Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Rudolph returns for Durham test

Jacques Rudolph has returned to the Surrey squad, as Chris Adams names 13 players to take on Durham in the LVCC Division One match at the Kia Oval starting tomorrow.

The South African opener missed last week’s draw against Worcestershire due to family reasons, but has flown back to the UK in the last 2 days. He will come straight back into the side at the top of the order, and gives Adams the selection dilemma of dropping either Roy or Ramprakash. Roy looked good in both innings last week, but failed to get a significant score. Ramps just got a total of 11 runs in the game, and looks in extremely poor form. However, he has come out this week and criticised the Oval pitch, a week after criticising the pitch at Lord’s, saying batting is a “lottery.” I think Adams will stick with him for this game, but further failure could lead to him being dropped.

Adams could however, play both Roy and Ramps. Roy could add some vital depth to the batting at number 7, with Jordan dropping out of the team. The West Indian didn’t bowl much in the Worcestershire second innings, and I feel that if Hamilton-Brown is going to open with de Bruyn on a regular occurrence, we have plenty of bowling options in the side. Adams could also leave out Gareth Batty, and bat Jordan at 8, but this seems unlikely as Batty has been the go to bowler this season, especially when the oppositions tail is wagging.

Tim Linley has once again been named in the squad, but is unlikely that he will play. Lewis and especially Meaker have proven their worth this season already, so the only way the Viscount will play is if Dernbach is dropped/rested, but I can’t see this happening, especially with Jade likely to be with England this year. Adams will want to get the most he can out of him.

The skipper will want to continue his great start to the season, scoring a fifty in each of the second innings so far. Like Ramprakash, Zander de Bruyn hasn’t been in the best of form this season, which is surprising after his attractive half century in the first innings against Sussex. There is no danger, at the moment, of him being dropped, as his all round options have been useful (well sometimes!).

Durham have an extremely good looking squad, and will provide a stern test for the home side. They are fresh off a draw at Lord’s last week, and with the likes of Onions, Collingwood and Stokes, they will be favourites ahead of this once.

Surrey Squad to take on Durham:
Rory Hamilton-Brown (C)
Jacques Rudolph
Steven Davies (WK)
Mark Ramprakash
Zander de Bruyn
Tom Maynard
Jason Roy
Chris Jordan
Gareth Batty
Stuart Meaker
Jon Lewis
Jade Dernbach
Tim Linley

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Weather ruins chance of a result

The LVCC Division One match between Surrey and Worcestershire has ended in a draw, after rain brought an early end to proceedings, with the visitors requiring a further 152 for victory, on 94-1.

The day started with Surrey leading by 152, with 4 wickets in hand. RHB and Batty were the not out batsman, but Batty didn’t last long though, as he got a brute of a ball from Lucas, and was caught in the gully for 19. The wicket of Batty didn’t deter Hamilton-Brown though, as he continued from where he left off last night, gradually building a sizeable lead on this pitch.

50 minutes into the days play, the skipper looked to launch Lucas, but could only find Choudhry at mid on, who took the catch. His score of 76, off just 96 balls, is superb in the context of the game, and put Surrey into a great position. He has scored vital half centuries in all of the second innings this season, and showing a side to his batting which Surrey fans have been waiting for. Meaker and Lewis were together at the crease, and the lead was taken over 200, with a boundary from Lewis.

Meaker was the next man to go, when he flashed at a ball from Jones, and was caught in the slips for 19. Dernbach came in, and started to enjoy himself with an array of attacking shots, including a huge six down the ground off Richardson. He was the last man to go though, as he tried to launch Lucas but could only find Choudhry. Surrey all out for 224, with 246 for Worcestershire to win. Mitchell and Klinger survived the tricky 3 overs before lunch, to take their side to the break at 4-0.

If the Surrey bowlers thought that Worcestershire would just roll over, they had another thing coming. RHB tried different combinations of bowlers, with Lewis, Meaker and Dernbach all having a go after lunch, but without success. Klinger was dominating the opening partnership, which went past 50 an hour after the break, and the pitch was looking far easier to bat on than previous days.

The batsman were taking the game away from Surrey, and putting their sides as favourites if the weather stayed ok. Surrey did pick up a wicket, when Jordan bowled Mitchell in his second over of the innings. However, that was the last action of the game, as the rain came and lasted long enough for the umpires to end the game as a draw.

So, in the end, a draw was probably a fair result. Surrey will be disappointed that they couldn’t claim more Worcestershire wickets, but the pitch definitely flattened out, and the rain saved them from defeat in the end. As you would expect, a good game for our bowlers, with Meaker obviously standing out in the first innings. The batsman did have it tough though, with RHB the only one who looked comfortable on that pitch. Roy looked good in both innings but failed to kick on, and Ramps and de Bruyn once again registered 2 low scores. When Rudolph comes back in, Adams will have the dilemma of dropping Ramps or not, with Roy possibly being kept.

Not that I want Ramps dropped though, as I would do anything to see him be half as good as we know he can be, and it’s not just him, as most of the batsman around the circuit are struggling. Surrey now welcome Durham to the Kia Oval on Thursday, and the hosts will be looking to resurrect their form from the Sussex game, against a strong looking Durham side.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Meaker and RHB put Surrey on top

Surrey will be the happier of the 2 sides in the LVCC Division One match against Worcestershire, as the hosts ended with a lead of 152 with 4 wickets remaining, heading into the final day. 

Surrey started the morning 123-7, knowing that any runs they could get may be vital in the context of the game. However, they didn’t manage to add many more, as Richardson picked up his sixth, when Meaker was caught behind superbly by Scott. Batty’s poor form continued, when he edged Lucas to slip to give the former Northamptonshire bowler his first wicket. Lucas finished off the innings, when he had Dernbach caught behind without scoring. Surrey all out for 140, and needing early inroads in the Worcestershire first innings.

Jon Lewis gave them the perfect start, when he got Klinger to drive, and the edge found Maynard at slip, who took a good catch. Solanki joined Mitchell, and the pair had to grind against some typically tight bowling from Lewis. The 36 year old then picked up his second wicket, when Solanki looked to work him leg side, but got a leading edge, and Chris Jordan took a stunning catch at cover point.

Stuart Meaker then got the big wicket of Moeen Ali, when he beat him for pace and trapped him in front for 3. Then, in his next over, Meaker got the captain to drive and Maynard took the catch at slip. Kervezee and Cameron took their side through to lunch on 38-4, still trailing by 102.

Straight after lunch, Lewis was at it again, when Kervezee edged him to slips to give Maynard another catch. Meaker then removed Scott and Choudhry in quick succession, the former caught behind, and the latter giving Maynard a 4th catch of the innings. And Meaker had his first fifer of the season, when he uprooted Lucas’ off stump. It was Meaker’s 100th First Class wicket in his career, so congratulations to him. Worcestershire were 74-8 and Surrey were looking at a relatively big first innings lead in the context of the game.

However, James Cameron was joined by Richard Jones and the pair had other ideas, frustrating the Surrey bowlers, and gradually reducing the lead. Dernbach made the breakthrough, when he got Jones caught by Batty for 20, and Meaker finished the innings off, when he had Cameron caught behind. Meaker finishing with career best figures of 6-39, and the visitors were all out for 119. A lead of 21 for Surrey, but once again the inability to knock the tail over could cost them.

Jason Roy and Steven Davies looked to be positive straight away, with the former hitting Lucas for six in just the second over of the innings. However, the opening partnership didn’t last long, when Roy was caught by Mitchell off Richardson for 14. Davies soon followed for 8, and de Bruyn’s poor form continued when he was adjudged LBW off Richardson. Surrey needed Ramps to rebuild the innings, alongside the skipper, but the 42 year old didn’t last long, as Richardson picked up his 9th of the match, trapping him in front with a ball that kept low, for just 10. Surrey had totally subsided, and when Maynard looked to launch Jones and was caught by Lucas, they were 59-5, a lead of just 80.

Chris Jordan joined his skipper, and the pair knew that they had to put together a partnership, or risk being bowled out with a lead below 100. RHB was batting in his typical manner, ticking along at well over a run a ball, playing an innings that could be so important in the outcome of the game. And it was the captain who took the lead over 100, with a couple off Lucas. However, the pair couldn’t take Surrey to the close, as Jones got Jordan to nibble at one, and he was caught behind for 9.

Hamilton- Brown brought up a brilliant half century off just 49 balls, the highest score of the game so far. He and Gareth Batty started to tick the score over as the light closed in, and at stumps Surrey were 131-6, a lead of 152.

A good day for Surrey overall, in which 19 wickets fell, but a lead of 152 could be match winning already. However, RHB and Batty will continue in the morning and look to get the lead near the 200 mark if they can, before trying to bowl the visitors out.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Richardson dominates on another affected day

Alan Richardson has claimed figures of 5-42 for Worcestershire on day 2 of the LVCC Division One match at the Kia Oval, with Surrey closing on 123-7, on another weather affected day.

Even though the whole first day was washed out, the toss still took place, and Worcestershire won it and stuck Surrey in. Chris Adams had brought in Jason Roy for Jacques Rudolph, and Stuart Meaker for Tim Linley.

When the players finally got out there this morning, it was Roy who opened, alongside Steven Davies. Roy started off in typical fashion, finding the boundary with regular occurrence, and making batting look relatively comfortable. However, Davies wasn’t finding it as easy, and struggled to score freely as Surrey fans know he can, up against some tight bowling from Alan Richardson. Roy was ticking along at over a run a ball, and was dominating the opening stand. But, with the partnership on 48, Roy was trapped in front for 38 by Richardson. A good start by Roy, but a shame he couldn’t pose a more sizeable score.

Mark Ramprakash joined Davies, but in Richardson’s next over, Surrey’s keeper fell for 15, when he was caught behind. And Ramps’ terrible form continued, when he pushed at a ball from Richard Jones, and was caught in the slips for just 1. Once again a failure from Ramps, who doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and if he carries on in this fashion, he will get dropped when Rudolph returns, with Roy keeping his place. Batting wasn’t easy out there though, and the in form RHB was caught behind for just 3, to leave his side 59-4. An early lunch was taken due to rain, Surrey 60-4.

Straight after the break, Surrey were 5 down. Zander de Bruyn drove at a ball from Richardson, and was caught in the slips region for 6. Tom Maynard and Chris Jordan had a big job on their hands, knowing that if one of them got out, there wouldn’t be much batting left. The Welshman played in his typical manner though, seemingly dealing in boundaries only, and was well supported by the Barbadian. The partnership had reached 48, and the score 117, when the rain returned.

After several inspections, the players finally got out in the middle at quarter past 5. However, it was a poor session for the hosts, in which they lost Maynard and Jordan, both to Richardson. 6 runs were added for the loss of 2 wickets before the rain returned with Surrey 123-7.

That was the last action of the day, a day dominated by the visitors, and in particular Alan Richardson. Meaker and Batty are the not out batsman, and will be looking to get Surrey up and above 150 tomorrow morning. However, with the way things have gone, that won’t be easy.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Rudolph omitted from squad to take on Worcestershire

Jacques Rudolph is the only omission from the X1 involved in the defeat to Middlesex last week, as Chris Adams has named an otherwise unchanged squad for the LVCC Division One match against Worcestershire, starting tomorrow at the Kia Oval.

The South African opener has been left out due to family reasons, so I would like to take this time to say that I hope everything is ok, and hope to see Jacques back and playing as soon as possible. It is a blow for Surrey, as they have struggled to find a settled opening partnership, and as soon as they have one, Rudolph can’t play. However, it opens a door for another South African, in Jason Roy, who will surely come in to make his first appearance of the season. Roy may slot straight into Rudolph’s place at the top of the order, but he could also bat at 7, with Chris Jordan, who opened against Sussex, possibly being promoted again.

That is, of course, if Chris Jordan is picked, which isn’t a certainty. He could make way for Stuart Meaker to come back in, but then the tail would be quite long, with Meaker batting at 8. Therefore, due to the impressive form of Lewis and Dernbach, it is likely that if Meaker does come in, it would be for Tim Linley. It would be a shame for the Viscount to miss out, but with England duty for possibly for both Dernbach and Meaker later in the season, his chance will come.

There is also the option of leaving out Gareth Batty, and playing all the seamers. However, then there would be 6 seamers in the X1, including de Bruyn, who RHB has opened with in the second innings of both matches this season. To be honest, I cannot see Adams not playing Batty as, even though he has been in poor form with the bat, he has picked up a couple of vital wickets at the right times already this season.

Mark Ramprakash has, as expected, been named in the squad, even though he has looked in retched form, with Jon Lewis getting more runs than him this season. However, Adams has stuck by him for this match, to give him another chance. However, if he fails again, and Roy impresses, he could be out of the team when Rudolph returns.

Zander de Bruyn and Tom Maynard had good games against Sussex, but both failed at Lord’s. With a better pitch expected at the Kia Oval, they will be looking to continue from where they left off, and try and put last week’s game to the back of their mind. RHB looked good in both games, and has already passed 200 runs for the season. Adams has said this week that if he continues in this fashion, in tough conditions like at Lord’s, an England call up wouldn’t be far round the corner.

Worcestershire have a good looking team this year, with the right blend of youth and experience. Led by Daryl Mitchell, and with the likes of Vikram Solanki in their batting line up, they will be no pushovers, and Surrey will have to be on their game. However, the weather may play a factor in this game, as the forecast looks poor all week.

Surrey squad to play Worcestershire: Rory Hamilton-Brown (C), Steven Davies (WK), Mark Ramprakash, Zander de Bruyn, Tom Maynard, Jason Roy, Gareth Batty, Chris Jordan, Stuart Meaker, Jon Lewis, Tim Linley, Jade Dernbach.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Middlesex skittle Surrey to win thriller

Middlesex have beaten Surrey in the LVCC Division 1 match at Lord’s by just 3 runs, after Tim Murtagh and Toby Roland-Jones ran through the lower order, dismissing the visitors for 137.

Surrey were favourites heading into the day, with just 46 more needed and 6 wickets in hand. However, in just the 3rd over of the day, Tom Maynard looked to whip a full ball from Berg through the left side, but missed and was trapped LBW. Jordan was the next to go, when Murtagh bowled him all ends up without scoring. And Gareth Batty’s retched form with the bat continued, when, like Maynard, he missed a full ball and gave Roland-Jones his first wicket. Jon Lewis came to the crease to join the skipper, and the pair looked to be edging Surrey towards the finishing line, with the 36 year old the aggressor. However, Roland-Jones got the massive wicket of RHB, when he couldn’t resist a nibble at a ball outside off stump, and went for 63. A captains knock, but just not quite enough.

15 runs were still required when the Viscount joined Lewis, but he didn’t last long, as he edged Roland-Jones to Malan at slip. Lewis struggled to find the boundary thereafter as the field was out, so Dernbach was often on strike. With just 4 to win, Dernbach looked to launch Murtagh down the ground, but found the toe of the bat, and Sam Robson held onto the catch. Surrey all out for 137.

Not many stood out for Surrey, on a poor pitch for the supposed “Home of Cricket.” Adams and Ramprakash, who know their pitches, both slated the surface afterwards. However, that is no excuse for Surrey, who should have won the game. Their inability to finish off the Middlesex first innings came back to bite them, something that Meaker could have had a say in, but we will never know.

The batsman had it tough out there with the pitch, and also Middlesex did bowl very well. Most of the batsman could be excused for the way they got out, but some will be disappointed. Rudolph played a poor, uncharacteristic, shot in the first innings, which opened the door for Middlesex. Davies and de Bruyn both played loose shots in the second, and if one of them had kicked on, Surrey would have probably walked home. Ramps looks terribly out of nick at the moment, and even if he is moaning about the pitch, a couple of the batsman did manage to conquer it. Malan and RHB both played completely different innings, but still managed to get a score, so I think Ramps’ failure is mostly down to form, not the track.

As expected, all the bowlers did a good job. Lewis obviously stood out, claiming his first fifer for his new club, and Dernbach was once again consistent in both innings. Linley took a while to get into his stride before finding his rhythm from 2011 in the first innings, but was used sparingly in the second. Jordan was the most wayward of the bowlers, but did claim the final 2 wickets of the first innings, dismissing Malan before he could reach his century. And Gareth Batty was hardly used, as the conditions considerably favoured the seam up brigade.

In hindsight, we probably had too many bowlers in the end. Roy could have played instead of Jordan to add depth to the batting, and Meaker should have played on the basis that he changes games, and with him, Middlesex wouldn’t have put on 127 for the last 3 wickets. For the neutrals, it must have been great to watch and listen to, and a great advert for the County game. However, the players won't care about that, and will just be devastated with the outcome.

We now face Worcestershire back at the Kia Oval, with the guarantee that Bill and the groundstaff will put together a far better cricket wicket. Meaker will most likely come back in for Linley, and Adams will once again choose between Jordan or Roy for that number 7 spot. We have to put this game behind us now, and look for the positives, rather than dwelling on the negatives.

by Lewis Winter

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Lewis and RHB shine as wickets tumble

Surrey are the slight favourites for victory in the LVCC Division 1 match against Middlesex at Lord’s, after bowling the hosts out for just 106, and ending the day 95-4, chasing 141. A total of 19 wickets fell in the day.

Surrey started the morning with RHB and Chris Jordan at the crease. Once again there was some attritional stuff early on, as Murtagh and Collymore bowled tightly. The skipper got into his stride, when he pulled Collymore into the Grand stand for 6, but the partnership was broken in the next over. Murtagh got a deserved wicket when he got one to jag back at Jordan and uprooted his leg stump. Gareth Batty didn’t last long either, as he looked to work a Collymore ball into the leg side, but got a leading edge and Denly took a smart catch.

Jon Lewis biffed it around for a bit, making run scoring look relatively easy compared to how others had faired. However, Middlesex had the big wicket of RHB, when Roland-Jones trapped him in front for 35. Surrey’s innings was all over not long after, when Lewis was caught by Murtagh for 21, and Dernbach lasted just 5 balls, without scoring. All out for 222, a lead of 34 for Middlesex.

RHB shocked me, and many others on Twitter, when he opened up with de Bruyn alongside Jon Lewis, especially with the leading wicket taker from 2011 and an England bowler waiting in the wings. However, all my moaning led to a wicket, and it was de Bruyn who got it, drawing Denly into a drive, with Batty taking the catch at slip. Robson and Rogers safely took their side to Lunch just one down.

Then, second ball after lunch, de Bruyn got Rogers to drive at a wide ball, and Davies took the catch. A massive wicket for Surrey, who were scenting a chance. Malan joined Robson, and the Middlesex pair had other ideas though, slowly building the lead, but before it could reach 100, Dernbach got a ball to nip back at Malan, and just clipped the bails, to dismiss the in form batsman.

Jade then followed that up by trapping Robson in front in his next over, Middlesex 4 down. Jon Lewis was brought back into the attack and immediately made an impact, when he removed the opposition’s skipper, Dexter, LBW without scoring.  3 wickets had fallen for 11 runs, and Surrey needing to capitalize, as the lead had reached 110. Gareth Berg then drove at a ball from Lewis, and the 36 year old had his second wicket of the innings, when Batty held onto another catch at first slip. Middlesex theoretically 116 for 6.

Simpson and Rayner were under real pressure from Dernbach and Lewis, and struggled to find a run. Surrey were then in control, when Rayner drove firmly back at Lewis who got a hand to the ball, which deflected back onto the stumps, and ran Simpson out. Middlesex 8 down for 90, a lead of 124. Murtagh joined Rayner, and the ex Surrey man would have been looking to blast some vital runs, and get the lead up and above 150. However, Lewis picked up his 3rd, when Rayner couldn’t resist a nibble at a ball outside off stump, and Davies did the rest.

The former Gloucestershire man was really finding his rhythm, and he finished off the innings in the space of 3 balls, when Roland-Jones was caught brilliantly at slip by Rudolph, and then trapped Collymore in front without scoring; Middlesex all out for 106. Lewis had picked up his first fifer for Surrey, with figures of 5-41. Surrey required 141 to win, on a pitch which seemed to be getting harder to bat on, with Middlesex falling from 65-2, to 106 all out.

Steven Davies and Jacques Rudolph set about chasing the target after the tea interval was taken, but didn’t get off to the greatest start. Toby Roland-Jones trapped the South African in front for just 6, and Surrey had lost their first wicket with the score on 14. And then Davies went in the next over, cutting a loose Murtagh delivery straight to Denly at point.

Surrey needed one of their old guard, Ramps or de Bruyn to get a score. However, it wasn’t going to be the elder of the 2, as Ramps was caught at slip once again off Roland-Jones, for just 1. He really is struggling this season, even more than last, so this will be most certainly his last season in First Class cricket. RHB joined Zander and they started to build a partnership, with the skipper dominating it. However, de Bruyn went when he cut a short ball from Collymore to Rogers at short extra cover, and Surrey were 4 down, still needing a further 73 for victory.

Hamilton-Brown though, still carried on playing in typical fashion, ticking along at over a run a ball. He brought up a brilliant half century with a couple off Gareth Berg. It had come off 49 balls, and could prove match winning. But that was it for the day, as bad light brought a premature end with Surrey on 95-4, requiring 46 more to win.

So, Surrey will be favourites heading into the final day at Lord’s, but batting still isn’t easy, and if Middlesex dismiss RHB or Maynard early, they will fancy their chances.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Middlesex's bowlers halt Surrey

Middlesex will be the happier of the two sides after Day two of the LVCC Division One match at Lord’s, reducing Surrey to 161-5 after being bowled out this morning for 256.

Surrey started the morning needing just the one wicket to polish off the Middlesex first innings. However, that wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Malan continued on his merry way against some slightly loose bowling early on from Jade Dernbach. Malan found a willing partner in Corey Collymore who regularly played his only shot he has; the forward defence. The left hander was closing in on a slow, but superb century. Chris Jordan was then brought on though, and in his first over, he got Malan to tickle one down the leg side and Davies took the catch. Malan gone for 88, Middlesex 256 all out.

Jacques Rudolph and Steve Davies opened as expected, and they started cautiously, in wake of some tight bowling from Murtagh and Collymore. They safely guided Surrey through to lunch on 35-0. The left handed pair continued from where they left off after the break, playing very watchfully, as well as picking off the odd poor delivery. Dexter switched between his 4 seamers, with Berg and Roland-Jones bowling tightly, but without success. However, the Middlesex skipper called on his tall spinner, Ollie Rayner, who gave him immediate success. On just his third delivery, he removed Rudolph stumped by Simpson, 5 short of his first half century for Surrey. The South African will be desperately disappointed with the way he got out, especially with batting being so difficult.

Mark Ramprakash, needing to find some form, joined Steven Davies, who was batting in an uncharacteristic way. He brought up his first 50 of the season with a single of Gareth Berg. It had come off 122 balls, and I think it is safe to say it wasn’t one of his finest knocks, but it was one of the most important ones in the circumstances. The pair took Surrey to tea on 109-1, trailing by 147.

However, after a couple more sweet boundaries, Collymore found the outside edge of Davies’ bat, and the former Worcestershire man had gone for 62. A good innings from Davies, considering he hasn’t played a game since the first warm up before the Pakistan tests. Zander de Bruyn joined Ramps, and the runs completely dried up. There was some real attritional cricket from the experienced pair, with some ironic cheers from the crowd whenever Surrey got a run.

The run rate of the partnership did gradually increase as it went on, but as it did so, Dexter trapped Ramprakash LBW, with a ball that nipped back in. Once again Ramprakash batting for a long time, with his 17 coming off 90 balls, but without the weight of runs needed. Even though it is early in the season, he is worryingly showing the same form of 2011. And Surrey were struggling, when Roland-Jones trapped de Bruyn in front for 17. Surrey 148-4, with RHB and Maynard both in on 0.

Maynard didn’t last long though, as the part timer Dexter picked up his second wicket, getting the Welshman to edge to Berg at slip. 3 wickets had gone for just 5 runs. Jordan joined the skipper and they took their side to close on 161-5.

Middlesex had bowled superbly all day, but Surrey would have been disappointed to undo the fine work that Rudolph and Davies did. Surrey will be hopeful of reaching Middlesex’s total but the late wickets being lost has surely lessened the odds of a substantial first innings lead.

by Lewis Winter

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Malan and Middlesex fight back on Day One

Middlesex have fought back on day one of the LVCC Division 1 match at Lord’s, ending the day 225-9, after being 129-7 at one stage.

On a cloudy morning, Rory Hamilton-Brown won the toss and stuck Middlesex in. The surprising team news was that Stuart Meaker had been replaced by Tim Linley, maybe due to stiffness in his neck, or just through rotation of the seamers. Jason Roy also missed out for the visitors.

Lewis and Linley opened up, but struggled to find their line early on, with Denly and Robson batting comfortably. However Lewis, like in the 2 innings against Sussex, made the first breakthrough, when he got Denly to drive and took his outside edge to give Davies his first catch of the season. However, Chris Rogers joined Robson, and the Australian pair batted well in the conditions, swinging the session towards Middlesex.

RHB continued to chop and change the bowlers, and finally brought on Jade Dernbach over an hour into the days play. And Dernbach made the breakthrough, when he trapped Rogers in front. A massive wicket for Surrey, as fans would know, if he gets in, he can really punish you. However, that was the last wicket before lunch, as Dawid Malan and Sam Robson took their side safely through to the break. After being inserted, Middlesex would have been the happier side at 86-2.

Surrey would have been looking for quick wickets after the interval, but that wasn’t to be, as the heavens opened, and the game was delayed. Heavy rain and thunder and lightning continued for 45 minutes, and even with Lord’s being the quickest drying ground, the groundsman had a job to do. After a delay of over an hour and ten minutes, the players got back out there just before 3 O’Clock.

Tim Linley, who struggled to find his line in his first spell, opened up from the Nursery end, and got Surrey off to the perfect start, uprooting Sam Robson’s off stump to claim his first wicket of the season. Jade Dernbach opened with Linley, and he also made a breakthrough when Dexter attempted to leave a ball, but played on. And Dernbach was then on a hat trick, when he got Josh Simpson to edge a ball to slip, where Batty took an easy catch. Gareth Berg survived the hat trick ball, but Surrey were on top, as Middlesex had fallen from 86-2, to 91-5.

Middlesex needed to rebuild their innings, and Malan was joined by Berg and they started to do that. However, The Viscount really had found his line and length, when he got one to swing back at Berg and removed his leg stump. Middlesex 6 down for 108. Malan dug in, batting untypically watchfully, and was joined by Ollie Rayner. The pair were slowly putting together a partnership, but Jon Lewis was brought back into the attack and bowled the big off spinner with a perfect ball, clipping the top of off stump. Malan and former Surrey man Murtagh took their side to tea 142-7. A good session for Surrey, taking 5 wickets and conceding just 56 runs.

Surrey would have been looking to roll the Middlesex tail over quickly after tea, but Murtagh and Malan thought otherwise. They frustrated the bowlers, with RHB switching between Dernbach, Lewis and Linley, but without much luck. A good score on this pitch would be anything above 200, and being 129-7 at one point, Surrey would have hoped to bowl the hosts out for something considerably less than that.

The skipper then brought on Gareth Batty, and in his 3rd over, he trapped Murtagh in front and broke the partnership on 53. However, Malan was batting superbly, and was joined by Surrey’s nemesis of 2010 Toby Roland-Jones. Jordan was wayward towards the end, with the batsman picking up some vital runs. They took Middlesex over 200, but before the close, Jordan did manage to get Roland-Jones, caught by Batty at slip.

Surrey will be annoyed at once again letting the lower order batsman get away from them, and the partnership between Murtagh and Malan could be game changing. They will need to knock the last wicket over quickly tomorrow, before starting the tough task of getting past Middlesex’s total. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Davies returns for London Derby

Steven Davies is the only change in a 13 man squad for tomorrows LVCC Division One match at Lords against Middlesex, coming in for Rory Burns.

Davies will add even more vital experience to the Surrey line up, and is most likely to open the batting with Jacques Rudolph. Chris Adams said after the Sussex game that he is not sure where he will bat in the order, but he had most of his success opening last season, with Chris Jordan likely to drop down to number 7.

Jacques Rudolph and Mark Ramprakash will be looking to register their first major contribution this season, after looking rather rusty in the first game. Chris Adams has said that Ramps looks as good as ever in the nets, so let’s hope he can convert that onto the field. Tom Maynard will want to continue from where he left off against Sussex, where he looked sublime in the first innings, and equally as good in the second before being bowled by Anyon.

You never know what you are going to get with Rory Hamilton-Brown. In the first innings last week, he looked sketchy and out of nick, but in the second, he was a world beater. His innings alone went a long way to winning the game for his side, and if he can add consistency to his game, England wouldn’t be far away. His captaincy was generally very good last week, with the correct bowling changes at the right times, and good fielding placements for the batsman at the crease. The only glitch was that it took more than 25 overs of Sussex’s second innings before he brought on Jade Dernbach, who immediately got a wicket, but it didn’t matter in the end with the result going Surrey’s way.

Once again Chris Adams will have the hard decision of leaving out one, or possibly 2 of his bowling attack. Chris Jordan may drop down to 7, or may be dropped altogether, with Jason Roy possibly adding extra strength to the batting line up. Jon Lewis had a good debut, picking up 4 wickets, and the 2 England seamers, Dernbach and Meaker, also had good games, so it is likely again that The Viscount will miss out. However, if Adams does play Roy instead of Jordan, he may drop Gareth Batty and play The Viscount instead.

Just like last week, Adams has this selection dilemma, of which bowlers to pick. I personally think that the only change from the eleven last week will be Davies in for Burns, and Roy and Linley will miss out.

Middlesex have named a similar squad from their defeat to Somerset last week, as Strauss and Finn our not available for this fixture. The only change in their 13 is spinner Tom Smith has replaced Adam London. The hosts squad contains 2 ex Surrey players, with Tim Murtagh starting his career at the Oval, and Tom Smith, who spent the end of the 2009 season on loan at Surrey from Sussex. Their batting line up collapsed terribly in the second innings, and after beating Surrey by an innings in the last 2 visits to Lords, we will be looking to exploit their weaknesses and get some much needed revenge.

Surrey Squad:
25.Rory Hamilton-Brown (C), 1. Jacques Rudolph, 9. Steve Davies (WK), 77. Mark Ramprakash, 58. Zander de Bruyn, 55. Tom Maynard, 23. Chris Jordan, 13. Gareth Batty, 18. Stuart Meaker, 7. Jon Lewis, 16. Jade Dernbach, 12. Tim Linley, 20. Jason Roy

Middlesex Squad: 
Neil Dexter (C), Gareth Berg, Steven Crook, Corey Collymore, Joe Denly, Dawid Malan, Tim Murtagh, Ollie Rayner, Sam Robson, Chris Rogers, Toby Roland-Jones, John Simpson (WK), Tom Smith

by Lewis Winter

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Surrey clinch First Division One Win in 5 years

Surrey have won their first game in the LVCC Division one since September 2007, after beating Sussex by 86 runs this morning.

Luke Wells started the morning on 97, looking for his 4th First Class hundred. However, before he could get there, Jon Lewis got Anyon to drive, and his edge was taken by sub fielder Jason Roy in the slips. Wells then completed his hundred, with a boundary of Dernbach. It had been a fantastic innings, full of skill and temperament, and he has a big future ahead of him.

However, after frustrating the Surrey bowlers for nearly an hour this morning, the hosts got the final wicket, when Wells popped a catch back at Lewis for his 3rd wicket.  Sussex 255 all out, and Surrey winning by 86 runs.

It was a thoroughly professional performance by our boys, who fought back a couple of times in the game when Sussex were on top, most notably the skippers wonderful innings, in which without, the result could have been different.

Several players come out of the game well. Lewis had a good debut, picking up 4 wickets, and picking up the first in both of Sussex’s innings. Stuart Meaker bowled quickly as usual, and Jade Dernbach already looks better than he did in the Championship last year. RHB finally found some form in the 2nd innings, and Tom Maynard looked good in both. Jacques Rudolph and Mark Ramprakash look a bit rusty, so will need a couple of games to get into the swing of things, and even though he impressed with the ball, it is likely Chris Jordan will either be dropped from the team, or dropped down the order, with Steven Davies coming back next week.

Surrey pick up 21 points and sit top of Division 1, and even though it’s early days, who says we can’t stay there. We now travel to Lords for the London derby against Middlesex, starting Thursday, with some revenge needed, as they have come out on top in the last two years.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Surrey closing in on opening win

Surrey are closing in on victory against Sussex at the end of day 3 of the LVCC Division 1 match, after reducing the visitors to 240-8 in pursuit of 342.

After just one over of play, the players were off for bad light even though the floodlights were on. The delay lasted 25 minutes, and once they were back out there, Meaker and Lewis looked good again, adding some vital runs to the lead. However, on 27, Meaker drove at a ball from Arif, and Yardy held onto the catch at slip. The partnership with Lewis was worth 57, and would prove pivotal. Lewis then went in the next over, guiding Anyon down to Arif at 3rd man, to give him his 5th wicket. Surrey 273 all out, 342 for Sussex to win.

Sussex had just over an hour to bat before lunch, with Jon Lewis and Zander de Bruyn opening up the bowling. Chris Nash took a particular liking to Lewis, hitting him for several boundaries, including a big six into the OCS stand. However, Lewis had his revenge, when with the score on 29, Nash chopped onto his stumps and went for 20. The 800th first class wicket in Lewis’ career. Fellow opener Ed Joyce didn’t last much longer, as Stuart Meaker beat him for pace, and bowled him for 12. Murray Goodwin has been in this situation many times before for Sussex, and Surrey knew he would be the prize scalp. And in the last over before the interval, Meaker trapped him bang in front without scoring, and Sussex went to lunch 41-3.

The break came just at the right time for Sussex, as Yardy and Wells started well. However, Jade Dernbach was finally brought on, and in his second over, he got the Sussex skipper to play around a straight one, and trapped him in front. Joe Gatting joined Wells, with the visitors needing to build a partnership to have any chance of victory. The pair batted sensibly, hitting the bad balls away, as the Surrey attack was frustrated. However, straight after Wells went to his 50, Gatting tried to put Batty into the Pavillion, but was caught on the long on boundary by Dernbach for 25. Wells was joined by Ben Brown and took Sussex to tea at 152-5.

Both teams knew that the last session would be vital, and if Sussex could win it, it would give them a big chance for victory. However, Meaker trapped Ben Brown LBW shortly after tea, and Sussex were 6 down. Dernbach then got his first wicket of the innings, when he followed Arif with a short ball, who helped it round the corner to sub fielder Jason Roy at leg gully.

Amjad Khan joined the impressive Wells, and began a stubborn partnership, still keeping alive the faint hopes of Sussex winning. Amjad was removed however, for a painstakingly slow 15, when he drove a ball from Batty and was caught at mid off. It was the spinner’s 450th wicket in First Class cricket and Surrey were scenting victory inside 3 days.

However, Wells found a willing partner in Jimmy Anyon, and the young batsman continued to show his talent, frustrating the Surrey attack. The pair took Sussex close to stumps on 240-8, but bad light brought a premature end to the day, with Surrey still needing 2 wickets, and Sussex requiring a further 102.

So, we should win this game, which would be our first in Division 1 since beating Lancashire in September in 2007, but don’t write off Sussex, as Wells has looked a class act, and will be hopeful of pulling off a fantastic victory.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Surrey in control after day two

Surrey have finished day two of the LVCC Division 1 match against Sussex 250-8, a lead of 318, after bowling Sussex out for 196 this morning.

Surrey started the morning wanting to bowl the visitors out before lunch, and gain a substantial first innings lead. Chris Jordan gave them the perfect start, when, in the 3rd over, he got Brown caught by Ramprakash for 3. Jordan then followed that up in his next over, getting Naved Arif caught behind, without scoring. Meaker was then brought on, and removed Amjad Khan as he looked to work into the leg side, but a leading edge found Maynard at slip. Sussex 122-8, and Surrey looking at a lead of well over 100.

However, Gatting didn’t give up the ghost, and began to attack the Surrey bowlers, hitting 2 sixes off Batty. He found a willing partner in Jimmy Anyon, who frustrated the hosts, until Dernbach got him caught by Jordan, to pick up his 3rd wicket. Gatting still hadn’t given up, and went past his fifty, and built a partnership which could prove vital, with number 11 Lewis Hatchett. However, with the partnership on 29, Hatchett looked to pick up 2 off Dernbach, but was run out coming back for the second. Sussex 196 all out, a lead of 68 for Surrey.

Jordan once again opened with Rudolph, and they survived the tricky over before lunch, Surrey 2-0. After the break, Rudolph slowly began to find the middle of the bat, hitting 3 boundaries. However, on 21, he looked to cut Anyon, and could only find Gatting at point. Disappointing from Rudolph, but at least he looked in better touch than yesterday. Ramprakash joined Jordan and once again started slowly, but he could afford to, with the amount of time left in the game. However, on 9 he pushed a ball from Anyon to Amjad Khan, and chose to run when it wasn’t on, and was run out.

In the next over, Chris Jordan was stumped off Yardy and Surrey were 53-3. I think it is fair to say that Jordan hasn’t done enough to keep the openers spot, and Davies will come in for him next week. And Surrey were in all sorts of trouble, when de Bruyn drove at Anyon, and was caught by Yardy at slip for 1. RHB and Maynard needing a big partnership, with the lead just 123.

And a big partnership is just what they gave, with the pair sharing an unbeaten stand of 100 in the last 20 overs before tea. Hamilton- Brown was batting in typical fashion, hitting the bad balls for 4, as well as some good ones! He brought up his 50 off just 43 balls, and he and Maynard were taking Surrey out of trouble and in to a good position. RHB was dominating the stand, but Maynard’s innings shouldn’t be underestimated, as he also batted aggressively, and if he had gone, an end could have been opened up. Surrey reached tea on 155-4, a lead of 223.

The pair continued from where they left off after tea, finding the boundary with regular occurrence, with RHB striking his second maximum, this time off Anyon. Maynard was closing in on back to back half centuries, but before he could get there, Hamilton- Brown was caught well by Goodwin off Arif for 89. A fantastic innings from the captain, at an absolutely vital time in the game. The partnership was worth 136 between him and Maynard, taking Surrey to a lead of 259.

Rory Burns joined Maynard, and started confidently, striking 2 early boundaries. However, Maynard was bowled not long after for 47 by Anyon, and 2 balls later, Batty was caught at slip once again off Anyon, without scoring. Surrey 206-7, a lead of 274.

Surrey were then 8 down, when Burns was caught by Wells off Arif for 16. Surrey needing their tail to wag, with the lead of 278 possibly not being enough. Lewis and Meaker got together, and slowly began to build a partnership which could be as vital as RHB and Maynard’s. They managed to get the lead over 300, which could be important psychologically when Sussex’s second innings comes round.
Bad light led to an early close, with Surrey on 250-8, Lewis 13* and Meaker 16*.

 A lead of 318 for Surrey to take into tomorrow, which could be enough for our first win in Division One since September 2007. However, its not over yet, as Sussex won’t give up easily, and there is also the possibility of rain on both Saturday and Sunday.

Surrey edge first day against Sussex

Surrey will be slightly the happier of the 2 sides after day one of the LVCC Division 1 match against Sussex, after restricting the visitors to 105-5 after being bowled out for 264.

Michael Yardy won the toss and stuck Surrey in, on a cold, overcast morning. Tim Linley and Jason Roy were the 2 to miss out for Surrey, so Jordan would open with Rudolph. However, Surrey didn’t get off to the best start, as Rudolph batted nervously, until when the score was on 9, he drove at a ball from Arif, and Joyce took a smart catch at slip at the second attempt. Rudolph gone without scoring. The runs then completely dried up for Surrey, who lost Jordan 5 overs later for 7, and the hosts were struggling at 11-2.

Zander de Bruyn joined Mark Ramprakash and immediately started to up the run rate. Ramps started incredibly slowly, but he also started to find the middle of the bat, with a couple of irresistible shots down the ground. The experienced pair were getting Surrey into a good position before lunch, but with the score on 79, and partnership 68, Lewis Hatchett got one to swing back at Ramps, and trapped him LBW for 24. It was a shame, as he fought hard and began to look good as the innings went on. RHB joined Zander, and took Surrey to lunch at 96-3.

Shortly after tea, de Bruyn brought up his first fifty of the season, with a couple of runs of Arif. However, he didn’t last much longer, as in the same over, Arif got one to nip away and take de Bruyn’s outside edge, with Ben Brown doing the rest. RHB wasn’t getting much of the strike, and when he did, he was looking untypically sketchy at the crease. And Surrey were 5 down, when the skipper looked at work an Arif ball down to fine leg, but could only nick it through to Brown, who took a great catch low down to his left. Surrey 124-5, and a job for Maynard and Burns.

Just like against Leeds- Bradford MCCU, both looked in fine form, and once again began to build a vital partnership for the 6th wicket. Maynard found the boundary with regular occurrence, ticking over at nearly a run a ball. Soon after the partnership went past 50, so did Maynard, hitting 10 fours and giving Surrey’s innings vital impetus. Burns was playing well, and played a couple of nice shots through the off side off front and back foot, until when on 24, and the partnership 82, Burns nibbled at a ball from Anyon and was caught behind.

Gareth Batty came to the crease, and after a couple of superbly time shots for 4, he dragged on to Amjad Khan and went for 10. Maynard was losing partners at a rapid rate, as Meaker went without scoring, once again off Khan.  Jon Lewis came in, played and missed at a few, until his edge was found, and Khan had his 4th, Lewis gone for 1. Dernbach was the last man in, and Maynard was looking to get some extra vital runs, but was finding it difficult, as apart from Yardy at slip, every fielder was on the boundary, giving him the single. He didn’t want the single, and this went on for several overs, until Dernbach went caught off Khan, to give the former England man a fifer, and Maynard was left 86 not out. It was a great innings from Maynard, in conditions that really helped the bowlers, but he just ran out of ideas, and lost all his shape at the end, looking for the big shot. Surrey 264 all out.

Sussex had 27 overs to bat, and Jon Lewis got his side off to a brilliant start, when he trapped Ed Joyce LBW first ball with the score on 3. Meaker opened up with Lewis, and regularly had the batsman in trouble, with several stifled appeals for LBW. However, Nash and Wells began to look more comfortable at the crease, and took their side to 63-1, 12 overs from the end of day one. However, Jade Dernbach had other ideas. The England paceman hadn’t troubled the batsman, until, when on 32, he bowled Wells. Meaker was immediately brought back into the attack, and removed the other in batsman, Nash, caught by RHB. And it was 3 wickets in 3 overs, when Dernbach got the massive wicket of Goodwin, when he knocked back his off pole.

The Sussex skipper, Yardy, got together with Gatting and looked to take their side though to the close just 4 down. It was looking that way, until, in what turned out to be the last ball of the day, Chris Jordan got Yardy to nibble at one outside off stump, and Rudolph took his first catch for Surrey at slip. A great finish to the day for Surrey, with Sussex finishing on 105-5.

With that last wicket off Yardy, I think Surrey would be the slightly happier of the 2 sides after day one, but they know the first session tomorrow will be vital, with Surrey looking to bowl them out for less than 200 if they can.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

13 named for Sussex opener

Chris Adams has named a 13 man squad for the first LVCC Division 1 match of the season, when Surrey take on Sussex at the Kia Oval starting tomorrow.

There isn’t many surprises in the squad, with the main issue being whether to go with the in form Rory Burns, or the more experienced Gary Wilson in the wicket keepers position. Well, Adams has gone with Burns, and I have to agree with him. He has been in good touch all pre season, and obviously scored his first hundred at the weekend. If not picked, then Burns will have been wondering what he had to do to get selection, especially when opportunities will be limited with
Steven Davies coming back next week.

3 vastly experienced batsman have come into the squad, in the shape of Rudolph, Zander and Ramps, to strengthen the batting. Adding to them will be the flair of RHB and Maynard, and if on form, no one can argue that it would be one of the strongest looking batting line up on the county circuit.

A big selection dilemma for Adams is the openers situation. Rudolph arrived yesterday, and will play, so one of either Jordan or Roy is likely to be picked. Adams seems to like Jordan opening the batting, as he has done so most of pre season, but don’t discount Roy, who is a match winner and can change a game at the drop of a hat. Roy, though, hasn’t opened at all in pre season, so maybe Adams is looking for more stability at the top, rather than Roy’s typical run-a-ball 40 then get out. My head says Chris Jordan should get the nod, but my heart says Roy, because if he comes off, it will be a great start to an innings.

Whoever Adams picks to open, will also have an effect on the bowling line up. Including Jordan, 5 seamers have been named, with Lewis, Dernbach, Meaker and the Viscount making up a very strong looking attack. I presume Batty will play, and bat at 8, so that leaves 9, 10 and 11 for 3 of Meaker, Lewis, Linley and Dernbach. If Jordan opens, he may go with Lewis, Linley and Dernbach and leave out Meaker, as he and Jordan are a similar type of bowler. However, if Jordan doesn’t play, the extra pace of Meaker may be needed, so even though he was so good last season, the Viscount could be the one to miss out.

So, some very important decisions for the coach to make, but its better to have competition for places, than struggling to put out a competitive team.

Here is the squad in full:

The match starts at 11, and I’m glad to say that the weather looks ok at the moment, and I’m looking forward to seeing a competitive first day, with Surrey coming out on top. Come on the Rey!!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Linley fifer edges Surrey over the line

Surrey have beaten Leeds- Bradford MCCU by 2 runs, after declaring overnight, and setting the visitors 315 to win, with Tim Linley claiming 5 wickets.

After his 91 in the first innings, Chris Adams obviously thought Tom Maynard had had enough time in the middle, when he declared this morning on 134-5, leaving Leeds-Bradford with a stiff target of 315 for victory. Tim Linley and Chris Jordan once again opened the bowling for Surrey, and were faced with a resolute opening partnership between Slater and Webb. However, Tom Jewell was brought into the attack and made an immediate impact, getting Slater caught behind with the score on 33. Jewell looking impressive again. Jordan then removed the other opener, Webb, caught by Linley. However, Leeds-Bradford MCCU managed to get themselves to lunch pretty comfortably just 2 down, with Bush and Leach playing well for the visitors. 115-2, with just 200 more to win.

Freddie van den Bergh made the breakthrough soon after the break, though, as he trapped the impressive Bush LBW for his first wicket of the match. Tim Linley, brought back into the attack, then removed Leach with the score on 146, Maynard taking the catch, and Surrey scenting victory. Reece looked good until, on 28, Linley had his second, when Burns took a catch, and Leeds-Bradford were 5 down for 184. The oppositions skipper Richard Moore joined Hodgson at the crease, and took their side to the tea interval on 201-5, requiring a further 114 for victory.

Surrey would have been hopeful of removing one of the batsman, and exposing the tail, early after the break. However, that didn’t happen. Moore and Hodgson both looked comfortable in the middle, finding the boundary with relative ease against some wayward bowling from the Surrey attack. Both exceeded in confidence, each striking maximums to take their side closer to victory. Surrey were struggling to find the breakthrough, until Tom Jewell came up with the goods, when he removed Moore for 37, taking the catch off his own bowling. Linley then had his second in the very next over, when he trapped Roebuck in front first ball. 269-7, and a tight finish on the cards.

The viscount then followed that up with another wicket in his next over, when Hardman was caught by Jewell for 5. 36 more to win, with 2 wickets left, and with Hodgson still in, both sides in sight of the victory line.

Chris Jordan then replaced Tom Jewell, and had instant success, when the dangerous Hodgson looked to pull the Barbadian, but could only find the viscount on the midwicket boundary. However, Higginbotham and Thomas got together and frustrated the Surrey attack, taking their side to within 3 of victory, with a last wicket stand of 27, before the viscount Linley claimed his 4th First Class fifer, as he trapped Thomas in front.

Hats off to Leeds-Bradford, Adams and RHB dangled a carrot at them this morning and they really had a go at it. Even though Surrey came out on top, it was agonisingly close for the visitors. To be honest, it was too close for comfort for Surrey, who are obviously the far superior team, but the young men from Yorkshire showed that if you are slightly off your game, you can be punished.

The Viscount has found form just at the right time, and surely has cemented his place in the side come Thursday. However, we are still none the wiser with the opening batsman slot, with Jason Roy appearing the favourite, but Adams seems to like Jordan batting there, and he would obviously give an extra bowling option. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Not long to wait though, as the first squad of the season is due to be announced on Wednesday. I can’t wait!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Bowlers day as Batsman falter again

It was a bowlers day on the second day of the Uni match against Leeds-Bradford MCCU, with Surrey bowling out the visitors for 205, before falling to 134-5 at the close.

The first hour of the day belonged to Leeds-Bradford, as Bush and Webb looked assured at the crease, in better conditions for batting than day one. Chris Jordan and Tim Linley worked hard, but with no luck, as the batsman slowly and steadily began to build a good partnership for the 2nd wicket, which had gone past 50 after the first 60 minutes. However, Matthew Dunn was brought into the attack, and after a few poor deliveries, he made the breakthrough, when Webb flashed at a wide one and Jordan took a good catch at slip.

Tom Jewell then replaced Matthew Spriegel, and he had his first wicket when he trapped new batsman Leach, without scoring, and Leeds- Bradford were 87-3. Dunn was still bowling erratically, so Linley came back on to replace him. However, it was Jewell again who picked up the next wicket, 10 minutes before lunch, when Reece was caught superbly by Maynard in the slips. Leeds-Bradford went to the break, 4 down for 119, still trailing by 266.

Soon after lunch, Chris Jordan got in on the act, when he had Hodgson caught behind with the score on 150. He was then on a hat trick, when he trapped the oppositions skipper Moore in front first ball. Jordan couldn’t complete his hat trick, but in his next over, he bowled Roebuck for 0 to leave the visitors 156-7. Harry Bush was continuing to look good for Leeds, passing his fifty. Hardman joined him and looked good, striking 3 boundaries before Jewell removed him for 16. A 3rd wicket for the young paceman. And Bush’s excellent innings came to an end in the next over, when Dunn picked up his second, trapping him in front for 70. Dunn then finished the innings, bowling Higginbotham. Leeds-Bradford 205 all out and a lead of 180 for Surrey. 3 wickets for Dunn, Jewell and Jordan, and 1 for Linley.

RHB opened up with Jordan, looking to get some vital time in the middle before Thursdays opener. However, he was trapped in front without scoring. Not very good from the captain, who has been in poor form ever since his 70 against Somerset in the CB40 final. Gary Wilson joined Jordan and took Surrey to tea at 15-1, a lead of 195.

However, not long after the interval, Wilson went for 18, when he was caught behind off Hardman. A second failure in the game for Wilson, with Burns seemingly ahead of him in wicket keeping pecking order. Roy joined Jordan and got off the mark in typical fashion, with a boundary off Hardman.  However, Hardman had his second soon after, when Jordan was also caught behind for 18. Surrey 58-3, and with some work to do. Jason Roy began to find some form, finding the boundary at regular intervals in typical fashion, before falling for 32 to Higginbotham. Some runs for Roy, but maybe not enough to secure a starting place next week.

Maynard and Spriegel got together with a job on their hands at 85-4, and slowly but surely, began to rebuild the innings. However, just before the close, Higginbotham got his second wicket of the innings, when Spriegel was caught behind for 25. Once again, not doing enough to secure a place on Thursday. Surrey finished the day 134-5, with Maynard on 19* and Burns 0*, a lead of 314.

Once again, the batsman failing for Surrey, and against a far inferior opposition. Therefore, apart from RHB and Maynard, no one’s place is secure in the side.