BY MARCUS HOOK
The telltale signs that autumn is approaching are all in evidence – a real snap in the air, the days getting shorter and conkers on the ground.
But if the weather and Covid-19 allow, Surrey could cap the latest ever end to a county season with some unexpected silverware – unexpected not just because the Oval outfit’s record in Twenty20 cricket has been woeful in recent years, but also because, a few weeks’ ago, Surrey hadn’t won a game in any form.
The turnaround, helped by the return of some key players, has been miraculous – like a contortionist freeing themselves of a straight-jacket and chains before jumping out of a locked chest marked ‘Try again in 2021’.
It really would cap the strangest of summers if Surrey were to win the Vitality Blast.
Of their seven victories in the T20, just one has come batting first – the 30-run success over Middlesex at Lord’s.
But whether you bat first or second, I still keep saying preservation of wickets in the first six overs is key.
Such has been the blossoming of young players up and down the country, Surrey had just a solitary representative of one national newspaper’s Emerging Talents XI this week – namely Jamie Smith.
No room, then, for the likes of Dan Moriarty (pictured), who would be my young player of the season.
If Hashim Amla (calf strain) and Ben Foakes (glute) return to fitness, Smith might be one of those having to make way, which really underlines the number of options at Surrey’s disposal going into the last eight.
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