Strange game, cricket!

Even better weather today attracts me to the Oval for Day 2 of Surrey v Northamptonshire (I know I saw them for three days last week but that’s the way the fixture list crumbles).

The pitch at the Oval is so far to the left of the ground that it’s almost in Archbishop Tenisons’ front garden – not that the ArchBish who hasn’t been around since the 17th century would notice a cricket match in his garden, which is concrete anyway…but you get my drift!

Yesterday across the nation saw similar scoring rates so that Surrey resume today on 266/6 with Curran S in sight of his first century. But it was not to be…he lasted a short time and Northamptonshire snuck out another so that at 271/8 they were thinking of batting before lunch.

Sometimes even the umpires can’t bear to watch (only joking!)

But no! Atkinson and Overton stuck to their task and addded a record 124 for the ninth wicket before Overton went. ‘Frankie’ Worrall (last seen in these ramblings for Gloucestershire and before that for South Australia in Adelaide) lasted two balls – 6 and out – to leave Surrey at 401ao on the stroke of lunch.

Kerrigan – flexible legs?
Keogh – clearly you need bendy legs to be a spinner!
‘Frankie’ Worrall* – first ball 6
Second ball – out; same footwork (!), same shot

Northamptonshire’s performance confirmed my thoughts from last Sunday in that they lack the ‘killer’ edge in their attack and will struggle to roll sides over twice. Without this, I fear they are doomed to the Second Division (or whatever the ‘experts’ at the ECB decide to have in place next season).

Did someone lay a new pitch during the lunch break? Northamptonshire at tea are 87/5 and with little by way of established batting to come. Surrey’s bowlers have extracted a bit more pace and life from this pitch so that they have the dominant position. Northamptonshire never really got going although I must say that Will Young’s lbw looked ‘generous’ (no, not that Will Young…this is the NZ one!).

Frankie’s snazzy socks!

I suppose the thinking has to look ahead to the follow on and tomorrow – more overcast than today so…? What would you do? But there’s the last session to go.

I do feel sorry for any weed which has had the audacity to peek through the outfield here. At each break, the grounds staff are hunting them down – so any deciding to appear in the last two hours…well, this awaits:

Perhaps I should check my lawn for weeds every two hours?

Post tea and the high clouds as forecast roll in, reducing the warmth of the very sunny and pleasant afternoon. For a while, nothing really happened – bowling wise – and McManus and Procter were starting to look a bit settled but…almost on the hour, one fell then another and…

By the close, 8 down and 250ish behind – looking like following on and perhaps defeat? The complete reverse position Northamptonshire were in this time last week! Strange game, cricket

* you need to be a ‘certain vintage cricket nut’ to get Worrall’s nickname!