an especially pleasant lunch time for the home team.
After lunch Rory Burns, who had stood firm in the pre-lunch melee, was joined by Vikram Solanki and they steadily built a 50 partnership. However on 30 Solanki was bowled by Jamie Overton and his replacement, Zander de Bruyn, didn't last long. Four balls in fact, for just one run. He got himself out to a shot that Cricinfo's George Dobell described as "so bad I thought he was Jade Dernbach". Encouraging. Perhaps selecting a man who hadn't faced a delivery since early February wasn't such a good idea after all.
Four wickets down with only 87 runs on the board Burns and Davies needed to see Surrey to the close without further damage. Mercifully they did and Surrey will resume on 98-4 tomorrow morning. With rain forecast from midday onwards tomorrow, their job may be made a little easier for them.
It's worth noting that Burns, just 22 years old, is now averaging north of 50 from his last 13 innings. Not half bad for an opening batsman in Division One. If all of the top order batsmen showed the application he did today we'd be in a far better position. Unless the rain does come, his fellow wicket keepers Davies and Gary Wilson will need to help him out if Surrey are to have any hope in this fixture.
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