Rory Hamilton-Brown has been named in a 13 man squad for the CB40 clash against the Nottinghamshire Outlaws tonight at Trent Bridge.
Rory has been on compassionate leave for the last 6 weeks due to the death of his close friend Tom Maynard, and I would personally like to say that it is great to see him back. Our team is a far better team with him in it, even though he won’t be captaining tonight as Gareth Batty continues to deputise, and I feel his return to the side will give all the other players a lift. Even though he scored a run a ball 26 for the second team yesterday, he will be rusty, and I don’t expect much from him tonight, but it is just brilliant to see him back. Good luck Rory.
Our best one day bowler, Jade Dernbach, has also been named in the squad, and with RHB, our side looks far better than the one who were easily beaten by today’s opposition at Guildford 2 and a ½ weeks ago. Jade hasn’t played for Surrey since the Kent game on June 17th, the day before Tom tragically died, so it will be initially difficult for him, but the injury he sustained for England allowed him to have some much needed time away from the game.
Alongside Dernbach in the seamer ranks are Stuart Meaker and Jon Lewis. Throughout the competition this year, three seamers have played in the side, even though last year we went with the 5 spinners and 2 seamers. However, I would be inclined to leave out Lewis, who has been nowhere near his best in the last few weeks, as the break during the T20 seems to have done him no good whatsoever.
Matthew Spriegel and Zafar Ansari are the two all round spin options in the side, and are both key parts of our make up in one day cricket. The main deliberation will be whether an out of form Zander de Bruyn or an in form Rory Burns are going to be picked in the final X1. On current form I would without doubt leave out de Bruyn, who seems to be adding nothing batting or bowling wise at the moment, and the way he got out trying to save the game the other day was appalling. Rory has just started to show his Second X1 form in the First team, so I would pick him ahead of the 36 year old.
A couple of other batsmen out of form, especially in One Day cricket, are Jason Roy and Steve Davies. Roy hasn’t scored above 15 in the CB40 this year, a competition in which he was the leading run scorer in the country last season. Davies has scored a couple of half centuries in the CB40, but they were a few months ago, and his recent form has been well below par of what we know it can reach. Let’s hope they can both find some form tonight.
This is an important game tonight if we want to qualify for the Semi Finals. So far we have won 4 out of 7 games, with two abandoned and one loss. Last year we only failed to win 2 of the 12 games, and even though Notts are probably the strongest team in the group this year, we have to come away from tonight’s game with two points. If not, then we would realistically find it difficult to qualify.
Gareth Batty (C)
Steve Davies (WK)
Zander de Bruyn
Chris Read (C+WK)