The super-heatwave this week meant train travel was all but non-existent and not recommended and so I had to resort to online feeds of county games – the one at the Oval being the pick of the crop. Surrey lead Division One but Essex have a game in hand and if the latter are to succeed then the Rey need to be humiliated!
Other organised calls on my time on Day 2 mean it’s the third day before I see any live play. The match so far has followed a familiar theme – clutch of wickets to the new ball, then runs get easier once the shine has gone. The pitch from afar looks tinged with green (the outfield lush – every other lawn in the UK is beige, cream or yellow depending on the level of heatwaves and lack of rain suffered!)
Surrey however have had the better of the match to date – Essex rolled over for 271 (after 80-odd for 5) – in getting to 319ao (after being 112/7). An unexpected lead and unexpected batting points. Essex stood overnight at 16/2 both Cooks having spoilt the scorecard!
A hundred runs in the morning session for one wicket (should have been two, could have been three) see Browne and Lawrence having time at the crease – and they both need it!
As often happens, a break in play brings a change of fortune (and today weather as the humidity increased and clouds rolled in). From 130/3 Essex fold to 208 with only Harmer resisting after Browne and Lawrence went in quick succession.
Worrall, Roach and Lawes do the damage post lunch with Worrall taking another five in the innings (to go with the five in the first innings) and supposedly with a sore shoulder! What could he do if fully fit! 😱
It leaves Surrey needing 161 from a max of four sessions or countless overs to win (again!). The most interesting contest of the day was the bat Burns against the bowler Snater – who has the most hair? I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to judge from the range of snaps I was able to take.
So the decision I have to make – come back here (Oval) tomorrow for more hairy challenges and a short sharp victory for Surrey or head to Lord’s for the run fest going on there, or both? After all, the number of first class games left is shrinking each week as are the chances of more hair raising exploits!