Bright sunshine and blue skies greeted Surrey’s players on the South Coast as they took to the field at Hove to play Sussex in their first competitive trot out of 2022.
An uncontested coin toss saw Sussex batting first and openers Ali Orr and Tom Haines started briskly in the friendly conditions, putting on 66 for the hosts before Jamie Overton took Surrey’s first wicket of 2022 – the left handed Orr nicking off to wicketkeeper Josh Blake for 25.
Surrey’s bowlers clocked up some useful mileage on a hotter than average March day that saw 75 overs sent down in total. Some tight partnership bowling, particularly in the spells after lunch led to more wickets. Conor McKerr kept things tidy and built pressure that was capitalized on by James Taylor and Jordan Clark, both seamers taking three wickets each as Sussex made their way to 280-7.
Tom Haines retired not out on 129 off 169 balls midway through the final session of the day, a partnership of 86 between himself and Dan Ibrahim saw the home side make good progress in the afternoon, some late hitting from Ibrahim saw him finish the day unbeaten on fifty, a pleasing sight for the decent smattering of home fans at the county ground in Hove.
Head Coach Gareth Batty was pleased with his bowling unit on day one, “It was encouraging the way that they stuck at it, bowling a slightly fuller length and aiming for the knee-roll is something we discussed as well as bowling in partnerships, which we were particularly good at after lunch to prise the innings open.”
Surrey will begin with the bat at 11:00am tomorrow and you can follow their progress and watch highlight clips throughout the day by clicking here. If you are in the Brighton or Hove area then spectators are welcome and the entry is free of charge. Let’s hope for more sunshine, runs and wickets to prepare the Surrey players for the coming season.