Sports Editor Oscar Frost reports on Warwickshire’s defeat at the hands of a strong Surrey team, leading the Bears to 5th in the LV= county championship

Written by Oscar Frost
Hi! I'm Oscar, and I'm one of your deputy editors for the coming year. I was also a sports editor for two years, and a writer for a year before that.

Warwickshire received a taste of their own medicine this week, as their batting lineup was dismantled by a strong Surrey bowling attack. Surrey (281 & 16-1) defeated the Bears (150 & 141) by nine wickets.

Despite Dan Worrall being caught by Hasan Ali for no score, the Surrey 2nd inning required only 11 runs to win with a reversed batting lineup. With Thomas Lawes smashing two sixes, finishing with a strike rate of 280.00, the nine-wicket victory was secured.

 The damage, however, was done by the Surrey bowling attack. Kemar Roach and Worrall combined for 15 wickets in the match, showing the class of the visitors’ seam outfit.

With the Bears being dismissed for just 141 in the second inning, the match was as good as over. Falling to 4-22 after just seven overs, the top and middle order simply could not get a grasp on the game. Ed Barnard squeaked his way to 49 from 129 balls, however the next highest scorer was Chris Rushworth, who scored just 22. This was Barnard’s highest ever score for the Bears, but it was only enough to limp the Bears over the total needed to make Surrey take to the field again.

Roach was able to secure a well-deserved five wicket haul in the Warwickshire second innings, as the Bears failed to find an answer to his pace and swing.

The first inning was equally unimpressive for Warks, with Dan Mousley’s 55 from 182 balls being the only challenge to the Surrey bowlers. Mousley was able to see out the first day, however the tide turned for the worse on the second day, as the Bears were dismissed for 150 runs.

Surrey should be commended for their temperate batting on a difficult pitch. The visitors’ tail end was particularly impressive, as the final two wicket stands held for 70 runs. Jamie Smith’s 88 from 196 balls was a highlight. However, there were solid contributions from across the batting lineup, with Ben Foakes (39), Rory Burns (32) and Worrall (35) all putting up more than 30 runs.

Surrey should be commended for their temperate batting on a difficult pitch

Although Surrey were only able to secure a singular half-century, courtesy of Smith, the fact that there were only two in the match is a testament to how tricky the pitch was.

Rushworth, Ollie Hannon-Dalby, and Ali were able to secure three wickets each, which was somewhat of a silver lining. Ali also picked up his 300th first-class wicket.

Overall, this was a pretty disappointing display from the Bears against a strong Surrey side. The primary disappointment stems from the fact that the Warwickshire squad has shown the quality necessary to stand with the best teams in the first division of the LV= county championship. Therefore, to not even challenge for a result was shocking.

We’ll dust ourselves down” commented head coach Mark Robinson after the match, reflecting on the tough result. Robinson went on to say that “there is a lot of ability in this team,” as they look forward to what will be a crucial run of games to get a foothold in the table.

Surrey now sit on top of the county championship table, with 52 points. This places them 12 points above Hampshire, their nearest competitors. The Bears sit in fifth position on 38 points, but are just seven points behind Middlesex with a game in hand.

Warks will face Hampshire away next, starting Thursday 4th May. When these sides met in September 2022, the Bears were able to secure a win by just five runs. The neutral fans will be hoping for an equally nail-biting game, although Warks fans will hope for a resurgence after this week’s loss.

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