Hard fought opening day

Cricket - LV= County Championship - Division Two - Day One - Surrey v Glamorgan - Kia Oval

Published: 6th April, 2014

Surrey closed the opening day on the Championship season on 182-5 thanks to a 4th wicket partnership of 122 between Steven Davies and Zafar Ansari. On a difficult day for batting, Davies made an accomplished 67 and when bad light ended play Ansari was unbeaten on 50.

The start of the season was greeted with rain and gloomy conditions which mean play did not start until 11.30. Glamorgan won the toss and unsurprisingly asked Surrey to bat first in bowler friendly conditions.

Graeme Smith and Rory Burns made their way to the middle to open the innings and both started solidly. Burns immediately got off the mark with a single to fine leg and Smith made a mockery of the conditions when he found the boundary four times in an over from Michael Hogan.

The Surrey opening pair negotiated the first 45 minutes of play but Jim Allenby then made the breakthrough when he trapped Burns LBW for 10. And Surrey found themselves 34-2 when Allenby had Dominic Sibley caught behind without scoring.

Graham Wagg then got in on the action swinging one back to Smith and having him LBW for 19 and Surrey had suddenly  lost 3 wickets without the addition of a run. Davies and  Ansari came together and had to show great patience and technique against the moving ball to guide Surrey to lunch with the scoreboard reading 57-3.

After the interval the Surrey pair continued to play extremely well. In testing conditions they formed the telling partnership of the day and Davies in particular was quick to pounce on anything with width when the Glamorgan bowlers changed their line and length.

The partnership moved past fifty as the strike was rotated and the afternoon session took shape as the fascinating battle between bat and ball continued. Ansari showed a watertight defence and Davies played a couple of his trademark elegant drives as Surrey took hold of the session.

Davies moved to a tremendous fifty from 101 deliveries an innings which had included six crisp boundaries and Ansari continued to play with great discipline. The partnership moved past 100 on the stroke of tea and at the interval Davies was unbeaten on 60 and Ansari was 26*.

After the break Davies moved to 67 but his fine effort was then brought to an end courtesy of a stunning catch from Mark Wallace behind the stumps off Hogan to break a 4th wicket partnership that had been worth 122.

Hogan then swung a delivery back at Gary Wilson who was LBW offering no shot on 1 and Surrey found themselves 158-5. Ansari was joined by Jason Roy who played watchfully knowing how important it was to keep his wicket intact with the light diminishing.

Ansari continued to play with great patience and moved to an extremely good fifty from 183 balls including five boundaries at which point the umpires took the players off as the artificial light from the floodlights took hold with Surrey 182-5.

No further play was possible but Surrey will be satisfied with their efforts on the opening day in difficult conditions and they will look to build on the platform laid tomorrow.

Surrey TV spoke to Steven Davies after the opening day. To hear his thoughts watch the video below

Steven Davies – “Pretty tough conditions” from Surrey Cricket on Vimeo.


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