Report: Warwickshire v Surrey, County Championship
Surrey sealed a nine-wicket victory on the third day of their LV=Insurance County Championship match at Edgbaston.
It was pretty much the perfect day for Rory Burns’ side. First, in reply to 150, the tail wagged to add 70 in ten overs and lift the total to 281 thanks to Jamie Smith’s excellent 88 (150 balls) and a merry 35 (24) by tail-ender Dan Worrall.
Then Warwickshire’s top order was blown away by Kemar Roach (five for 34). A first innings lead of 131 appeared decisive on a pitch helpful to seamers and so it proved as the home side went into lunch on 22 for four, Roach having taken three for nine.
There was no way back from there despite Ed Barnard’s resolute 49 (74 balls) – his best score for Warwickshire.
Surrey knocked off the required 11 runs in two overs to complete a superb team performance led by pacemen Roach and Worrall who took a combined 15 for 160 in the match. The powerhouse display sent out a strident message to counties eyeing up a challenge for Surrey’s title. If last week’s emphatic victory over a strong Hampshire unit was a statement of intent from the champions, then this win over a Warwickshire side which had started the season very brightly was another.
After Surrey resumed on the third morning on 211 for eight, their script when perfectly to plan as they attached judiciously. Worrall hit effectively while Smith’s high-class innings peaked after the Australia departed with glorious successive sixes over long on off Chris Rushworth.
The voracious tail-wagging earned Surrey seven overs with the new ball at Warwickshire’s second innings before lunch and they took rapacious advantage of them. Roach lunched on three for nine after Rob Yates and Sam Hain edged into the cordon and Will Rhodes fell lbw. Worrall added the wicket of Alex Davies, caught at fourth slip before Roach’s dismissal of Rhodes, with the last ball of the session, rounded off a perfect morning for the visitors.
Their afternoon started pretty well too as Dan Mousley and Michael Burgess perished to edges to leave Warwickshire 39 for six. Barnard and Chris Woakes added 30 before the latter’s off-stump was knocked out by a beauty from Jordan Clark.
Rushworth dented Roach’s figures slightly with a couple of luscious cover-driven fours to take Warwickshire to the 131 required to make Surrey bat again, but Barnard edged Worrall behind and the last act of a match to forget for Warwickshire was a comical run out.
Surrey march imperiously on. Warwickshire must regroup ahead of their visit to Hampshire next week.
Warwickshire first team coach Mark Robinson said: “We are really disappointed. We turned up this morning buoyant after what we did last night to stay right in the game and then we got blown away. There was no way back after lunch – that first hour killed us. We would have taken a deficit of 70 but to be 130 behind put us behind the eight ball and they took their momentum from their batting into their bowling,. Both our openers got good balls and next minute you’re four down at the interval.
“We were on the wrong side of conditions for the first two days and did really well to stay in the game but then a bad hour costs us and that ends up as a bad session and that’s what you have got to try to avoid.
“Credit to Surrey for playing how they did. It’s a lesson to us to be that ruthless when we get into those positions. They are international bowlers and what we have to do is find a way to be two down, not four or five down, and somehow to be able to weather those storms.
“We have got beat but in the same way as we weren’t claiming to be the best team in the league last week, we are not the worst team in the league this week. We are somewhere in between, an emerging team and an exciting team and it won’t be the only time we get beaten this season but we will have lots more wins to come too.”
Surrey and Warwickshire are heading for a interesting tussle following a gripping second day of their LV=Insurance County Championship match at Edgbaston.
After bowling out the home side for 150 (Dan Worrall four for 38, Kemar Roach three for 33) the champions closed on 211 for eight – 61 ahead – in reply.
Jamie Smith’s compact unbeaten 57 (114 balls) has lifted his side into a position of strength on a pitch still offering some help to the seamers.
At 99 for four, Surrey had plenty of work to do to get ahead but they did it diligently as Smith added 44 with Ben Foakes, 32 with Cameron Steel and 35 with Jordan Clark – small partnerships but, in the context of the match, of high value.
Surrey captain Rory Burns has been in poor form at the toss of late, this was only the third of 17 that he has won, but this was a huge one to win. Perfect seam-bowling conditions on the first day gave way to blue sky and a flattening pitch on the second. Surrey have had much the better of the conditions and, like all good sides, taken advantage.
It has been engrossing cricket of high quality and intensity and a superb advertisement for the County Championship. Between them these teams have won the championship 28 times and it could well be 29 come September. If Warwickshire have their best players available, they could challenge but Surrey look very well-equipped to retain their crown.
After an hour’s delay for the grass to dry on the second morning, Warwickshire resumed on 143 for eight and added just seven in five overs as both remaining wickets fell to Worrall. Dan Mousley did not add to his overnight 55 before scooping to deep mid-wicket. Olly Hannon-Dalby raised the 150 with one of the most elegant leg-glances ever seen at Edgbaston, but the next ball trapped Chris Rushworth lbw.
With diminishing cloud cover, batting conditions eased when Surrey replied, though they were still not easy against a demanding attack. Rushworth brought Dom Sibley’s return to Edgbaston to an early end with the assistance of Rob Yates at slip and Hasan Ali’s second ball trapped Ollie Pope lbw.
Rory Buns batted resolutely for 106 minutes for 32 but then left a Rushworth inswinger which would have knocked out middle. When Ryan Patel edged Hannon-Dalby to second slip it was 99 for four and the match was finely balanced, but Smith batted beautifully for a 95-ball half-century which wrested the initiative his team’s way.
Warwickshire’s seamers persevered admirably, Ed Barnard and Hannon-Dalby taking wickets in the last two overs of the day to keep their side in the game. Against the opposition against which he made his championship debut at Edgbaston in 2007 (his first victim: Scott Newman), England all-rounder Chris Woakes remained wicketless but bowled well only to beat the edges rather than find them.
Warwickshire bowler Olly Hannon-Dalby said: “I thought we bowled pretty well all day. We know that here at Edgbaston, day two is normally the best time to bat, the sun was out and here if the sun is out generally it is a nice time to bat.
“They bowled brilliantly yesterday, albeit in helpful conditions, they are a really good bowling attack so we just had to try to emulate them and the way we stuck at it, going at two and a half an over, was really pleasing. Then it was nice to get our rewards in that last session and two wickets right at the end was a nice way to finish.
“We are sharing the wickets around this season and that’s great. It’s really cool that we have got all these guys. We change the bowling and Hasan Ali comes on and then Ed Barnard comes on and then Chris Rushworth and Chris Woakes come back and that’s a pretty good attack. And we have some good bowlers that aren’t playing here – Liam Norwell, Craig Miles, Henry Brookes, George Garrett, Manraj Johal, seriously good bowlers who aren’t even playing at the moment so it’s really pleasing to have that depth.”
Dan Mousley underlined his immense potential with a skilful unbeaten 55 (125 balls) as Warwickshire closed on 143 for eight on a truncated opening day of their LV=Insurance County Championship tussle at Edgbaston.
The Bears have started the season brightly but there was nothing bright about a damp day in Birmingham with the cloud low and the floodlights on. It was seam-bowling heaven and Surrey’s seamers, led by Kemar Roach (three for 31) took full advantage.
Even without the rested Sean Abbot the visitors still had plenty of international quality in Roach and Dan Worrall. They greedily exploited murky conditions redolent of May 16th, 1953, at The Oval when these two teams discharged an entire championship match in a day (Warwickshire 45 and 52, Surrey 146).
After Surrey won a very handy toss, Roach struck with the 14th ball of the match, a gorgeous off-cutter which Rob Yates edged to fourth slip. Two wickets followed in three balls when Will Rhodes edged Worrall to second slip and Alex Davies, having looked secure, top-edged a bizarre cross-the-line swipe at Roach.
After Tom Lawes’ superb inswinger uprooted the in-form Sam Hain lbw, Mousley and Ed Barnard dug in to add 45 in 12 overs before the latter edged Worrall to second slip. Michael Burgess made 178 in this fixture last year but had to settled for 178 less this time round when he drove a low return catch to Roach.
That was 93 for six but Mousley stayed firm. Having batted with considerable style and freedom for a career best 94 against Kent in the last game, this time he showed he also has the technique and temperament to deal with a laterally moving ball.
Chris Woakes (27, 37 balls) smote the first six of the match, a top-edged pull off Lawes, and helped Mousley add 48 in 12 overs but was then trapped in the crease by Jordan Clark and plum lbw. When Hassan Ali fell, equally plum, first ball, the end seemed in sight for Warwickshire’s first innings, but the end of play came first, almost immediately, as the rain returned.
Warwickshire captain Will Rhodes said: “They were the toughest conditions we have played in so far this season, against a very good attack, relentless, as all four of them kept coming. That’s credit to them and it’s why they are where they are in the table and why they are champions.
“It was a big test for us and Dan Mousley played a lovely innings for 55 not out. Hopefully he can kick on tomorrow with Chris Rushworth and Olly Hannon-Dalby and get us up to a total that is competitive on that wicket.
“Dan’s innings had a bit of everything. In his first 50 balls he rode the storm with Hainy a little bit and then he expressed himself after lunch. He played really well with a great tempo. His advancing down the wicket is something he has been working on over the winter and it’s great to see him put that into practice and playing really well that way.
“He is a big confidence player and has got a lot of confidence from last year and last week against Kent he really showed everyone what he can do at this level so it’s really great to see him kick on again.
“It always hurts to lose two wickets in the last over before any break whether that’s lunch, tea of for bad light, that’s always going to hurt but it can happen in cricket. Hopefully it will be nice and cloudy tomorrow when we will back our bowlers when they get their chance.”
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