Friday, 31 May 2013

Salvage job required as Derbyshire dig in

A much improved performance from Surrey on day two only served to limit the damage done on day one. Surrey closed the day batting and on 35-1, still 417 runs behind.

Earlier in the day Derbyshire clawed their way up to 452 all out largely thanks to a fine rearguard 72 from Richard Johnson, and Wayne Madsen pushing his score on past 150. Surrey's bowlers made a vast improvement on yesterday's efforts. Stuart Meaker in particular made significant strides. Given his talent its perplexing that he's having so many "off" days this season, only to return 24 hours later and seem like his old self after all. That elusive consistency lies between him and England honours.

Chris Tremlett continued his good work from the early salvos of day one and made his way to his first five wicket haul for Surrey as he found the edge of Johnson's bat and Wilson snaffled the catch to end the Derbyshire innings. Tim Linley was another who improved significantly and might feel aggrieved that he didn't end up with better figures than 2-99.

Through the latter overs of the Derbyshire innings the Surrey fielders would have been perturbed by the odd delivery that kept low. Although the surface was still causing few problems for the batsman, the occasional "shooter" will not have done the confidence any good. Of course, one way to avoid being bowled by a dodgy delivery is to run yourself out, which is just what Rory Burns did early in the Surrey reply. He was caught short by a direct hit when looking for a third run off a mis-field. It was precisely the sort of thing that should not happen when the opposition have just posted 450.

Vikram Solanki appeared to bat at number three rather than Ponting. Presumably that is at the behest of Ponting, who seems to be calling the shots. When Arun Harinath was injured before the Sussex game Solanki stayed at four, with Gary Wilson moving up. Ponting presumably has dibs on the number four slot. He can bat where ever he wants if you ask me. In any case Solanki and Harinath saw out the remainder of the day without further loss, which was vital in the context of the match.

At the half way point this match would appear to be heading for a draw. You'd have to say that is the best Surrey can hope for, barring a freakish innings from someone tomorrow. Derbyshire have looked every bit our equal in this match which begs the question, being the bottom two clubs as we are, where are the wins we need to stay up going to come from?

If Chris Adams thought the Nottinghamshire game was a "must win", surely this game is nothing less. Given that a win now seems fanciful,  he really should be feeling the pressure. Tomorrow is a crucial day im Surrey's season - stand tall and save the game, or whither and descend inexorably towards Division Two.


Tonfedd said...

I have a horrible feeling that 'must win game' will be a phrase that gets used more than once for Surrey this season,and possibly with increasingly frequency (although possible not at a members forum).

Getting run out to a misfield on day 2 with 450 to get is the sort of thing you should be fined for by the club...

The Meaker performance thing is interesting - to me it suggests there is something not quite right on the management/coaching side of things. I think this is a reflection of an ongoing problem. I'm pleased for Jordan that things are now going well for him and my suspicion is that if he had stayed at Surrey he wouldn't have been doing so well this season.

Being equalled and possibly better by Derbyshire, given the difference in resources available to the two sides is woeful.

At least we can hold our heads high, we will have the best (only?) doric columns and revamped corporate areas in div 2.

GreenJJ said...

Superb comment tonfedd.

Meaker is a tough one, he's such a smart lad and a bloody hard worker, even if he was being mismanaged I'd still think his work ethic would pull him through. Maybe he's just a bit iffy on his form at the moment. Quite agree with you on Jordan. The set up at Surrey couldn't get the best out of him, someone needs to take a long hard look at themself to answer why.

Those columns will serve us well in division two!

Tonfedd said...

Somebody needs to take a long hard look at themselves .....and resign! - and I'm not referring to the players who I have a lot of time for.

I guess the only one I am not especially taken with is Jon Lewis who looks like he cant believe his luck with this contract and doesn't appear to be able to fill that older statesman leadership role for the younger players that I thought he was partly brought for. Seems like a peripheral figure.

Its made worse by looking across the river and seeing how things are run team wise there. wonder if Alec Stewart would fancy a Gus Fraser type role.

GreenJJ said...

Well I think Lewis gets a bit of a raw deal actually, though I can see where you're coming from. He was perhaps not the greatest signing, and his bowling late last season was poor, but he's a proper pro. Maybe he should be given more of an explicit coaching role at the club? I distinctly remember during that game at Horsham when a few of our lads had been out on the piss, Lewis bowled his heart out. Only a small thing I know, but it counted for something with me. He is a bit of a peripheral figure you're right, but I don't think he should be.

Completely agree re Middlesex. Would definitely like to see Alec take the reins!

Tonfedd said...

Good to hear your views on Jon Lewis. I may well be being unfair to him - my view is based on limited knowledge and impressions as an ordinary supporter - but given the expressed reasons given for getting him in I had expected a more prominent role within the team structure. The fact he doesnt seem to have one may not be his fault. Although his 'jokey' videos dont really give the impression of this more mature older player giving extra leadership by example to the younger players in the squad.

Anyway after a stunning performance tomorrow by the team over the next couple of days hopefully this all may seem irrelevant..

GreenJJ said...

Must confess I've never seen those videos - perhaps I'll check them out and it might change my mind!

We can but hope for that kind of performance!

Punters aPal said...

Another draw. For years now - we can't bowl opposition out twice on a regular basis. Oh for a Murtagh or Jordan eh? On Lewis, at least he can bat a bit, but agree that we need bowlers to take wickets.

Punter has more runs than Smith in one innings, farcical employing personnel who don't work out for whatever reason.

We are at best an average 4 day / 2020 side, but at least not bad at the 40 over variety.

Jobs for the boys at coaching level is not working is it. Nepotism gone mad again, remember butcher n butcher - nothing has been learned. Just hope we can dig out some results in the last few games as usual.

GreenJJ said...

We are looking a very average four day side at the moment. Remains to be seen on the T20, but I'm not hopeful. Very concerned about the bowling, so inconsistent, its very frustrating. On the coaching, Adams has been in charge for four and a half seasons, have we really progressed much in that time?