Middlesex v Surrey, Lord's, 2nd day May 3, 2013

Substance over style works for Dernbach

Vithushan Ehantharajah at Lord's

Middlesex 161 for 9 (Dernbach 3-59, Batty 2-23) trail Surrey 338 (Murtagh 3-54, Collymore 3-72) by 177

On a day where the sun shone bright and the sky remained spotless, Middlesex produced an inept batting display to leave themselves with one first innings wicket remaining and a deficit of 177 runs.

Collectively, the Surrey bowling unit operated with a determined nature that would have buoyed Graeme Smith. It must be said Smith rotated them well - Chris Tremlett in particular responding positively to the four over shifts he was given - but Middlesex will know their own batting sold them short. Many have championed their bowling attack but there was undoubtedly going to be games where the batsmen would be needed to make something happen. This is one of them.

Zander de Bruyn started the morning with the bat and showed good intent to push Surrey on, as Tim Murtagh swung a delivery past Steven Davies' inside edge and rapped him on the pads, in front of middle and off, to send him on his way. Murtagh was reliable as ever, but Steven Finn was off-colour, seemingly concentrating solely on pace; the giveaway being a handful of leg side wides. His third and final wide, before he was taken out of the attack, was particularly unbecoming of a Test bowler.

Pennies for the thoughts of Andy Flower and David Saker; both present at Lord's today, surely running the rule over the four international quicks present, past and future. Toby Roland-Jones represents the latter and he was more convincing today, claiming his first wicket of the match with a devilish back of a length ball that made a play for de Bruyn's shoulder, but made do with the thumb of his glove.

Surrey will know they left runs in the track as Corey Collymore, an international of the past, and Paul Stirling shared the last four wickets. Head coach Chris Adams preaches "hard cricket" and he will not be happy that the last six wickets only added 71 runs, but what he can't fault is the response with the ball.

Middlesex's innings started at a greater pace to Surrey's dreary first go, but where the visiting side left well - particularly day one centurion Rory Burns - the hosts found themselves falling for temptation. Chris Rogers took a brace of fours off Jade Dernbach before he chased a wide, full length delivery from de Bruyn and only succeeded in diverting it rather violently onto his middle stump. His replacement Joe Denly also seemed nonplussed by Dernbach until he made one just duck in, which the batsman - head falling to the offside - could only meet with pad.

One of England's preliminary 30 for the ICC Champions Trophy, Dernbach failed to make the whittled down 15 as Ashley Giles went for substance above style. There's no doubting his talents; his armoury of slower balls, cutters and back-of-the-handers seems both a gift and a curse. His slower-ball did make an appearance and had Dawid Malan baffled briefly before the ball dipped just wide of his toes and onto his bat.

But Dernbach has shown this season that he has a clear appreciation of the sub-plots of long-form bowling. After Robson was squared up neatly by de Bruyn and Malan unluckily adjudged lbw to Gareth Batty's first ball when it seemed there was bat involved, Dernbach produced a mini-spell of pressure which pressed home Surrey's advantage.

Neil Dexter edged him to Vikram Solanki in the slips before Dernbach produced an in-swinging yorker to greet Paul Stirling on his County Championship debut. Regardless of how many more times Stirling dons the whites in county cricket, he'll struggle to face a better ball - especially first-up.

Roland-Jones swatted two fours before giving Tremlett a return catch for his first wicket, while Simpson's chip to mid-on should rightly earn him some blank stares and coarse words from anyone with Middlesex's best interest at heart.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Adam on May 3, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    The highlight thus far is the Middlesex members in the pavilion moaning about Surrey's slow batting only to disappear on mass once they were 4 down. Surrey have been accused of arrogance but that has been displayed by one side in this match by the team selection. Dexter is a walking wicket.

  • Michael on May 3, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    One would have to say that the Surrey scoreline was disappointing with 338 a.o. but the reply was reappointing. This is a side Surrey enjoy beating and at Lords would be especially fine. It looks like we are winning the war of attrition so far.

  • Oliverio on May 3, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    @trevorleesafro Rather harsh I feel, it is a fair criticism to level at Dernbach in general, and Mr Ehantharajah directly acknowledges in the headline that Dernbach had bowled with "substance". Doesn't seem to me that praise for Surrey is in short supply... but then maybe I'm just a Middlesex fan despairing that our middle order seem to take great joy in failing collectively. And this time Gareth Berg's not around to save them!

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    Great stuff by Surrey to slice through the Middlesex top order with such apparent ease, especially given how Middlesex's batting unit have performed so far this year.

    My only reservation re the sides Adams & Smith are putting out on the field lies in the fact that, in going for solidity ahead of flair, admirable but middling journeymen such as Wilson, Harinath & Linley will keep out prodigiously talented youngsters like Jason Roy, George Edwards & Matt Dunn. Surrey's recent past is littered with examples of highly talented players being forced to move elsewhere due to limited opportunities at The Oval - Tim Murtagh, Michael Carberry, Scott Newman & Chris Jordan being but four who've chosen to throw in their lot with other counties - so let's hope the young guns don't become so discouraged that they feel they have little option but to follow the same path.

  • Michael on May 3, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    "Surrey's dreary first go" - look at the scoreboard! I think Burns and Harinath, young as they are, found the way to bat here, with the pathetic over rate slowing the game and very short bowling, their effort was superb. A little praise please.

    Surrey destroyed the Middlesex batting without building pressure and without consistency. Although Tremlett was far superior to Finn, simply through pitching a bit fuller (Finn was awful this morning, radar off, no control of his line and again too short) and forcing the batters to play.

    Can tomorrow's article please offer the side most likely to win some praise [that would be Surrey!] ? Yesterday Burns' 100 was "painful" and today a bowler who has done much to set up the game has no substance.

    There are two sides playing in this match Mr Ehantharajah and one is playing far better cricket than the other!

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