Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Solanki and Davies give Surrey a sniff

It has taken until the 15th game of a long LV County Championship season for Surrey to put in a dominant batting performance, to give themselves a slight chance of pulling off one of the greatest relegation escapes of recent time.

Going into the game we knew that we had to win at all costs or we were (not mathematically) down and after the first day was decimated due to the weather, a sumptuous century from Vikram Solanki has given us a slim chance of pulling off an unlikely victory.

A wet outfield delayed the start of play even more and with us continuing on a precarious 59-2, Solanki and Amla had to bat positively once play got underway at 12:40. Bat positively is exactly what they did, as they built a superb 166 run partnership in just over 40 overs together to take us towards our first batting point in a couple of matches. The pair couldn’t quite see us through to 200, as Amla yet again fell short of a century, flashing at a Barker delivery when on 77.

Davies joined Solanki and once he got himself in, he began to play an array of shots that we have been accustomed with since his arrival from Worcestershire in 2010. It was clear that the target was to get as many batting points as we could before pulling the plug, and just after collecting our first, Solanki brought up his century in 155 balls.

The pair started to kick on even further but still batted sensibly, as Davies moved past his half century and Solanki quickly reached 150 for the first time in a Surrey shirt. 300 was soon 350 as we picked up a 4th batting point and Davies was in full flow, racing towards his second Championship century of the summer. However, with the partnership on 182 and Davies unbeaten on 99, Solanki was bowled for by Chris Woakes for 162. Davies’ century came up in the next over, off just 135 balls with 14 boundaries, and it was great to see him back to his best.

He was out next ball but he had already done a great job and Zafar Ansari and Gary Wilson got together to hit the remaining runs needed for maximum batting points, as we closed on 400-5.

I fully expect a declaration first thing tomorrow morning to give us a chance of bowling Warwickshire out twice, but the weather forecast isn’t the best, so it might be more like the afternoon than the morning. That could prevent us from pulling off the unlikely, but at least we have given ourselves a chance of doing it and let’s hope our bowlers can motivate themselves and put in a strong performance. 

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