The double is still on. The Oval showcase, deprived of silverware for far too long, may finally have the dust disturbed after a tense finish to Surrey's match against their Sunday title rivals Warwickshire. Their victory came with just two balls to spare, but after the Championship victory inside three days, the glimmer of precious metal can be seen at the end of the tunnel. The win wrapped up a satisfactory weekend for their acting captain, Chris Lewis.
But this was more a battle of the wide boys than a top of the table clash. Neither side was able to master the aerodynamics of the varnished white ball and the crowd grew hoarse screaming out "wide" to encourage the umpires to award the extra run. Surrey's 15 wides looked bad enough but they were comfortably outdone by Warwickshire.
The problem with bowling wides is that they add considerably to the burden of completing the overs in the statutory time. Surrey fell three short and were fined pounds 1,320 - the third occasion they have fallen foul of the over rate in the Sunday League this season. Warwickshire too were fined one over, which cost them pounds 220.
In the end Warwickshire donated 20 wides (but one of them went for two runs) - and therefore 21 more runs and more than three bonus overs to the Surrey cause - and they needed them in the end, although all the while that Dougie Brown had been at the crease in the Warwickshire innings picking off 66 runs Surrey looked in danger of losing the plot. Fortunately for them Brown was a man alone. The only support he found came from Mike Burns who shared in a fifth-wicket stand of 80.
Despite all the extras, the Surrey bowlers finished with respectable enough figures: Lewis, 2 for 25, Joey Benjamin and Richard Pearson, 3 for 33 each, being the pick of them. Mark Butcher took the catch of the season at short midwicket to dismiss Ashley Giles.
Butcher's patient 48 and Nadeem Shahid's 43 were the backbone of the Surrey chase, but tight bowling and sharp fielding made them sweat for every run.Reuse content