Surrey v Yorkshire: Same old problems see Yorkshire fall short at The Oval
HOW often did we hear during Yorkshire’s disastrous T20 campaign that the chief problems were the bowling up front and at the death and the general inconsistency with the bat?
Why, it almost became a broken record as defeat after defeat was dissected and discussed.
They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and there was a strong sense of deja vu for Yorkshire at The Oval today.
Yes, you guessed it, the chief problems were the bowling up front and at the death and the general inconsistency with the bat, resulting in a six-run defeat in a match that could so easily have gone the other way.
In scoring 265-8 after winning the toss, Surrey seized on that Yorkshire bowling up front.
After seven overs, the total was 52-0, and Steven Davies, the former England one-day wicketkeeper, had 39 of them, including a flurry of the most sweetly-timed fours you could possibly see.
Matthew Fisher, the 17-year-old pace bowler, conceded 19 runs from the first two overs from the Pavilion End, and although Tim Bresnan was tidier from the Vauxhall End, 12 runs came off his third over, followed by 11 from the opening over bowled by off-spinner Glenn Maxwell.
At that stage, it looked like a typical Oval tale of batsmen filling their boots and bowlers cursing the Kennington turf.
Enter Steve Patterson.
From the opening ball of the eighth over, Patterson bowled Davies from the Pavilion end.
In his next over, Patterson had the other opening batsman, Jason Roy, caught at mid-wicket off a tame clip.
On Monday, Davies and Roy had added 195 for the first-wicket in a thumping win over Northants, but here they were unable to keep the stand going.
Patterson’s introduction changed the dynamic and proved his increasing value to the team.
Having struck 52 in those first seven overs, Surrey managed only 19 off the next seven as Karl Carver, the 19-year-old left-arm spinner making his List A debut, also tied the home team down.
Carver, who has played three first-class games and three T20 matches, struck with his ninth ball when Gary Wilson tried to strike inside-out over the off-side and picked out Fisher at mid-off.
Carver’s second wicket was one for the scrapbook, the great Kumar Sangakkara top-edging a sweep to Andrew Gale at square-leg that left Surrey 107-4 in the 25th.
It was a measure of how well Yorkshire had pulled things back that Sangakkara’s 23 runs – made from 45 balls in 67 minutes – all came in singles.
The statistic was a measure, too, of Sangakkara’s patience borne of experience; whereas Carver was playing his first List A match, the Sri Lankan was playing his 506th.
Such was Carver’s accuracy, he conceded only one boundary, Ben Foakes clubbing the fourth ball of his ninth over through mid-on towards the OCS Stand.
Yorkshire missed at least three chances to run out Foakes, who finally fell for 44 when Maxwell had him caught at mid-wicket by Liam Plunkett.
When James Burke presented Fisher with a simple caught-and-bowled, Surrey were 160-6 in the 35th over and the visitors were in command.
Gareth Batty was seventh out at 187, presenting Plunkett with another catch at mid-wicket off Maxwell, before Surrey rallied in a storming finish.
Tom Curran was the spark, the 20-year-old son of the late Zimbabwean all-rounder Kevin Curran providing impetus and support to Zafar Ansari.
Curran helped hit 22 runs off a Maxwell over, including a reverse-hit that must have made the Australian think that he was bowling to a mirror image of himself.
The eighth-wicket pair added 66 from 43 balls before Fisher bowled Curran for 44, made from 25 balls with six fours and two sixes.
Ansara finished undefeated on 66 from 82 balls with three fours and two sixes, Surrey scoring 65-1 from the last five overs as Bresnan (four) and Plunkett (two) were left with overs in the tank.
Yorkshire’s reply began poorly when Andrew Gale went lbw to Sam Curran in the second over.
Curran, a 17-year-old left-arm pace bowler and no relation of Tom, should have had his name on the scorecard again only to drop Maxwell on 21 at fine-leg off Jade Dernbach.
Maxwell went on to 55 - his second-highest score for the county - before edging behind an attempted cut off Ansari’s left-arm spin after Alex Lees had been held at mid-on.
Gary Ballance played well for 77, made from 97 balls with six fours, and looked to be leading Yorkshire home in company with Jack Leaning.
But when Leaning was fourth out at 175 in the 37th over, caught at long-on, the innings fell away as Andrew Hodd picked out mid-off, Ballance found deep square-leg and Bresnan holed out to long-on, with Yorkshire unable to get the 14 they required off the final over bowled by Tom Curran.