Fringe Box



Cricket: Surrey Total Too Challenging for Notts in Rain Limited Cup Match

Published on: 28 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 30 Jul, 2021

A crowd, unimaginable only weeks ago, enjoy a day’s county cricket at Woodbridge Road.

By Julian Cooper

A required run rate of over 10 an over proved too much for the Nottinghamshire batsmen in a rain-affected Royal London Cup match at Woodbridge Road on Tuesday (July 27).

It’s been four years since the two counties last met in the competition. Then it was the 2017 final where Alex Hales scored 187 to ensure a Nottingham win.

This was the sixth meeting between the two sides at Woodbridge Road, Notts last visit was in 2012 with previous outcomes being 3-2 in the visitors’ favour.

The match started promptly at 11am and most spectators were already in place for an exciting day’s cricket. Sadly, after half an hour’s play the forecast heavy showers set in and, as warned, they were to be lengthy, there being very little wind to move them through.

At the interruption, Surrey were 29-1 from 8 overs. South African veteran Hashim Amla being the first man out bowled by Hutton for 14.

Hashim Amla ducks an early Luke Fletcher bouncer. Image John Schluter

The rain persisted for several hours, the covers remaining firmly in place. This though didn’t dampen the spectators’ spirits, most taking the opportunity to catch up with people they hadn’t seen for months and tell tales of yore, cricket matches enjoyed and players seen.

The beer tent was certainly a popular place to shelter and with the recent Guildford Beer Festival having taken place, all were assured of a good selection of ales and lagers from local brewers to slake thirsts.

Eventually, the skies brightened, the sun broke through and play was scheduled for 30 overs each to begin at 2.45pm.

It might have been considered a disadvantage for Surrey to have tentatively batted for eight overs before the bad weather had set in, although probably perhaps balanced by the loss of only one wicket and still plenty of good batsmen “back in the hutch”.

Mark Stoneman and Ryan Patel were at the crease and immediately went on the attack, putting on an impressive 151 from the next 15 overs with the boundaries being struck more often than not.

Patel launched an exciting total of 10 sixes through his innings. Some of them, leaving the ground and bounce into the neighbouring service station. Others sailed over the hospitality tents into the car park. Patel went on to make a huge 131 before being caught by Evison off the bowling of Paterson-White.

Ryan Patel scoring his 100th run. Image: Julian Cooper

The other notable innings was Surrey’s wicketkeeper Jamie Smith who hit a quickfire 54 from 24 deliveries. A strike rate of 284.

Surrey ended their innings after 30 overs with a score of 311-8. Notts were going to have to go at 10.4 runs an over to secure the win.

After tea and the weather set fair, the crowd, which today included former Prime Minister, and long term Surrey cricket fan, Sir John Major, settled down to see if the target could be met.

Notts made a brisk start scoring 70 in the first 5 overs however after the partnership of Slater and Budinger was broken, Notts faltered and with few boundaries being scored and the required run-rate ever-extending, the match ran away from them.

At the end of their 30 overs they were 47 runs short allowing a fairly comfortable win for the home side. Officially, under the Duckworth Lewis system for shortened games, the victory was calculated to be by 33 runs.

For BBC scorecard please click here.

Julian Cooper with Sir John Major

As a side note, I enjoyed a lovely conversation with Sir John Major during tea. I told him about how my father David (who sadly passed away 30 years ago), said to me after the ousting of Margaret Thatcher in 1990, and John Major succeeding her as Prime Minister: “Oh, I used to catch the train with that chap when I commuted to London Kings Cross from Huntingdon (Sir John’s former constituency).”

I reminded Sir John of my father’s recollection to which he replied: “That was many, many years ago now.”

I was just pleased to remember my dear old dad to him.  All three of us sharing a huge passion for what I’d consider the greatest sport on earth.


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