Dernbach backs Surrey to revive the glory days
Somerset 214 Surrey 189-5: Surrey win by 5 wickets (D/L method)
Winning a 40-over competition was the springboard that lifted Surrey out of the wilderness 15 years ago and back into a land of silverware and success. Now there is a feeling around south London that history could be about to repeat itself.
Confidence has rarely been in short supply for sides from The Oval, even when there was precious little justification for that famous Surrey strut. But finishing top of the old Sunday League in 1996 gave Alec Stewart's team the belief they needed to go on and capture seven more trophies in the next seven years.
It all came to an end after 2003, since when the Brown Hatters have lurched from one low to another and become a favourite joke for many in the domestic cricket community.
"We're the laughing stock of English cricket," was the reported comment of one unnamed player this time last year following an abject surrender by his team during a four-day match.
Well, no one is taking the mickey out of Surrey today after an end to the season which suggests the expensive rebuilding plan masterminded by manager Chris Adams is starting to bear fruit.
Winning promotion to the County Championship's First Division last week, following a late surge, was followed on Saturday by lifting the CB40 trophy at the expense of those habitual runners-up, Somerset.
Much – in fact, just about everything, and almost everyone – has changed at The Oval since Adams arrived from Sussex in 2009. But according to Jade Dernbach, the club's newest England bowler, the biggest difference is in attitude.
"I think at times in the past we had a false understanding where we were as a cricket side," said Dernbach, who joined Surrey eight years ago – just when the club went into decline on the field. "We've always had talented cricketers but the results were not up to the standards we thought they were.
"So it has been about getting a big reality check. Unfortunately some people got moved on to other pastures but that was just the development of this club. Some tough decisions had to be made.
"When you have a successful environment people will do anything to be part of it. They will work harder – and that's what we have created now. There are people here now who cannot get a game but it is their determination to break into the side that keeps pushing those of us who are in it to get better and better every day."
Although Dernbach has been on The Oval scene since 2003, he is still only 25 – young enough to be a member of the new generation that fills English cricket with so much optimism. Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow lit up a dark, damp night in Cardiff on Friday with a blistering innings for England against India. Then at Lord's on Saturday, Jos Buttler played equally well in different circumstances to give Somerset half a chance before Rory Hamilton-Brown guided Surrey to the brink of victory with a maturely made half-century.
Dernbach, though, was man of the match for his four-wicket blast. "I want to play as much cricket as I can for England but any time I can play for Surrey and help us to win matches I will," said the fast bowler who did not arrive in London until gone 2am on Saturday morning following his trip from Cardiff. "This club is in my heart and I love it to bits."
No one could doubt that Somerset means just as much to Marcus Trescothick. The beaten captain admitted to being lost for words and out of answers when asked to try to explain his county's fifth defeat in as many domestic finals during the last three seasons.
Somerset – minus their leader (who no longer travels abroad after his long fight against depression) and without England pair Buttler and Craig Kieswetter – flew to India last night to take part, along with Leicestershire, in the Champions League qualifying tournament.
They play the Auckland Aces in Hyderabad on Tuesday and, given the absence of three key players on top of another crushing defeat in a domestic final, it is hard to see them winning. "We are good at bouncing back – we've done it enough times," said Trescothick with a rueful smile.
Somerset hit for six
2011 Twenty20: Suffer surprise final defeat to Leicestershire; CB40 hammered by Surrey at a rainy Lord's.
2010 Twenty20: Lose to Hampshire in nail-biting finale; Championship: Pipped by Notts on frantic final day; CB40: Ian Bell century too much for Trescothick's side
2009 Twenty20: Thrashed by Sussex at Edgbaston.
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