The cricket season has come to an end and Surrey can hold their heads high after a turbulent run saw them with more than their fair share of highs and lows. Surrey finished up with some very respectable positions that just two months ago would have seemed unfathomable. Coming fifth in the County Championship in Surrey’s first season back in Division One is a decent achievement, but Surrey’s pride will be slightly bruised knowing their derby rivals took the trophy. Surrey’s performance in the One Day Cup was also pleasantly surprising, but sadly they could not take this all the way. Surrey’s contracts were changing rapidly at the start of the season and the squad is changing already. With some contracts signed and others refused, Surrey will look fairly different for next season.
Surrey in the One Day Cup
Surrey faced Warwickshire in the Royal London One Day Cup at Lord’s having scraped their way in with some close results, but with the team’s form in the County Championship, they went in as favourites to win. Unfortunately this idea was short lived. Surrey proceeded to play one of the worst games of their season. The fans all thought that winning the toss at Lord’s would see Surrey crowned champions but with a run of below average performances from the opening three batsmen, Surrey hovered around 90 runs for far too long. Sam Curran provided some light, scoring 13 runs off 19 balls but after his wicket fell, even Dernbach’s six was not enough to bring Surrey back. Scoring just 136 runs having survived for just 40 overs, Surrey’s only hope would be for poor batting conditions for Warwickshire. However it was not to be, with Surrey taking just two wickets in the rapid thirty overs it took for the opposition to beat their score. A very disappointing way to finish the competition, maybe Surrey are destined to continue to fall at the final hurdle in this competition after the same result last year.
Surrey celebrate a successful return to the First Division
Surrey in the County Championship
Surrey had just two games left of the County Championship and while seemingly clear of relegation, it would be unwise to switch off even at this late stage. Surrey played Hampshire in the penultimate game and came away with a draw to secure a good mid-table standing. Surrey batted first and Burns’ performance was a promising start to the game, scoring just over a century. Unfortunately no one else could match this as no other player scored even a half century. Hampshire outclassed Surrey in batting, scoring 582 runs before declaring, with three players scoring centuries. Footitt stood out for his five wickets as well as Foakes who took five catches during the innings. Unfortunately there was not enough time for Surrey to catch Hampshire but luckily they held on for the draw, earning some batting and bowling points to consolidate their position in the table.
Surrey’s final game of the season against Durham was somewhat of a disappointing way to end especially when you consider the form that they had found recently. Still, it was a valiant effort in a high scoring game. The bowling side of the game saw Footitt again taking five wickets in the first innings but Sam Curran really shone as he took seven wickets to keep Surrey in the game after the team fell short of Durham’s first innings total. Roy had the best batting game scoring 120 and then 96 in the two innings but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to catch the lead Durham had set down.
Transfers and Contracts
Surrey’s board have been busy again but this time Davies and Wilson have left the club, meaning Surrey have just lost two of their wicket keepers and one of their best performing batsmen. However this does leave an opening for young Ollie Pope to step up and take on the role of keeper. Thankfully Sangakkarra signed another contract for one year, giving Surrey that needed level of experience to carry into next season.
Sam Curran has gone from strength to strength this season
Player of the Season – Sam Curran
Sam has been one of the most consistent players of the tournament this season, frequently taking multiple wickets when it counted most, all while balancing his A-levels as he turned 18 this Summer. Breaking both personal and club records this season, Sam really deserves recognition for his input both as a bowler and a batsman. As one of the sport’s youngest professionals, Sam will be expected to improve even more and so will be sure to be continuing his excellent performances. However where will we see this improvement, it begs the question whether he will start to specialise more as a bowler like his older brother or will Sam be able to retain his ability as an all-rounder in the season’s to come? Whatever happens, he was exciting to watch all season, regularly achieving better results than his more experienced counter parts. One of the best features Sam showed was his connection to the fans, regularly signing autographs or getting the crowd cheering when Surrey needed the support. I hope to see even more of Sam in the coming seasons as it won’t be long before he will be called to the international stage.
One to Watch – Zafar Ansari
Zafar made an excellent comeback after his thumb surgery from last season’s injury but I believe he could do even more. While he was an important member of the team, he did not regularly score above a half century and would take a few wickets here and there. This is certainly enough to warrant his place in the first team but he was frequently overshadowed by others’ performances. I believe Ansari will be training hard to find the form that he had before the injury and England Cricket have noticed this too, selecting him for the tour of Bangladesh alongside captain Gareth Batty. Ansari has a lot more to give and I hope he capitalises on his abilities to make the most of his career. I will be following his progress in Bangladesh closely this Autumn.
By Max Thorp