Surrey weak spots a focus for the future says Batty

Surrey captain Gareth Batty says they will need to address the make-up of their side in order to break their streak of losing in white-ball finals after losing to Nottinghamshire by four wickets.

The Londoners have been runners-up in the last three Royal London One-Day Cups and suffered defeat in the 2013 T20 final too, meaning their most recent limited over success remains the YB40 in 2011.

Batty – who won the toss and chose to bat against Notts – believes that it was the right decision for their side and that things must change.

He said: “You can’t keep losing and expect to say that it’s right because obviously it isn’t. It’s something that we need address further down the line. 50 over cricket is done for another year and we need to address where we’re at.

“It was a good pitch. For the way that we’re made up, our make-up at the minute, it was definitely right.

“We can’t and shouldn’t be relying on certain individuals. Everybody’s got to be performing the roles that are required.”

Alex Hales smashed records with an incredible 187* as his side won by four wickets, captain Chris Read – in his last Lord’s final appearance – chipping in with 58.

The England opener now boasts the highest score in a one-day match at Lord’s; the highest score by a Nottinghamshire batsman in List A cricket and he broke his own high score in the format.

“He’s been a fine player for a very long time for England and we saw that,” Batty said of Hales. “An international player [did] it on the domestic scene today, [he] played quite magnificently well.

“You [aren’t] going to get 187 and lose too many times. So, look, credit to him, but that’s no excuse from us. We could have and should have made the difference in other parts of the game.”

The defining moment of the innings undoubtedly came with Hales on nine as he chipped a Sam Curran delivery to cover where Ollie Pope couldn’t hold on to a chance that came at him quickly and Batty is adamant the blame doesn’t lie with the 19-year-old.

“He’s a young kid and he was magnificent in the field. He’s one of us, he’s got a massive future. We’re all to blame today, certainly not a young fella that’s putting himself on the map in a big way. If anything, that’s down to me.”

Surrey were defeated despite a well-fought 144* by opener Mark Stoneman, who held together his side’s hopes during a mid-innings collapse that saw them lost three for eight.

Stoneman was not included in the England Test squad for next week’s match against South Africa and his skipper is hesitant to criticise the selectors for their decision.

“It’s not the first time this season he’s played well. There’s been a couple of big hundreds in the Championship as well.

“We obviously want as many players as humanly possible to be playing for England from Surrey but it’s not my place to be saying who should and who shouldn’t.”

Surrey must now turn their attention to Monday’s County Championship game against Hampshire.

Surrey drenched by Nottinghamshire Halestorm

Alex Hales made the most of an early life by hitting the highest score in a one-day match at Lord’s to lead Nottinghamshire to their fifth limited overs trophy, beating Surrey by four wickets.

Had Hales turned to Ollie Pope after the Surrey man dropped him on nine, and said, “You’ve just dropped the Royal London One-Day Cup”, it would have felt a little premature.

It would, however, have been immensely accurate, for he would go on to score 187* in a remarkable chase that handed Surrey their third runners-up medals in as many years.

It appeared for the majority of his side’s innings that Hales wasn’t playing in the same game as his teammates. Where they struggled to get in and looked uncomfortable against Surrey’s attack, he caressed and tonked the ball in equal measure to all sides.

Notts’ difficulty scoring made Hales’ life all the more important. In Sam Curran’s first over, he drove to cover where Pope couldn’t hold onto the catch. It went hard and fast, but was the only chance the opener gave and the decisive moment in the match.

The cover drive was a particular favourite of Hales’, his execution so stunning one might be forgiven for watching a compilation of them on repeat for hours on end. He was in a different class for the entire afternoon, Surrey helpless in the counter-attack.

He pulled the first six of the day not long after being dropped, then proceeded to strike boundary after boundary wherever there were gaps, with ease. By the time he got to 94 in the 18th over, his side had just 117 runs in total. He brought up three figures with a push to long on, and was far from finished.

Eventually partnered by skipper Chris Read, playing in his last Lord’s final before retiring, Hales continued the onslaught, launching Scott Borthwick into the stands twice in an over.

A flick round the corner brought up his 150 and passed Geoffrey Boycott’s record of the highest domestic one-day final score. More records tumbled as his tally increased: his 171st run gave him the highest one-day score at Lord’s, the next his highest List A score, while his 185th surpassed Michael Lumb as the highest List A score by a Nottinghamshire batsman.

Meanwhile, Read displayed his class, steadying his side when they could easily have collapsed. He hit seven fours but was almost innocuous compared to his partner, bringing up his half-century – accidentally when the ball hitting his wayward bat as he ducked, as if to sum up Surrey’s afternoon – at a run-a-ball.

Others had tried, and failed, to partner Hales in his mammoth knock. Lumb was removed lbw in the powerplay, as was Riki Wessels. Hales and Samit Patel added 44 for the third wicket, but Patel scored just seven before hooking a short one from Ravi Rampaul to Sam Curran.

Brendan Taylor was, for some time, the only man to make double figures, reaching the dizzying heights of 11 with a crisp straight drive before edging Jade Dernbach behind next ball.

Read holed out 11 runs short of victory on 58, departing to a standing ovation from the 17,000 strong crowd. James Pattinson hit the winning run as Notts celebrated their first limited over success since 2013.

Earlier, Mark Stoneman had carried his bat for Surrey with an excellent 144*, though he too might have been out far sooner but for a horror drop.

He anchored Surrey’s innings, the only man to look resolute during difficult periods having started in the same fine form that makes his Test squad omission all the more disheartening. He looked fluent early on, punishing width through the covers or cutting in glorious fashion.

In the eighth over came the big reprieve – the ex-Durham man not quite finding the middle and Steven Mullaney, at cover, put down the simplest of chances, perhaps losing the ball in the array of empty, white seats in the top of the Tavern Stand. Irrespective of the how, the what had significance.

Joined after the first powerplay by Kumar Sangakkara – batting for what will likely be his final county appearance at Lord’s – Stoneman continued to press on, cutting his seventh boundary to reach his fifty in the 12th over.

He was given another let off in the seventies when Read couldn’t hold onto a faint edge off Patel, and he made Nottinghamshire pay for it. As wickets tumbled around him, Stoneman slowed a touch to keep his side falling apart.

His first century in the competition this season, from 108 balls, came through an edge that raced away very fine, but he wasn’t finished yet. Though he struck just two more fours after reaching three figures, he ensured Surrey batted their allocation, carrying his bat for a very impressive 144*.

But how much easier it could have been, had they caught him earlier. Or, indeed, had Jason Roy been out for a golden duck as opposed to the 23 he made. First ball of the match, Luke Fletcher found his edge but the ball went straight through the hands of Wessels at first slip. It was about as routine, if not more so, than Mullaney’s blunder.

Sangkkarra was tied down by some tight bowling from Mullaney, in tandem with Stuart Broad, and made just 30 before feathering through to Read. Soon after his dismissal came a mini collapse: three wickets in nine balls for eight runs.

First Scott Borthwick gave Mullaney catching practice at midwicket, the Outlaws man then bowling Ben Foakes, who played inside a straight one, before Patel had Pope caught behind to leave Surrey 180-5. Patel finished with figures of 3-51, furthering his case that he deserves a look-in if England want a left arm spinner.

Sam Curran played a good supporting hand with 24, but he was beaten for pace by James Pattinson, while brother Tom denied a second run that was clearly there and was run out in the mix-up, at least having the presence of mind to ensure he was the man out.

Gareth Batty attempted to walk when he edged behind but Read prevented him doing so, unsure on the carry. Replays proved it dropped short. Batty was bowled a run later, and Jade Dernbach holed out to long off after ramping a couple over fine leg.

The Road to Lord’s: Nottinghamshire

“A damn close run thing,” said Samit Patel about the Battle of Waterloo. Or was it the Duke of Wellington about Nottinghamshire reaching the Royal London One Day Cup final? Or maybe I’m confused.

Whilst few would argue that Nottinghamshire have put in enough outstanding team and individual performances to justify their appearance at Lord’s this Saturday in the Royal London One Day Cup final, it is also true that they have needed a few helpings of good fortune along the way.

The East Midlands club got off to a dodgy start when they lost their first two games in the North Group, including defeat by Worcestershire under the Duckworth/Lewis rules despite a hundred by Michael Lumb.

They then won three in a row to get their campaign off the ground. At home against Durham, an Alex Hales hundred looked to have ensured another win. But Paul Collingwood and wicket keeper Stuart Poynter added 53 in just 4.4 overs to snatch a four wicket win and stifle Nottinghamshire’s momentum.

It looked likely that Notts would need to win their last two Group games to qualify. Against Lancashire, Samit Patel and Steven Mullaney delivered with a blistering stand of 181 in 28.3 overs to achieve a win with four overs to spare.

And so to the final round with all to play for.

If Lancashire beat Durham (as they did) and Notts lost to Northants, Notts would be most likely be out. When Northants were 79-0 off the first 14.4 overs, Notts were up against it. Then, luckily, it rained and Notts gained a point for a non-result, scraping through with nine points from their eight games.

And so to the record breaking quarter final against Somerset at Taunton. Brendan Taylor scored a magnificent 154 off just 97 balls as Notts ran up 429 off their 50 overs.

When Somerset reached 364-9 with less than seven overs to go, it looked all over. But Jamie Overton and Tim Groenewald added 41 and reduced the target to 25 off two overs. Then Stuart Broad ran out Overton and Notts had sneaked home by just 24 runs.

In the semi-final at Chelmsford, the Nottinghamshire bowlers suffered more punishment, conceding 370 off their 50 overs.

The response of the batsmen was magnificent. Steven Mullaney hit 111 off 75 balls, Samit Patel finished not out on 122 and Notts were home with just three balls to spare.

It is pretty clear where the strengths of the Nottinghamshire team lies. Four players (Patel, Mullaney, Root and Taylor) are averaging over 60.

Whilst Stuart Broad and James Pattinson have been reasonably economical, and have taken 10 and 12 wickets respectively, others have been less successful. Luke Fletcher, Jake Ball, Samit Patel, Harry Gurney and Mullaney have all conceded more than six an over.

Top of the batting statistics is Samit Patel will 532 runs at an average of 76. He could well say, as the Duke of Wellington said of Waterloo, “I don’t think it would have been done if I had not been there. “

The Road to Lord’s: Surrey

Such is the format of the Royal London One-Day Cup that, remarkably, Surrey were able to win just four of their eight group games and still find themselves in a third final in as many years.

Their, thus far successful, campaign began poorly with Surrey on the receiving end of Roelof van der Merwe’s second highest score in a Somerset shirt (165*) as they recovered from 22-5 to win by four wickets. That was despite Ben Foakes hitting 92. Foakes is yet to record a three-figure score in the competition but has six half-centuries from seven innings, and boasts the tournament’s highest average of 120.25.

Victory at Cardiff in their second game came largely thanks to Mark Stoneman, whose 48-ball 74 helped his new side to a comfortable chase of a reduced target of 182. But that failed to ignite a winning streak and, two days later, they were defeated by one wicket against Essex.

Defending just 210 after winning the toss, Jade Dernbach took four wickets – taking him to ten in white-ball cricket from just three games – but Essex’s number nine Simon Harmer helped his team over the line with an unbeaten 44.

Next up came the London derby, with Middlesex travelling south of the Thames only to return empty-handed. Nick Gubbins and John Simpsons struck fifties, but only two other batsmen made double figures. Ravi Rampaul picked up four wickets and Surrey’s top order made light work of their 244 chase, with three half-centuries.

But Surrey were to falter once again just two days later against Sussex. Mark Stoneman and Ollie Pope both made fifties but it wasn’t enough to counter the Sharks’ 300, the visitors all out for 205.

Defeat at Hove made it just two wins from five although they sat fifth, level on points with both Hampshire and Glamorgan.

Stuart Meaker had just one wicket from three One-Day Cup matches but found rejuvenated success against Kent in his fourth, taking 4-37 to bowl out the visitors for 204 in a reduced match. Foakes had earlier hit 82 to give Surrey victory and keep realistic qualification hopes alive.

George Bailey’s second highest List A score of 145* had given Hampshire a defendable total of 271 but, with rain forecast at The Oval, the almost immovable Kumar Sangakkara decided to take no risks, striking 124 from 121 balls to give his side a 66 run win on Duckworth/Lewis.

A washout at Bristol, as well as between Hampshire and Sussex at Southampton, meant Surrey finished third in the South Group and earned a playoff spot against Yorkshire.

The Vikings were Surrey’s semi-final opponents last year and once again succumbed to the Southerners. Sangakkara scored his 100th century in all forms while Foakes, whose 90 was crucial in their encounter last August, hit 86 as Surrey claimed a 24 run victory.

Jason Roy returned for the semi-final at Worcester after England’s Champions Trophy exit and scored 92, with Sangakkara and Foakes once again contributing fifties as Surrey posted a mammoth 363. Captain Gareth Batty played at New Road for eight years and picked up his first five-wicket-haul against his former club to demolish them by 153 runs, setting up Saturday’s final against Nottinghamshire.