Saturday, 31 March 2012

Burns on Fire as Surrey dominate

Surrey have had a successful day on the opening day of the University match against Leeds-Bradford MCCU, with Rory Burns scoring his first First Class hundred, and reducing the opposition to 20-1 at the close.

The visitor’s captain, Richard Moore, won the toss and stuck Surrey in, in conditions which seemed to favour the bowlers. Stuart Meaker missed the game due to a stiff neck. Chris Jordan and Matthew Spriegel opened for Surrey, and with the second opener’s spot still available next week, they would have been trying to show what they have got.  Spriegel was the early aggressor, striking 2 fours off the second over of the match followed by Jordan who got in on the act, with some Caribbean-esque shots.

The score had got to 49, before Spriegel was trapped in front by the impressive Ivan Thomas for 13. Another failure for Spriegel, and looking less likely to be picked next week. Chris Jordan carried on his merry way, hitting an array of shots around the Kia Oval, and was joined by Gary Wilson. Jordan was edging towards his fifty, but before he could get there, Wilson was trapped in front by Reece for a 37 ball 6. Disappointing for Wilson, as the wicket keepers spot isn’t set in stone.

Soon after Chris Jordan did complete his 4th first class fifty, but things just got worse afterwards. Jordan was bowled by Reece for 54, and Maynard joined the skipper at the crease. RHB was playing his usual way, only dealing in boundaries, until on 22, he edged behind and was gone. Yet another start, but no score of note. Then, two balls later, Jason Roy was bowled for 0, to leave Surrey 136-5 closing in on lunch. 4 wickets falling for 45, and another collapse. Tom Maynard was joined by Rory Burns and took Surrey to lunch 5 down for 143.

The pair needed to rebuild the innings, and they did that and more. They both looked at ease, with Maynard dominating the partnership, in a typically aggressive manner. He brought up his fifty off just 65 balls, shortly after the 50 partnership came up. Burns wasn’t to be outplayed though, gradually increasing in pace, and finding the boundary with regular occurrence. He went past his previous highest First Class score of 26 at ease, and brought up his first fifty off 92 balls, with 9 fours. Maynard had moved into the nineties, but on 91, he was trapped in front by Hardman, and the partnership was broken on 146. Good time in the middle for Maynard, even if it was an inferior opposition. Tom Jewell joined Burns at the crease, and they took Surrey to tea on 314-6, with Burns on 68.

Tom Jewell fell straight after tea though, for 18, Leach trapping him LBW. The Viscount joined Burns at the crease, and he looked good straight away, hitting back to back boundaries of his 3rd and 4th balls. Rory Burns continued from where he left off before the break, looking very comfortable in the middle. The partnership had reached 32 before Linley went, when he was caught for 15, and became Leach’s 4th victim. Surrey 346-8. Freddie van den Bergh joined Burns and he also looked very good, regularly finding the boundary. Burns went into the nineties, with yet another boundary, and not long after, he reached his first First class century with a boundary of Thomas. It had come off 153 balls, with 17 fours, and he has really staked a claim for the opening championship game next week. Surrey immediately declared on 385-8, Burns finishing unbeaten on 101 and Freddie van den Bergh 16, his highest First Class score. A better batting performance from the boys, but RHB, Roy and Spriegs still disappointing, and need a score in the second innings.

Tim Linley got Surrey off to a great start with the ball, getting Slater caught behind for 4 in the first over. There wasn’t much more play though, as the fading light lead to an early close.

Overall, a good day for Surrey, who will be looking to push on tomorrow and gain a first innings lead against the inferior opposition. 

Friday, 30 March 2012

12 named for 1st First Class game

Chris Adams has named a 12 man squad for the 1st first class game of the summer, starting tomorrow at the Kia Oval against Leeds-Bradford MCCU.

After the disappointing batting performances of the last two weeks, they will be looking to get some practice in against a team who have only been given first class status in the last few months. Rory Hamilton- Brown will obviously skipper the side, but he himself needs some runs, as he hardly made double figures against in the games at Chelmsford and Taunton. Converting starts to significant scores will be vital this season for RHB, as he did that too rarely last campaign.

Tom Maynard will also be looking to find some form, as he has probably been in the poorest form of the batsman likely to play against Sussex, reaching double figures just once in 7 innings. Jason Roy and Matthew Spriegel make up the batsman, with both of them fighting for that number 7 spot against Sussex. At the moment, Roy is the favourite, but Adams has persisted with the out of form Spriegel, so if he finds some nick, then he may get the nod due to the extra bowling option.

Gary Wilson has been named in the squad for the first time in 2012, after playing for Ireland in the ICC World T20 qualifying competition in Abu Dhabi. Rory Burns has also kept his place after impressing with bat and behind the stumps in pre season, and it will be a shootout between them for the wicket keepers spot against Sussex. Wilson is the favourite, as he has been in great form himself, but don’t disregard Burns, with this weekend’s game proving vital.

Jade Dernbach and Jon Lewis have both been rested for this game, suggesting that they both have done enough in pre-season to be in the starting X1 next week. Young bowlers Matthew Dunn and Tom Jewell have been called into the squad, alongside Tim Linley, Stuart Meaker and Chris Jordan. After his wonderful season last year, Linley is also likely to play next week, but the 4th seamer’s spot is up for grabs, with Meaker and Jordan looking to impress and get the nod. Young left arm spinner Freddie van den Bergh makes up the 12, but it isn’t known how much he will be involved this year with possible University commitments.

Full Surrey Squad:

The game starts at 11am at the Kia Oval, and continues until Monday (if we can bat that long!). Even though it won’t be a great opposition, we need all the practice we can get before the big return to Division 1 cricket.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pre-Season Round up 2012

Surrey have been involved in 3 pre-season games over the past two weeks, and I think it is fair to say, they haven’t played particularly well. They started with a draw in a 2 day match against Essex at Chelmsford, before travelling to Taunton and being beaten in both a 40 over game and a 3 day game.

Surrey batted first against Essex and immediately found themselves in trouble at 36-4, with Harinath, Roy, Maynard and the skipper all out cheaply. Spriegel soon followed and it was down to Lancefield and Burns to restore some pride to the innings. They both batted well, with the former hitting 41 and the latter 44. Surrey were eventually all out for 211, with Meaker top scoring with an unbeaten 47. Not the greatest start by the batsman.  Essex went past Surrey’s total with relative ease, before completing their allocated overs on 288-9. Lewis took 3 and Dernbach and Meaker each took 2 wickets, with Linley and Spriegel taking one a piece.

Surrey had the rest of the day to bat, but that wasn’t as easy as it sounded. After Roy and Harinath got Surrey off to a solid start at 16-0, they capitulated to 16-5, with Spriegel, Maynard and RHB all out without scoring. It was down to Burns and Lancefield once again to prevent (further!) embarrassment and they did ok, until Burns went for 17. Lancefield and Meaker took Surrey to the end of the game just 6 down. A woeful performance from the batsman, and looking for an improvement at Taunton.

RHB was surprisingly rested for the 40 over game at Taunton, so Dernbach was captain for the day and stuck Somerset in. Unsurprisingly, with Tres and Kieswetter, Somerset got off to a flier before Lewis removed the former with the score on 80. Kieswetter was looking in wonderful form, before he fell for 81 to Spriegel. Peter Trego took over the mantle though, and rocketed Somerset to 300-5 off their 40 overs, with Trego falling for 99 on the last ball to a Jordan Yorker. Not a great start to the one day stuff in 2012.

However, Surrey would’ve believed they could win this, with memories of Wantage Road last year. Rory Burns fell early, but Jason Roy and opener Arun Harinath played wonderfully, both reaching half centuries. However, in the space of 6 overs, the game changed. Harinath fell for 62, and was quickly followed by Roy for 81 and Spriegel without scoring. Tom Maynard then went, and the game was out of Surrey’s hands.  There was still some time for Jon Lewis to have some fun, but Surrey were bowled out for 250 and lost by 50 runs. Another inexcusable batting collapse, and they were now looking at the three day game starting the following day.

Marcus Trescothick elected to bat first, and he and Arul Suppiah both went early, with Linley and Lewis removing them. Jordan then removed Hildreth to make it Surrey’s morning. Just after lunch, Lewis had two more when he removed Kieswetter and Jones and it was all looking better for Surrey. 3 wickets from Dernbach and a couple from Linley finished Somerset off and they were all out for 160. However, Surrey couldn’t even last until tea before collapsing yet again, with Harinath, experimental opener Jordan, Maynard and Lancefield all going. RHB and Roy looked to rebuild, but after making another start, the skipper was bowled for 28. Roy and Spriegel followed soon after, so it was down to Burns and Lewis to try and get a lead. Once again Burns looked good, and Lewis hit a few lusty blows, taking Surrey to close 7 down, with a lead of 10. The innings was wrapped up quickly at the start of day 2, Surrey all out for 180, leading by 20.

Surrey once again got off to a great start with the ball, as Lewis removed Suppiah and Linley got Nick Compton. Straight after lunch, Trescothick was slow turning for a second and Dernbach ran him out. Hildreth and Kieswetter then batted wonderfully, putting on a partnership of over 150. They both reached their centuries, with Hildreth out before Kieswetter could get to his. After Freddie van den Bergh picked up his first wicket, Trego joined Kieswetter and the pair batted beautifully, taking the game away from Surrey. Freddie van den Bergh then removed the pair of them stumped, with Trego once again out in the 90’s. Somerset declaring on 429-8, so 410 for Surrey to win.

Surrey couldn’t get through to the close without losing a wicket, as Jordan went for 10. Lancefield and Harinath started day 3 well, before the former was out for 24. George Dockrell then picked up two quick wickets, as Harinath and RHB went. Roy and Spriegel were removed cheaply and Surrey found themselves 52-6. Not even Rory Burns could get Surrey out of trouble this time, as he went for 3, and before lunch, Lewis went for 12. Tom Maynard had actually reached double figures, and started to play some shots with only Linley and Dernbach left. However, Dockrell removed the viscount, followed by Maynard for 49, and Somerset had won by a massive 288 runs, Surrey all out for 121. Another diabolical batting performance from the guys.

Surrey now look forward at the first First class game of the season, starting on Saturday at the Kia Oval against Leeds-Bradford MCCU, where the batsman will be looking to find some form. Apart from Burns and Lancefield, none of the batsman come out of pre-season with any credit, and with Rudolph, Ramps and de Bruyn coming back in, there will be competition for places for next Thursday’s game against Sussex.

There were some positives though, as the bowling was generally good. Jon Lewis started his Surrey career well, picking up regular wickets. Dernbach and Linley also did well, with Meaker bowling quickly, without the wickets to match. Like the batting, there is plenty of competition for places with the bowlers, but I feel Lewis has guaranteed a place for next Thursday, with the other spots going to 3 from Jordan, Linley, Jade or Meaks.