Ryan Patel continued his excellent pre-season form by scoring an assured 85 on the first day of Surrey’s two-day fixture against Middlesex in the tranquil environs of Merchant Taylor’s School.
Batting at first drop, Patel was at the crease early after Rory Burns was removed by a sharp, lifting delivery from Toby Roland-Jones that took the shoulder of the opener’s bat and ballooned to a diving Nathan Sowter at fourth slip.
A fluent innings from Patel contained 11 fours and two sixes. The first was a fantastic pick-up pull shot to dispatch Ethan Bamber over the rope and into the pavilion and the second a slog sweep off the spin of Nathan Sowter. The Middlesex spinner had his revenge later in the afternoon session though as Patel aimed to slog-sweep once more only to miss and be adjudged lbw.
Will Jacks and Sam Curran helped rebuild the innings but both were the victims of good deliveries on a well-grassed pitch that occasionally went up and down. 26-year-old Cameron Steel played a mature innings to steady Surrey’s ship. Batting 167 minutes for his 53, he looked particularly good through the covers, driving off the front foot and punching off the back, high up on his toes. One violent cut shot off a wayward delivery from Toby Greatwood was a strong contender for shot of the day.
Jamie Overton opened his shoulders towards the end of the day, retiring unbeaten on 52 off just 65 balls, capitalising on the solid platform built by Patel and Steel. At the end, 303 runs in 85 overs meant it was a solid day with bat in hand for Surrey.
The two-day match will be completed tomorrow, and is being live-streamed with all the action and scorecards available to view here. Surrey will start with the ball at 11am and be looking to build upon the decent work they put in at Hove last week.
Surrey 303/10 (85)