Monday, 6 May 2013

Hampshire battered in YB40 opener

Surrey got off to the best possible start in the 2013 YB40 curtain raiser at the Oval, beating holders Hampshire by nine wickets in a one sided encounter at the Oval.
Chris Adams opted for the experience of Zander de Bruyn over the potential of Tom Jewell or Tom Curran. Other than that the side was as expected. Hampshire won the toss and chose to bat first on a pitch that looked flat but could have been expected to take spin towards the end of proceedings.
Michael Carberry and James Vince opened the batting and thanks to a loose Jade Dernbach opener Carberry got off the mark with a boundary. The first few overs belonged to Hampshire but Dernbach had his revenge in the third over as he produced a beauty to have Carberry caught behind. James Vince was joined by his captain Jimmy Adams and they continued to scored freely until Vince swept Jon Lewis tk Vikram Solanki in the deep. At 53-2 Hampshire had made a flying start but had lost their two most in form batsmen. Gary Keedy was brought on to bowl inside the powerplay and produced two decidedly average overs which allowed Hampshire to continue to accumulate well.

Zafar Ansari was introduced to the attack early and took just two balls to produce a wicket. George Bailey tried to launch him down the ground only to find Lewis at long off. The wicket rounded off a good couple of overs for Surrey where they had stemmed the flow of runs somewhat.

Jimmy Adams was the next to go in similar fashion, this time is was off Batty's spin and into the hands of Graeme Smith at long on. With four men back in the dressing room and only 89 runs on the board Hampshire had work to do. Liam Dawson and Sean Ervine responded with a speedy 52 run partnership before Ansari accounted for Dawson as he looked to get hold of Ansari but could find only the hands of Smith again.
Ervine continued to play some authoritative strokes off all the bowlers and may have led his side to a better total had Wheater not walked past an Ansari delivery to be stumped on just five, and had Chris Wood not been run out for a well made 21. Ervine then had to take matters into his own hands but was bowled on 63 as he was way too early on a flighted Ansari delivery. It was Ansari's fourth wicket as he recorded career best figures of 4-46. He is a special player and his welcome return seemed to coincide with him bowling with a touch more flight and (somehow) even more confidence. Jon Lewis returned for the final over to bowl Riazuddin for 16 and Briggs was the last man out, run out by man of the hour Zafar Ansari. Hampshire's total of 228 looked below par on a flat pitch.

Its hard to document Surrey's innings since it all seemed to happen in something of a blur. Smith and Davies strode out to bat and by the time the powerplay was out more than 80 runs were on the board. Hampshire bowled poorly at both batsmen but Davies in particular chowed down on the succession of leg side deliveries served up. The surrey total had reached 162 in 20 overs before Smith tried to launch Liam Dawson over long on and was caught by James Vince on 74.
Vikram Solanki appeared to bat at number three and the consensus seemed to be that Jason Roy, the preferred man in that slot, was otherwise engaged. Perhaps he was getting his face painted, or more likely, he was having a bathroom break as Smith and Davies appeared to be in little trouble at the time. It's unfortunate really because with 163 runs on the board it would've been the ideal time to give Roy his first knock of the season.
In any case Davies and Solanki saw the side easily to victory. In the process Davies went to his second hundred of the season and the whole affair was totally effortless. It's hard to think of a county cricketer stronger than Davies square of the wicket and when he's in full flight he just makes cricket look terribly easy. He ended not out on 127 very well deserved runs. If he's not very careful England will come calling again very soon.
It was an emphatic start to the 2013 limited overs season and when we play like that we are a very hard side to beat. Batty and Ansari make a very tricky middle overs pair. Keedy looked well off the pace and may be replaced for the Durham games, Lewis too looked a little short of overs which, to be fair, he is. Dernbach was his usual self, the occasional four ball interspersed with a lot of very-difficult-to-score-off deliveries.
I was worried that the advancing years of many of our side would count against us in this format, but maybe I needn't have. Hampshire didn't win last year's 40 over competition by accident- they're a very good side. Smith was impressive with the bat today but also in the field. He strikes me as a very sympathetic captain. He sets his fields with his bowlers, not in spite of them, and is not affronted at being told by 22 year old Zafar Ansari that he wants a different field, thank you very much. If the Championship games so far have marked us out as a tougher side to beat under Smith, maybe his limited overs leadership will add that little bit extra as well. Well played gentlemen.


Tim V said...

"and (somehow) even more confidence."

Very nicely put.

GreenJJ said...

Hi Tim
For some bizarre reason the first version of this reverted to the old version, no idea what happened! Anyway, Ansari was awesome, such a talent. Can't wait to have him back full time!