Batting frailty and weather combine to defeat Scotland
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
SCOTLAND’s hopes of opening their CB40 campaign with victory over holders Surrey were dashed by a combination of a top order batting collapse and a torrential hail-storm.
Set a revised target of 183 from 38 overs following a brief rain interruption, the Saltires slumped to 66-5 at a chilly Citylets Grange.
However, a half-century stand between Richie Berrington and Majid Haq had given them a glimmer of hope before the heavens opened.
They still required 65 runs from nine overs but, with Berrington going strong on 43, the Saltires were in contention.
Instead, Surrey were declared winners by 18 runs on the D/L method.
Scotland’s reply had started promisingly enough when Fraser Watts and Calum MacLeod took the score to 26, the latter sending an over-pitched delivery from Jade Dernbach confidently to the extra cover boundary.
MacLeod also registered a “five” in his tally of 16 before chasing a wide delivery from Dernbach and giving Steve Davies an easy catch.
Worse followed when Josh Davey, attempting to drive Jon Lewis, succeeded only in lofting a simple chance to Gareth Batty at mid-on to depart for 2.
That was two more than South African debutant Jean Symes managed before being sent packing lbw to Matthew Spriegel.
At 38-3, Scotland already found themselves well behind the D/L rate while Surrey suddenly had an extra spring in their step.
Watts and Berrington managed to take the total to 58 before the former, having got himself established on 25, was teased out of his crease by Spriegel and Davies completed the dismissal.
The procession continued when Preston Mommsen prodded a soft catch back to Batty.
However, Berrington and Haq added 50 for the sixth wicket while the D/L target gradually came within reach.
Haq, though, was yet another man to give his wicket away cheaply, guiding Batty’s delivery to Rory Hamilton-Brown at short cover to fall for 17.
His departure was the signal for the heavens to open, leaving Berrington high – if not dry – on 43 and frustrated at missing out on the opportunity to finish the job.
Earlier the Saltires got the start they wanted when Matty Parker made the breakthrough in the second over.
The Forfarshire pace bowler, on the road back to full fitness after a lengthy lay-off, has had to remodel his action following hip surgery.
However, even off a reduced run-up, Parker generates considerable pace as Hamilton-Brown found to his cost.
The Surrey captain, looking to build on Friday’s century against Somerset, had made just five when he was trapped in front by the Scot.
Parker struck again in his next over when a rising delivery caught the edge of Jason Roy’s bat and Craig Wallace took a good catch.
Jacques Rudolph and England wicket-keeper batsman Davies effected partial repairs in taking the score to 60 but Davies, having stroked three boundaries in his 22, fell to a spectacular diving catch by Gordon Drummond at mid-on as Davey struck.
Rudolph continued to anchor the county’s innings but tight bowling and tigerish fielding by the Saltires restricted the former Test batsman to just one boundary in his half-century.
Meanwhile, the Scots continued to chip away at the other end with Mommsen taking a sharp return catch to remove the dangerous Zander de Bruyn with his first delivery of the match.
Haq, unsuccessful in his first spell, returned to the attack to entice a false shot from Spriegel who spooned an easy catch to Symes.
And when the Clydesdale spinner also ended Rudolph’s long vigil, the Saltires had their rivals struggling on 151-6 with just four overs remaining.
Rudolph faced 89 deliveries, piercing the field on just that one occasion.
Surrey’s tail did wag to add 36 runs from the final four overs, Batty hitting the only six of the innings in his unbeaten 17 while Lewis contributed a breezy 15.