West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach is on his way back to The Kia Oval for another five-match spell after a successful stint in 2021.
A highly skilful bowler capable of swinging the ball both ways and beating a batsman for pace or with his movement off the seam, the initial block of LV= County Championship cricket at the start of the season seems tailor made for him – just as it was in 2021.
Here we’ll take a look at how he played during those matches last season.
Having landed in London after West Indies’ Test series with Sri Lanka, he underwent a mandatory period of isolation before joining up with the Surrey squad who were at that stage perhaps missing a strike bowler to lead the attack.
He came in and did just that, taking 22 wickets at an average of 20.54 even with a couple of flat tracks during his stint.
Leicestershire at The Kia Oval – 2/159
On a flat pitch that saw 1342 runs scored for 23 wickets across the four days, Roach toiled hard but didn’t get the rewards his efforts deserved. It had echoes of Roach’s last trip to England, when he bowled with great distinction but didn’t pick up the scalps he was warranted during the West Indies’ Test series with England last summer.
Those two wickets he did pick up required a lot of effort, one dug into the pitch and the above effort ball that burst through Harry Swindells’ forward defense.
Middlesex at Lord’s – 1/66
A week to forget for everyone in a Surrey shirt saw Roach pick up just the one wicket, that of tailender Ethan Bamber.
Hampshire at The Kia Oval – 10/80
A match won on the final day almost singlehandedly by the great West Indies bowler. His 8/40 in the second innings are now his best ever first-class figures and came straight after a team bowling effort that reduced one of the form sides to just 92 in the first innings.
Somerset at Taunton – N/A
A match almost entirely ruined by the rain with Surrey batting for 68 overs across the four days.
Middlesex at The Kia Oval – 9/147
With a low first innings score to defend, Roach joined new ball partner Reece Topley and first change man Jordan Clark in ripping through our London rivals. He picked up figures of 4/61 in the first innings and another five-wicket haul in the exciting final innings of the match.
Now Roach will be back for another go in 2022, with three of his five fixtures to be played at The Kia Oval. Every Surrey home match will be available to view either on kiaoval.com this season. Away matches will be streamed by the county hosting the match and shared here where possible.
The best way to get your seat at The Kia Oval is with a 2022 Membership, starting from £71 for adults and £20 for U16s.