Momentum favours Surrey at Lord's
September 16, 2011, Lord's
Start time: 11.30am (1030GMT)
The Big Picture
The thrilling conclusion to the County Championship wasn't quite the end of the domestic season. On Saturday the final piece of silverware will be contested as Somerset and Surrey go head-to-head for the Clydesdale Bank 40 trophy. It's a match that pits together the recent bridesmaids of the county game with a dynamic, youthful team that appears to have turned the corner.
Surrey have already celebrated this week after beating Derbyshire to secure Championship promotion. Under Rory Hamilton-Brown and Chris Adams they have pulled together an impressive team that suggests the dark days may be behind the county. A trophy in the cabinet would further suggest that they are a team who can rise up the domestic scene. They have reached the final playing an exciting brand of cricket led by fearless batsmen - Hamilton-Brown, Steven Davies, Jason Roy - and backed up by a powerful bowling unit that includes pace and spin.
The batting feeds off the confidence instilled in the dressing room and they back themselves to attack throughout an innings. In the semi-final against Sussex they made 228 in 24 overs. A key part of their success has been with the spinners and there can sometimes be five options available to the captain even before Pragyan Ojha, the India left-armer, is considered.
Somerset, meanwhile, continue to find that final hurdle the hardest one to cross. Runner's up three times last season they have already finished second this summer in the Twenty20. At least that means a trip to the Champions League Twenty20 in India, but that also brings some major headaches as the team have to dash out of London on Sunday evening and will arrive in Hyderabad less than 24 hours before their opening match.
However, that journey will feel so much easier if they have a victory behind them. The barrier now is psychological rather than a talent issue. Once losing in a final becomes a habit it can be hard to break.
Players to watch
Tom Maynard has excelled in his first season at Surrey after moving from Glamorgan. There is more than a hint of his dad, Matthew, in his strokeplay - especially on the leg side - and he isn't afraid to go over the top. He is one of a crop of young batsmen who play fearlessly which makes for exciting cricket whether it comes off or not. A Lord's final is a good stage to catch the eye.
He has tried everything to be fit for this match, including an oxygen chamber, and Marcus Trescothick will battle through the pain to try and secure that elusive trophy. He damaged his ankle last month and is still someway short of full fitness but is confident he can last 80 overs of cricket. His presence at the top of the order will be a huge boost for Somerset.
Barring any last-minute issues, Trescothick will resume his role at the top of the order while Somerset will have both Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler once they make a late-night dash back from Cardiff where they have been playing for England.
Somerset (possible) 1 Marcus Trescothick (capt), 2 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 3 Peter Trego, 4 James Hildreth, 5 Nick Compton, 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Craig Meschede, 8 Lewis Gregory, 9 Alfonso Thomas, 10 Murali Kartik, 11 Steve Kirby
Surrey have Jade Dernbach available and plenty of options to chose from. Yasir Arafat is set to be the overseas player ahead of Ojha, while Mark Ramprakash hasn't been part of the one-day side.
Surrey (possible) 1 Rory Hamilton-Brown, 2 Steven Davies (wk), 3 Jason Roy, 4 Tom Maynard, 5 Zander de Bruyn, 6 Chris Schofield, 7 Matthew Spriegel, 8 Gareth Batty, 9 Yasir Arafat, 10 Jade Dernbach, 11 Tim Linley
Pitch and conditions
Lessons have been learnt after staging last year's final under floodlights and it's a late-morning start which means the chilly evening will be avoided. That should also mean no undue advantage with the toss and the forecast is also pretty good although there could be the odd shower.
Stats and trivia
- Surrey last reached a Lord's final in 2001 when they beat Gloucestershire by 47 runs with Ben Hollioake Man of the Match
- All Surrey's likely top order, apart from Zander de Bruyn, have scored at over a run-a-ball in this season's CB40
- Somerset's last trophy came in the 2005 Twenty20 Cup
"It's never nice coming second as we know. We've done it a few times in the last couple of years. Hopefully the boys can use that inspiration to overcome it."
Marcus Trescothick hopes to go one better
"I'd like to think we are underdogs to be honest. Somerset have had a lot of success over the past couple of years in one-day cricket. Within our dressing-room we think we are good enough to win."
Rory Hamilton-Brown plays down Surrey's chances. Sort of.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo