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.
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