Surrey struggle against Jones' extra pace

It was quite a day for the Jones boy. Somerset's rugby-playing Steffan made up for lost time and vented his frustration on hapless Surrey as the champions got off to a stuttering start to their title defence. There were spells when they threatened, times when they sparked, but more often than not they stalled.

Jones, who has retired from professional rugby in order to concentrate on cricket, has clearly made a wise decision. He produced his best figures, 5 for 41, since joining Somerset in 1997 and took a catch to dismiss Ben Hollioake to boot. His powerful 6ft 2in, 14 stone, frame helped him propel the ball at a tasty lick all afternoon, indeed he seems to have put on a yard of pace over the winter.

Adam Hollioake, Surrey's captain, and Alistair Brown's comfortable fifth-wicket partnership, which realised 74 runs in 16 overs, was rudely interrupted when Brown drove at a wider, fuller length ball and was snapped up in the slips. He had revealed some stunning timing in an entertaining 47.

Hollioake had just reached his fifty, an innings glittering with glorious shots, particularly through the off-side, when Jones dug one in. Hollioake could not get his bat out of the way and Rob Turner took the catch behind the stumps.

Considering that Jones' first over had been smeared through the covers by Hollioake for a dozen runs, his recovery was admirable. He certainly had few problems when dispatching Martin Bicknell, Ian Salisbury and the last man, Ian Bishop.

Jones' performance was perfectly complemented by England's Andy Caddick (three wickets) and the left arm pace of Matthew Bulbeck (two wickets) who both looked sharp. Bulbeck has also matured over the winter. Once he settled, the 20-year-old had them hopping and dismissed the brothers-in-law Mark Butcher and Alec Stewart.

If Surrey's batting was poor it could be put down partly to the weather which has robbed this match of 10 hours. Not that, on this form, Surrey would have made much use of that time. If they are to gain control here, it is clear they need to learn to keep up with the Jones boy.

Surrey First Innings

M A Butcher lbw b Bulbeck 4 I J Ward c Burns b Caddick 1 G P Thorpe c Turner b Caddick 0 A J Stewart lbw b Bulbeck 16 A D Brown c Trescothick b Jones 47 A J Hollioake c Turner b Jones 59 B C Hollioake c Jones b Caddick 20 M P Bicknell b Jones 18 I D K Salisbury c Turner b Jones 2 A J Tudor not out 16 I E Bishop b Jones 0 Extras w2 2 Total (45 overs) 185 Fall: 1-3 2-3 3-11 4-38 5-112 6-129 7-151 8-167 9-173

Bowling Caddick 16 2 71 3 Bulbeck 12 3 44 2 Rose 7 1 29 0 Jones 10 2 41 5 Close

Somerset First Innings

J Cox not out 2 M E Trescothick not out 0 Extras w2 2 Total 0 wkts (4 overs) 4 To Bat: P C L Holloway, P D Bowler, M Burns, R J Turner, I D Blackwell, G D Rose, A R Caddick, M P L Bulbeck, P S Jones.

Bowling Bicknell 2 1 1 0 Tudor 2 1 3 0

Umpires: A G T Whitehead and J W Lloyds

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