Published: 20th March, 2014
Surrey enjoyed a productive opening day against Middlesex until bad light brought a premature end to proceedings. Batting first Surrey posted 189-4 from their allocated 60 overs with Rory Burns (74), Arun Harinath (33) and Steven Davies (32*) enjoying valuable time at the crease. In reply Middlesex closed 4-2 with Tim Linley and Stuart Meaker causing the batsmen real problems.
On a cold but bright day at Merchant Taylors’ Middlesex won the toss and decided to bowl. Harinath and Burns opened the innings and both made watchful starts in testing conditions. Against the new ball pairing of James Harris and Toby Roland-Jones the Surrey opening pair had to show excellent judgement of line and length and they both settled into the job at hand.
Burns started to play fluently tucking the ball to the square leg boundary on a couple of occasions as Surrey moved through the first hour of play unscathed. Harinath found the boundary for the first time with a crisp pull shot and Burns continued to look in excellent form as he dominated the scoring.
The Surrey left hander’s played very well and Burns brought up his fifty with a couple of runs from Neil Dexter. Harinath found his rhythm and looked particularly good through the legside and the opening pair completed a very good morning with the scoreboard reading 92-0 with Burns 65* and Harinath undefeated on 24.
After the lunch break the Surrey openers moved their partnership onto 109 when they both retired with Burns 74* and Harinath undefeated on 33. Zafar Ansari and Davies made their way to the middle but Ansari got a cracking delivery from Steven Finn 2nd ball and was caught behind without scoring.
Jason Roy got off the mark in lovely fashion with a handsome drive to the cover boundary and Davies immediately looked settled. Both batsmen played sensibly as Surrey moved past 150 but on 29 Roy was adjudged to have been caught behind off James Harris to leave Surrey 164-4. Davies continued to play fluently and at the other end Tom Jewell looked solid as Surrey completed their 60 overs with Davies undefeated on 31 and Jewell 11*.
Linley and Meaker took the new ball and Linley made an early breakthrough when he had Joe Denly caught behind for 2. And Meaker then reduced Middlesex to 3 for 2 when Nick Gubbins edged a good delivery to Davies behind the stumps.
The weather then took a turn for the worse and with Middlesex 4-2 bad light forced the players back into the Pavilion. The umpires decided enough was enough at 5 o’clock and both sides will be hoping for a full day’s play tomorrow.