‘Cast not a clout ‘til May be out’ is an old country saying advising not to take your Spring wardrobe off (clouts) until either the end of May (the month) or the may blossom has appeared. Which is correct…no one knows!
What is clear is that the weather today at the Oval reached a balmy 13C with a strong breeze blowing so that nothing was going to be removed – in fact the reverse, as I reached a record five clothing layers in an attempt to keep warm.
Jet lag, rail strikes and poor weather have prevented my attendance prior to today at the all-London clash between Surrey and Middlesex in question. So…could Surrey beat Middlesex at the Oval in the Championship for the first time in years?
The story so far – rain affected two days, Middlesex dominated until mid-afternoon day one when they collapsed from 166/1 to 209ao and Surrey replied with 190/3 before the close yesterday. Burns scoring a fine 88 and Jamie Smith a classy looking half century not out.
Foakes goes early and wickets fall regularly so that Surrey lunch at 291/7 – basically 101/4 in the session. Honours even. Smith goes for a very classy 97 – shame he lost patience in striving for those last three runs but he is one to watch for the future.
Surrey were looking for a lead of 150 or so but the loss of wickets in that session makes 120/130 more realistic but let’s see.
The afternoon sees the wheels fall off for Middlesex as they let the Surrey tail wag to 380ao – Abbott goes for 48 (his best Surrey score?), Worrall 32 – with all guns blazing from ball one (and securing that extra bonus point), while Roach plays along for a determined 5.
Middlesex are finding Division One a challenge – their batting is poor; either the openers score well or the middle order but not both at the same time!
By 3.30pm they are batting again 171 behind but reach 30/0 at tea. Surrey are playing like the champions they are and will be difficult to beat especially given their strength in depth and ability to develop their own class players.
The cold defeats me and I leave early but not before Middlesex lose both openers in the 50s and reach 128/3 at the close – still 43 behind. All of which means tomorrow should be interesting and hopefully warmer.
But I’m keeping my clouts layered! 😜