Published: 1st April, 2014
A wonderful spell of fast bowling from Stuart Meaker which saw him take 6 wickets in 6 overs saw Surrey dominate the opening day at Fenner’s. Cambridge MCCU were all out for 54 thanks to Meaker’s burst in reply to Surrey’s 218 with Zafar Ansari making 54.
On a warm but cloudy morning at Fenner’s, Cambridge MCCU won the toss and asked Surrey to bat first. Tom Curran was handed a First Class debut but Chris Tremlett was rested due a minor back spasm. Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley opened the innings and Sibley started confidently with a boundary through the legside off Zain Shahzad and a punch to the cover rope.
Alisdair Pollock made an early breakthrough when he had Burns caught behind without scoring to leave Surrey 11-1. Sibley found the boundary again but on 16 he pushed forward to Zain Shahzad and was caught at slip by Tom Elliott. And Surrey found themselves 24-3 when Steven Davies was caught by James Johnson in the slips off Pollock for 3.
Ansari and Gary Wilson came together and were made to work hard by the Cambridge bowlers as the ball continued to move off the surface. Both batsmen played with discipline and showed good judgement of which deliveries to play and which to leave alone.
They moved Surrey past fifty as their early hard work paid dividends as they forced the bowlers to change their line and length. Ansari looked assured particularly off the front foot and Wilson was quick to seize on the short ball.
The partnership developed as the sun came out and as lunch arrived the scoreboard read 95-3 with Wilson 34* and Ansari unbeaten on 27. After the resumption Shahzad broke the partnership on 74 when he trapped Wilson LBW for a well made 37.
Ansari was joined by Jason Roy who immediately drove Shahzad straight back down the ground for four. The Surrey pair complimented each other as Ansari continued to play with discipline and Roy played some handsome shots either side of the wicket.
Roy moved to 35 with no alarms but he was then caught low down by Chad Yates at first slip as he played defensively at Patrick Sadler. Ansari continued to provide the cement to the innings and he moved to an accomplished fifty from 137 balls with a drive off Sadler to the cover boundary. At the other end Gareth Batty played fluently as another partnership developed.
Ansari moved onto 54 but he then looked to drive Sadler and was bowled to leave Surrey 201-6. And two balls later Curran departed when he was LBW to a delivery that nipped back from Sadler and trapped him infront.
Tim Linley came to the middle and alongside Batty they took Surrey through to the tea break with Batty 37* and Surrey 211-7. Straight after the interval Batty was bowled by Shahzad and Meaker then followed in identical fashion for 6 after playing one memorable pull shot to the midwicket boundary.
And Surrey were all out for 218 when Pollock nipped one back through a Linley cover drive and bowled him for 5. Meaker took the new ball and made an immediate impact when he uprooted Johnson’s off stump to leave Cambridge 3-1.
Meaker was bowling with good pace from the Pavilion End and he then had Adil Arif LBW offering no shot for 5. Linley then got in on the act when he bowled Alex Hearne through the gate for 1 to leave the students 13-3. And Meaker had his third wicket when Tom Elliott pushed forward on 2 and the outside edge was taken by Roy at 3rd slip.
Meaker was proving unplayable and he claimed his fifth wicket in a devastating spell when he bowled Adam Mansfield for 2 to leave the hosts in desperate trouble at 26-6. And that became 33-7 when Meaker took his sixth wicket trapping Nipuna Seneratne LBW for 11 as his six over spell came to an end with figures of 6-6.
Matthew Dunn came into the attack and removed Pollock when a quick delivery trapped the batsman LBW for 10 and Cambridge found themselves 49-8. And Dunn had his second wicket when Shahzad was caught on the crease and was LBW for 6. With Will Barratt unable to bat due to injury Cambridge MCCU were all out for 54 with Meaker finishing with figures of 6-6 from his 6 overs.
Surrey decided not to enforce the follow on and finished an excellent day’s work 5-0 with Burns unbeaten on 5 and Sibley yet to get off the mark. Tomorrow the batsmen will look to spend more quality time in the middle before letting the bowlers go to work again.