Published: 21st March, 2014
Surrey enjoyed another productive day at Merchant Taylors’ against Middlesex in their pre – season game. After a good opening day with the bat the bowlers had an excellent run out with Stuart Meaker (2-49) and Matthew Dunn (2-29 ) the pick.
Middlesex started the morning on their overnight 4-2 in their First innings with Neil Dexter and Dawed Malan at the crease. Stuart Meaker and Tim Linley opened proceedings with the ball and tested the batsmen and after 30 minutes of play Meaker trapped Malan LBW for 20 to leave the hosts 36-3.
Dexter was looking assured and at the other end Adam Rossington immediately looked to be positive. Together they steadied the innings after the early wicket as Tom Jewell and Matthew Dunn came into the attack. Dunn bowled with good pace but Dexter and Rossington settled and batting became easier as the morning progressed.
The Middlesex pair played nicely with Dexter looking particularly good off the back foot. The partnership developed as the batsmen made the most of cold but excellent batting conditions. Dexter moved to an accomplished fifty and Middlesex went to lunch with the scoreboard reading 125-3.
After the interval Dexter retired on 58 and Middlesex found themselves 130-5 when Gareth Batty trapped Joe Simpson LBW for 4. And Dunn then bowled Ryan Higgins with an excellent yorker without scoring to leave the hosts 132-6.
Rossington continued to play solidly and Andrew Balbirnie settled quickly as they looked to repair the post luncheon damage. Rossington moved to an excellent fifty will a pull shot to the midwicket boundary as the seventh wicket partnership developed.
Middlesex moved past 200 and Rossington dominated proceedings with an array of good shots either side of the wicket. Balbirnie looked in excellent form and moved to fifty with boundary off Zafar Ansari as the hundred partnership arrived.
In the final over of Middlesex’s allocated 60, Rossington fell to Ansari for a well compiled 94 as the hosts innings finished with the scoreboard reading 241-7 and Balbirnie undefeated on 54. Steven Davies and Ansari opened the batting for Surrey and both started in positive fashion finding the boundary and running hard between the wickets.
It was decided that both sides would bat 20 overs and the Surrey openers played very nicely with Davies 34* and Ansari undefeated on 28 when tea arrived as the allocated overs were completed with Surrey 63-0.
Dunn then made an early breakthrough in Middlesex’s second innings when he knocked Simpson’s off stump out of the ground to leave the hosts 14-1. Joe Denly got his head down but Dunn then found his outside edge on 23 and Davies did the rest behind the stumps.
Malan as he had done in the morning immediately looked in good touch but was tested by Jack Winslade who bowled an excellent spell late in the afternoon. Malan retired on 32 but Higgins and Nick Gubbins steered Middlesex to the close as the players shook hands with the hosts 81-3.
An excellent couple of days at Merchant Taylor’s and Surrey will continue their build up to the season next week with training at the Kia Oval and a two day game against Essex at Chelmsford on Thursday and Friday.