Ball One – Limited overs cricket happens so quickly these days that attention to detail really matters. In the first over, Rory Hamilton-Brown hit the ball hard to Murali Kartik in close at short mid-wicket – not an easy chance, but not a difficult one either. 35 year-old Murali Kartik’s reflexes weren’t up to the task and he spilled it – 21 year-old Jos Buttler, a man used to fielding close in as a keeper, looked on, more engaged in preventing boundaries than taking catches.
Ball Two – Jason Roy has talent to burn – a good job, as burn it he all too often does. He did so today, slashing at the last ball before a rain break to be caught behind. He’ll learn of course, but he’s been around for a while in one-day cricket and he’s learned the same lesson a few times already. Applying what’s been learned is what really matters – playing Division One cricket next year will demand that.
Ball Three – Duckworth – Lewis muscle into the picture after much raining and just as much mopping and draining to set Surrey the revised task of scoring 140 runs from 23 overs. In the semi-final, they scored 228 from 24 overs, albeit with all ten wickets in hand rather than the eight they have left. Using that as a form line, this should be a cakewalk – I doubt that it will be.
Ball Four – For an award-winning building (or maybe because it’s an award-winning building) the Lord’s Media Centre is a difficult place in which to produce media. When the sun begins to drop, the heat through the glass is tremendous and the glare is such that it’s almost impossible to see the screen on laptops, nor follow the ball off the bat. For the view and the food, though, all is forgiven.
Ball Five – With Surrey aheead on D/L as long as they do not lose a wicket, the match is theirs if twenty overs are bowled. That Rory Hamilton-Brown took so tight a single that he would have been run out by three yards with a hit was not the wisest of decisions. Once ahead on D/L, the risk and reward of big shots and tight runs needs very careful planning and a clear head.
Ball Six – Whilst Somerset’s fans will be disappointed with the runners-up tag yet again, the Somerset players’ wags can be envied. It’s not often that men can come second as consistently as the Cider Men have done these past couple of years.