Friday, May 17th, 2024

Surrey vs Worcestershire: Day one report & highlights

Worcestershire claimed maximum bowling points but then had challenges of their own with the bat on the opening day of the Vitality County Championship encounter with current leaders Surrey at the Kia Oval.

Joe Leach’s opening burst and a superb mid afternoon spell from Matthew Waite were largely responsible for Surrey being bowled out for 213 on a green pitch assisting the seamers – a sharp contrast to the flat surface against Kent at Canterbury.

It was equally tough for the front-line Worcestershire batters under increasingly gloomy skies against a top attack although a couple of players may reflect on the shots which led to their downfall.

Waite and Club captain Brett D’Oliveira steadied matters during a half century stand for the sixth wicket which more than doubled the score.

When bad light halted play with seven overs remaining, Worcestershire had reached 112-7 with D’Oliveira having battled through to an unbeaten 22.

With Adam Finch unavailable because of illness, Worcestershire handed a debut to pace bowler Yadvinder Singh, the second product of the South Asian Cricket Academy to play first class cricket for the club after Kashif Ali.

D’Oliveira, won the toss and chose to field first, the first time that Surrey have batted first in a game this season.

It proved to a superb move as Surrey were reduced to 15-4 by the new ball attack of Leach and Nathan Smith.

Smith made the first breakthrough when Surrey captain Rory Burns (8) attempted to work the ball to leg and was plumb lbw.

Leach then took centre stage with a three wicket blast.

Dominic Sibley (1) went for a drive to the second ball of Leach’s third over and was caught behind.

The final ball of the over accounted for Jamie Smith (0) who pushed forward to a superb delivery which hit his off stump.

It became 15-4 as another delivery of perfect length which moved away temped Ben Foakes (1) into a drive and Rob Jones held onto a low chance at second slip.

It was the first time Surrey had lost their first four wickets for 15 or less in 20 years since they were 15-4 against Sussex at Hove in 2004.

Dan Lawrence survived the hat-trick ball and before he had scored a leading edge against Leach landed just out of reach of D’Oliveira running back from mid off.

Lawrence and Ollie Pope went on the counter-attack to try and rescue the home side.

Singh replaced Smith and then Waite came into the attack for Leach (7-2-24-3) and Lawrence on 30 survived an lbw shout in his opening over.

He also went past Pope’s inside edge during an excellent spell as he offered good control in the face of Lawrence and Pope’s aggressive intentions.

Lawrence completed his half century just before lunch and was unbeaten on 57 and Pope 39 at the interval in a total of 110-4 from 28 overs.

Leach came back into the attack for the start of the second session and Lawrence on 70 almost inside-edged a delivery onto his stumps.

He played some fine strokes and the partnership was worth 150 when Smith brought it to an end.

Pope on 63 survived one chance but the next ball saw him fence at the New Zealander and Roderick made no mistake.

It ended a partnership of 148 with Lawrence and was the start of a Surrey collapse which saw the last six wickets fall for 50 runs in 14.4 overs as they were bowled out on the stroke of tea.

Waite came back into the attack and was rewarded for some superb bowling with three wickets in the space of four overs.

Lawrence’s fine knock ended on 84 when he attacked a ball outside of the off stump and feathered through to Roderick.

Sean Abbot (2) attempted to pull a short ball from Waite and only picked out Smith at fine leg.

Gus Atkinson (0) was anchored in the crease by a delivery angled in by Waite and was lbw.

Jordan Clark (42 not out) played some aggressive shots but the innings was quickly wrapped up.

Kemar Roach (4) , who had a spell with Worcestershire in 2011, under-edged Ben Gibbon through to Roderick, his fourth catch of the innings.

Last man Dan Worrall (0) was then run out by bowler Gibbon’s quick throw to Roderick after attempting a bye.

Waite finished with 12-4-19-3, Leach 16-4-62-3, Smith 11-1-55-2, Gibbon 7.1-1-32-1 and Yadvinder 8-0-43-0.

Worcestershire were left to face up to 41 overs in the final session and Roderick picked up two boundaries in the opening over from Roach, off his hips and through mid on.

He edged the West Indian for his third four as the floodlights came on under increasingly gloomy skies.

But on 15 Roderick was taken at third slip off Worrall from a ball which nipped away.

Jake Libby (1) got his head down and needed 25 balls to get off the mark but it was his only scoring shot before he lost his off stump to Worrall through the gate.

Kashif Ali collected two boundaries in an over from Clark but on 15 he went hard at a widish delivery from Worrall and nicked to keeper Foakes in front of first slip.

Abbott’s first ball led to the downfall of Adam Hose (4) who looked to force away off a back of a length and Lawrence at third slip held onto the chance.

Jones (14) went lbw to Clark who zagged a delivery back into his former Lancashire team-mate to leave Worcestershire on 53-5.

Waite played with aggressive intent and a cover drive for four off Atkinson was one of the shots of the day.

He brought up the fifty partnership with D’Oliveira with the first of two fours in another Atkinson over.

There was another twist to the game with Roach taking two wickets in three balls.

Waite’s fine knock of 35 off 42 balls ended when he was lbw to a delivery which ducked back in and then Smith (0) padded up to Roach and departed in the same manner shortly before play ended for the day.

Joe Leach said:  “We are probably behind the game if we are honest given that for much of it we felt that we competed really well and did a lot of good things.

“We have seen the strength in depth that Surrey possess and they just kept coming at us all day.

“The second hour of the morning session, we probably didn’t bowl as well as we would have liked if we are honest with a wicket that was certainly helpful with the new ball.

“We had a ball change and the second one was a bit softer and didn’t do that much for us and, when that ball got changed, it started doing things for us again.

“That period was where the game probably got away from us but fair credit to the way they played. I thought Lawrence and Pope put us under a lot of pressure and played positively.

“It was high quality batting and probably what we are accustomed to looking at in Test cricket.

“The pitch has offered something to the seamers and if you put the ball in the right areas for long periods of time it felt like you had a good chance.

“The difference is they’ve had four or five guys who have done that for 30-35 overs and we didn’t quite have that.

“Matthew Waite and myself had long lay-offs in the winter and the first two or three games felt like pre-season for us from a rhythm point of view.

“The last three games he has improved on every performance. Today that was high class from him and he swung the ball and he put the ball in the right areas and this evening he batted really well again.

“It is just shame that we lost two wickets before we came off for bad light.”