Surrey return to the Kia Oval for their final home game of the Royal London One-Day Cup sitting top of Group A. Few would have predicted their unbeaten streak before the start of the competition following last year’s frustrating campaign and disappointment this year in the T20 Blast.
But thanks to the top three of Jason Roy, Steven Davies and Kumar Sangakkarra distinguishing themselves well with the bat – all three have struck hundreds already – and further buoyed by lower order clouting from Zafar Ansari and Tom Curran, Surrey have averaged over 300 runs per innings this season.
This, in turn, has allowed their young bowlers to attack with the ball, dismissing the opposition in all but one game. Importantly, in the fixture they failed to take 10 wickets in, the pacemen and spinners combined well to stifle the run-rate in the final 10 overs
For the visitors, Worcestershire Rapids, the 50-over tournament has not been so kind. They are yet to win and currently sit bottom of the group. Even when they are able to dispose of the opposition cheaply, as they achieved against Northants Steelbacks at the weekend, they have faltered in their pursuit with the bat. The results are more surprising when contrasted with their gritty, unwavering showing in the other two formats this season.
With Surrey’s top-order batsmen all regularly contributing in this competition, and taking into consideration the docile nature of the Kia Oval pitch, it is the performance of their bowlers that has often decided results in the Brown Caps’ favour. James Burke’s proved a crucial member of that attack, his form since joining the club, including a five-for against Worcestershire in their last match and possessing a strike rate of 13.1, a revelation.
Little has gone right for Worcestershire in the RL so far in 2015, but if they are to challenge Surrey, someone will need to score big. Ross Whiteley is the most likely candidate to provide the runs, as he attempts to add consistency to the sporadic demonstrations of his phenomenal power hitting. If it can come together, his destructive batting may give the visitors a chance.
Although picked by Surrey for their 12-man squad, Sam Curran could miss the fixture, due to also being named in the England U19 four-day squad, who start their match on Tuesday as well. Worcestershire, meanwhile, put out an unchanged side.
Surrey squad: Gareth Batty (c), Zafar Ansari, James Burke, Rory Burns, Tom Curran, Steven Davies, Jade Dernbach, Ben Foakes, Jason Roy, Kumar Sangakkara, Gary Wilson (wk), Sam Curran
Worcestershire Rapids squad: Daryl Mitchell (c), Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Fell, Joe Clarke, Brett D’Oliveria, Ross Whiteley, Ben Cox (wk), Joe Leach, Ed Barnard, Jack Shantry, Saeed Ajmal, Richard Oliver
Date: 4th August 2015
Venue: Kia Oval
Umpires: Martin Bodenham, Graham Lloyd, Ben Debenham
Odds (SkyBet): Surrey 1/2, Worcestershire Rapids 13/8