I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but the more you watch cricket the less you understand so goodness knows what will happen to the new fans when the Hundred arrives!
Pace seemed to be the order of the day here – Day 3 of Surrey v Gloucestershire – but clearly others know better as spin had the upper hand after the quicks toiled without success in the first hour. It seemed like Surrey could not buy a wicket for love nor money as the morning cloud cover burnt off.
From a steady 84/1 a frantic 30 minutes saw the Gloucestershire innings on the rocks at 89/5 and whilst better before lunch called at 113/7. (BTW…The new Surrey fish shop does a nice line in batter and chips 🍟). All the wickets to date to the new Surrey spin twins of Virdi and Moriarty!
Throughout all this Miles Hammond (he of the hairy bandanna) took the Amla role of patient innings building. Others however continued to fall around him (Taylor did take an hour or more over his well crafted 12) but once the third Surrey spin twin (or are they now triplets?) of Jacks got in on the act taking his first first class wicket, Miles ran out of road (and patience) and was last out for 77 in trying to farm the strike. Gloucestershire subsided to 158 ao – some 315 behind.
Moriarty ended with 6-60, Virdi 3-47 and Jacks 1-7…so when I looked at the team sheet on Thursday and wondered why have Surrey gone with two spinners and an occasional third and thought…that’s a waste of a pace bowlers place, I now know my level of ignorance has reached new heights !
What will the next session bring?
And now it’s time for the quicks to take their turn. Half an hour of spin with the new ball before tea lowers the deficit by 28 but three wickets for 16 in the space of 40 minutes looks to spell doom for Gloucestershire. And so it proved. Wickets fell at regular intervals as the sun shone, the temperature rose, acres of bare flesh exposed (when the owners should know better), and the beer flowed.
The acoustics of the new Peter May stand are something to behold as an excellent crowd enjoyed the cricket – even though numbers were restricted, there’s proof that the Championship does have followers in large numbers and still trying to learn how this game is played.
‘Chess on legs’ I’ve been told – if only it were that simple!