That’s not something you see in cricket very often but I witnessed one today…possibly the first I’ve ever seen but then when you’ve watched live cricket for (cough, cough) years who can recall such specifics?
The occasion was the RLODC Surrey v Warwickshire at the Oval. On the evidence of the first innings, it could be seen as a nondescript typical one day match. Warwickshire score 293/5, lost a couple of wickets reasonably early but a stand of 160 between Burgess and Pandya helped them along.
The RLODC is a ‘development’ tournament given the loss of ‘elite’ players to the other competition. Surrey fielded an eleven with no capped players whilst Warwickshire fielded almost the same side as last appeared here a few days ago in the championship. Fair?
As the Chinese say ‘let’s see how the French Revolution pans out before we make any judgment!’ If, dear reader, you’re not a history fan, the French Revolution was at the end of the 18th century!
Surrey struggle at the start and middle of the innings; nothing of substance but a run rate of over 10 needed, bowling on top and, to all intents and purposes, the match ambling to a solid Warwickshire win.
But wait…something changed! Someone somewhere said ‘at least if we’re going to lose, let’s go down fighting’. But with a team of five players regarded as sound ‘number elevens’ in the first class game, what was there to lose?
Slowly, so slowly, the runs started to flow and one began to think ‘with a bit of good fortune, Surrey could do well here’! (Note: I know I’m writing this after the result on the top deck of a London bus as I journey home, but honestly I said that to myself – shame that no one else could hear my thoughts!).
And so it came to pass, the bowling tired, got increasingly ragged, fortune favoured the brave, strokes missed the fielders, boundaries rained and we arrive at the last over with the scores level and one wicket to take.
Kimber, Reifer and Dunn had all played their part in direct proportion to the screams of delight from the spectator behind me! Time to move seats I think! Dunn faces the last over to be bowled by Norwell…tension increases palpably!
First ball…and stumps fly! Match tied.
The immediate thoughts are that this shows the strength, depth and attitude of the Surrey squad – no caps, five ‘elevens’ and facing an almost full strength county opposition.
And the whole atmosphere from ball one, so different to that experienced at Essex. No annoying musak, no cheerleading announcer and no humiliation inflicted on any member of the opposition. But that’s I suppose the approach of a ‘big’ club – let the cricket do the talking!
But…That was some result!