After the delights of Radlett my next trip took me to see Surrey at the Oval, a ground I’ve grown to love since I’ve been a member. I’m an Essex fan, but an admirer of several of the young Surrey players and enjoy watching them.
The Oval is a bit of a mission from Chelmsford and it seems to be as much of an effort getting out if the door as a Grandma to 3 baby grandsons as it was as a Mum! All of that combined meant I arrived at around 11:15, to see Surrey batting first and at 11 for 2!
That meant I missed Dean Elgar and Will Jacks but to was ok I was looking forward to watching young star Ollie Pope, who has 427 championship runs to his name, except, he was out as I walked onto the Pavilion Terrace! What kind of disaster was this for Surrey? 12 for 3!!
Rory Burns was joined by Ben Foakes, I have seen Burns bat before but I can’t have seen him bat from sideways on (it’s not my preferred view), he has a very unusual stance, he looks like someone trying to stand up in a strong wind, leaning into it! A stance that’s helped him to 349 championship runs so far this season. Ben Foakes, who would be teh next England keeper for me, made 21 before he was caught by Steve Davies from the bowling of Craig Overton.
Overton impressed from a bowling point of view and ended with 4 for 27 from the 9.2 overs he bowled. Sam Curran came in at 6 and managed to impress, he scored 30 with an array of classy shots. However his 30 only helped Surrey to a mere 129 runs, there was an hour until the planned lunch break, it wasn’t going to be a long game!
Johann Myburgh opened the batting with Steve Davies, Sam Curran gave his team some hope when he took 2 wickets in an over, with Rikki Clarke taking a great catch to dismiss Davies and Peter Trego was out LBW 2 balls later.
However that brought James Hildreth to the crease, another man with decent runs to his name this summer, he’d scored 384. Lunch was taken at the planned time of 2:30, that involved Victoria Sandwich and a cup of tea in my 100th Test cup in the pavilion for me. A place that remains to be very male dominated domain, but a very friendly one, I do always feel welcome at the Oval.
I sat on the pavilion terrace for what was to be a short final session, Somerset reached 131 at 3:45 with Myburgh on 75 and Hildreth 35, an easy win for the visitors.
I must give a mention of the thousands of school children at the ground on schools’ day, they obviously hadn’t got the memo from Colin Graves to tell them they didn’t like cricket! They had a wonderful time, not least because Dean Elgar signed literally hundreds of autographs, which was great to see!