Sunday, 12 May 2013

Regular wickets keep Durham ahead

Surrey face the prospect of a first result in four matches tomorrow, but increasingly it looks like it'll be the wrong result as rain brought an early end to proceedings with the home side on 164 for 6, a lead of 115.

The day began positively for Surrey as Gareth Batty collected his fifth wicket of the innings, trapping Ryan Buckley lbw to end the Durham innings. It was Batty's fifth five-for for Surrey, interestingly all but one (against Middlesex last year) of those have come in the first innings. Only seven runs had been added to the overnight total and Durham's lead stood at 49 runs. In the context of a low scoring game it was a handy advantage, but the fact that they would be batting last meant that it wasn't quite a decisive one.

Surrey had most of the morning session to bat through and in an ideal world they would've reached parity having lost no wickets. As it was when lunch arrived although the deficit had been whittled away, three wickets had fallen in the process. Roy was first to go as Thorp found a way between bat and pad, adding weight to the impression that he shouldn't be bearing the burden of opening the innings. Harinath was next to go, lbw to Wood for 11 before Burns fell in the same manner to Borthwick's leg spin.

That left Surrey effectively 16-3 at lunch and in a precarious position considering the tail's capitulation in the first innings. After the break the old hands Solanki and de Bruyn had some repair work to do. However they could only muster a 22 run partnership before Solanki fell leg before to Collingwood to a ball which kept very low. When de Bruyn fell, lbw again but this time to Borthwick and after a mini recovery with Davies, there was more sign of the variable bounce. While the wickets were damaging (the lead was only 89 when de Bruyn fell) Surrey will have been encouraged by the uneven nature of the pitch and de Bruyn himself can look forward to bowling more overs tomorrow.

Wilson joined Davies at the crease and as the last recognised batting pair their efforts were always going to be crucial. Davies was batting extremely well and looked set for a second fifty in the match before, just as he did in the first innings, giving his wicket away to Borthwick. In the first innings he missed a huge full toss to be bowled, this time he slapped a huge long hop straight to deep mid-wicket on 46. With the lead at just 106 Surrey were nowhere near safety.

Wilson and Batty made it safely to the tea break but only one delivery was bowled in the evening session before rain intervened forcing an early close.

A look back at the totals in this game tells the story that this one was there for the taking. We were 221-4 on day one but threw it away. We then bowled poorly at Durham in the evening and for the first half hour of day two, allowing them a crucial opening partnership of 88. We may yet prevail in this game, with a lead of 115 and with Wilson and Batty at the crease who are more than capable of extending that into winnable territory. But frankly we could and should be in a far stronger position but for some poor execution with bat and ball. With the forecast tomorrow indicating rain delays are unlikely, a fascinating full day's play awaits.


Anonymous said...

Durham win this all day log.. Better get used to the usual folks - relegation scrap again..

Crap overseas signings and Keedy? What's the point - and Roy opening? Gross negligence on Adams part yet again.

We are not a bad 40 over side, but that's about it I'm afraid

GreenJJ said...

They're certainly in the box seats, it doesn't look great for us at the moment. Agree Keedy has been poor up to now and has a lot of work to do. Needless to say I definitely agree that Roy is better off down the order, it can't be good for his development.

Tim V said...

Graeme Smith & Ricky Ponting - Crap overseas signings? Am I missing something - irony perhaps?

Paul said...

I thought we bowled well on Saturday to restrict their lead to 50, when at one time they looked to be heading for a huge lead. Gareth Batty bowled superbly, as did Zander De Bruyn but Meaker, once again, delivered an awful spell with the new ball. Had Davies not given his wicket away (for the second time in the match) when well set the game would be evenly poised. A lead of 175 would make things interesting - but I would expect Durham to triumph today. I was thrilled when we signed Smith and Ponting - although I wondered at the time whether an international captain could also captain a county side for an arduous five month season. Smith and Adams' brave new world lasted three weeks and I do wonder whether Smith will return next season. He is contracted to do so -but he should review his fitness and work load as I do not believe he can do both jobs. As it stands we have no overseas player until Ponting arrives in June and again no one for the crucial months of August/September. I would prefer a quality overseas spinner to work with Batty. After all, if it wasn't for the Batty/Kartik partnership we would be in the second division this season.

GreenJJ said...

Smith and Ponting could not be said to be crap overseas signings. Adams has been unlucky with some, Rudolph, Herath and Arafat for example should've been good but were absolutely shocking. He's also signed some complete duds, Grant Elliott and Rao Ifthikar for example (even if there might have seemed to be some logic at the time). Its a mixed bag on the overseas front for Adams, the only one who could really be termed an unbridled success is Ojha, although there was some suggestion that his signing was down to Alec Stewart and Anil Kumble...

GreenJJ said...

Hi Paul

We did bowl very well, or like you say Zander and Batty bowled well, on Saturday. Meaker is a puzzle this season, a genius one minute and completely losing his radar the next. He's so irresistible in spells that I'll forgive him spraying it around sometimes, but its very frustrating.

I'm pretty sure Smith will be back, I wonder how long he'll continue with SA having skippered them for ten years and with a growing UK-based family...will be interesting to see.

Agree with you on the overseas, a quality spinner late in the season would be perfect. We'll just have to make do until Ponting arrives!