Hutton and Shah expose Surrey's shortcomings

Surrey 418 and 203 Middlesex 325 and 300-4 Middlesex win by 6 wkts

When Steve Rixon was coach of New South Wales he was known as Stumper. After two Championship games, he must be feeling a bit stumped. Instead of strutting off the stage at Lord's, Surrey slunk away. Here were a team who had scored more than 400 in the first innings, and it was not enough to prevent their ancient rivals humiliating them in the fourth.

When Steve Rixon was coach of New South Wales he was known as Stumper. After two Championship games, he must be feeling a bit stumped. Instead of strutting off the stage at Lord's, Surrey slunk away. Here were a team who had scored more than 400 in the first innings, and it was not enough to prevent their ancient rivals humiliating them in the fourth.

Middlesex were expected to struggle to make 297 runs to win, but they strode along, treating the Surrey bowling with the disrespect it deserved - with a single, sad exception. Jon Batty, Surrey's new skipper, looked at his wits' end. Rixon himself was masked by dressing-room shadows, but you can imagine what he was thinking. If the rain had not fallen last Sunday, Surrey would have lost to Sussex too. The mighty are fallen, and Rixon must be wondering how to pick them up.

True enough, everything went right for Middlesex yesterday. Their openers put on more than 100 for the first time this season. Sven Koenig ended a depressing trot (13 runs in three innings) with a secure half-century off 94 balls before getting caught in the last over before lunch for 62. Ben Hutton took longer over his 50 (137 balls), but he stayed put. After 78 in the first innings, Hutton - grandson of Sir Len, of course - rode his luck. Dropped first by Batty on 48 and then by Ali Brown on 60, he hit hard and sometimes high on the leg side. He must have been cross to be caught behind the wicket 12 short of a century.

Hutton's turn came in the last over before tea, when only 71 were still required and there were 35 overs to go: 223 balls, 10 fours, and a lot of satisfaction for a good Saturday crowd. It was all white space on the Mound Stand side, but there was better than a sprinkling in the Grand and Compton stands. Maybe what deters English spectators on a Saturday is not the shopping but the rarity of sun.

After tea, Owais Shah, captaining Middlesex for only the second time, and Ed Joyce played festival cricket, scoring 50 in seven overs before Shah was caught at long on for 65. He had scored a good clip (50 in 70 balls), but Joyce was sumptuous at the death, his 47 taking only 42 balls, before he prodded a return catch to Saqlain Mushtaq. It was a memorable day for Middlesex's batsmen.

Saqlain, back from Pakistan, took all four wickets, but James Ormond deserved them. In two spells yesterday he bowled 15 overs for 29 runs. He swung the ball away from the left-hander, but catches were dropped and edges narrowly avoided. Start a pressure group and call it Justice for the Ormond One, and use as evidence the fact that a good batsman's wicket never deteriorated.

Batty's body language suggested that confidence was leaking fast. Consultations grew longer and involved more people as the day wore on. Rixon's first job must be to give his new skipper an injection of reassurance. As of now, he is seriously short of runs, catches and experience.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum