Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Spriegs leads Surrey to victory at Trent Bridge

Surrey have beaten the Nottinghamshire Outlaws in the CB40 at Trent Bridge, thanks to a match winning performance from Matthew Spriegel.

Gareth Batty won the toss and with the way we batted at Guildford in the back of his mind, he chose to bowl first. The two players to be left out of the final X1 was Jon Lewis as expected, and Rory Burns, as Zander de Bruyn was once again named in the side.

Surrey opened the bowling with Spriegel from one end and Kartik from the other, and it was Spriegs who made the early breakthrough when he bowled Lumb as he tried to cut. Spriegs was back in the wickets in his next over when the dangerous Wessels was caught well by Roy at short midwicket.

Dernbach, who was bowling expensively, banged one in at Patel who could only mistime a hook down to fine leg, where Ansari took a brilliant running catch. Jade then had his second in his next over when Hales cut him to de Bruyn at backward point, and the hosts were 52-4 after 12. 

Spriegs bowled his 8 overs through from the start, just like he did at Guildford, going for just 21 alongside his 2 wickets. Great stuff from him once again, and he really is becoming a vital part of our one day set up. The spinners continued to impress as they were bowling the majority of the overs, but Chris Read and Adam Voges were rebuilding the innings, going past 100 after 26 overs. 

Just as the pair started to up the tempo, Kartik bowled a beauty to Voges which gripped and turned, took his outside edge and Wilson took a good catch at slip. Ansari then had the Notts skipper caught by Spriegel in the deep, as Surrey took a firm hold on the game. And it was three in three overs, when off Kartik's last ball, White was run out by Roy. Notts 128-7 off 32 overs. 

The skipper then picked up wickets number 8 and 9 in the space of 4 balls, before Dernbach bowled Fletcher with a wonderful slower ball. The hosts all out for 149 inside 38 overs, and a great performance from our bowlers.

With some out of form batsman in our line up, and with RHB not playing in the first team for 6 weeks, it wasn't going to be an easy chase as the pitch looked hard to bat on, especially off the spinners. But it was the seamer Harry Gurney who made the breakthrough, when RHB edged behind as he advanced. Not the greatest shot, but I didn't expect much from him in his first game back.

Roy then went first ball, as he fended off a brilliant short ball from Gurney straight to gully. The two wicket keepers, Wilson and Davies, had to try and rebuild the innings. They did that, bringing up the fifty inside 14 overs, with runs gradually coming a little freer. They were ticking along nicely, until Davies played a poor shot in the circumstances, getting caught off a top edge looking to hit over the top.

Spriegel joined Wilson, and the runs really started to dry up. A succession of 11 dot balls led to Wilson running down and missing to White, going stumped for 29, and Surrey had a big job on their hands to win the game.

The runs were really hard to come by, with the hosts not allowing quick singles, and bowling well enough do that our batsman couldn't find the rope. However, in the 27th over, the shackles were broken when Spriegel took 10 off two Mullaney balls, as the hundred came up with the loss of 4 wickets. But de Bruyn went a couple of overs later, giving an easy catch to short midwicket. He is obviously in terrible nick and I don't understand how he gets in ahead of Rory Burns. 

Spriegel was taking us towards victory, hitting White for a four and a six, before getting caught on the boundary as he tried to bring up his 50. A good innings of 47 by Spriegel, but with already 10 off the over, it was a pretty brainless shot. With 15 required, the skipper Batty took 10 off a Samit Patel over, including a huge six over midwicket.
And then the job was done when Ansari launched White over long on for six, and we had won by 4 wickets.

It wasn't the prettiest of victories but a fantastic win nonetheless. As the commentators pointed out several times, our first meaningful win since Tom sadly passed away, and it was so sweet when Zafar hit the winning runs with a gorgeous six.

A special mention for the man of the match Matthew Spriegel, who was the pick of the bowlers and was without doubt the best batsman of the evening. It was a shame that he couldn't see us over the line personally, but it was a great performance from him, and reignites the belief that he is so vital in our team, and I would be upset if he moved on at the end of the season.

We now move top of Group B, ahead of Notts and Hampshire who had also played 8 games. We now have 6 days until our next game, the must win LVCC game at Chester-le-Street against Durham, and let's hope we can take heart from this victory into that one. Come on the Rey!

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