Jamie Smith in “good touch” after brilliant innings in Surrey win over Warwickshire

Surrey had five England Test batters in their top six against Warwickshire, but it was the one yet to play Test cricket – Jamie Smith – who delivered the innings of brilliance that teed-up the South Londoners’ nine-wicket victory over the Bears.

The 23-year-old already has a championship double-hundred and the fastest ever century for the England Lions on his CV, but his 155 against the Bears now takes his tally in the season’s County Championship to 322 runs at an average of 64.40.

“I felt in good touch,” said Smith. “Obviously, the innings ebbed and flowed, but I saw some opportunities to push the scoring on a little bit and put Warwickshire under pressure.

“Like at Canterbury last year [where he made a pivotal 114 off 77 balls], it’s the way I like to play my cricket. I’m always trying to be positive. It might not always come off and there might be a few ugly dismissals, but when I’m out there I see my job as scoring runs.

“What I’ve learnt more than anything in the last few years is finding a way to score runs. It’s not always going to be the textbook way of facing 200 balls and leaving it and blocking it.

“On the wickets we play on now it’s about finding a way of putting the bowlers under pressure.”

Smith’s head coach Gareth Batty says few at Surrey are working harder trying to improve their game.

“For the last couple of years people have been writing this is Jamie’s breakthrough season,” said Batty. “I think last year was when he became a senior player within the team. He made the defining contributions at really key moments that only senior players do consistently.

“He’s evolving very nicely. He’s doing all the hard work to give himself the best chance at the top level.

“Until opportunity knocks and that call comes, I don’t want to be the one getting too carried away. But he’s working incredibly hard, he’s getting better by the day and I think we’ll be talking about him a lot in the future.”


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