Marcus Hook’s Surrey cricket column – with preview for Kent clash

While Ben Foakes’ maiden List A hundred was arguably the biggest plus from Surrey’s only Metro Bank One-Day Cup outing to date – against Leicestershire last week – it was another Ben, Ben Geddes, who lit up the Oval with a whirlwind 67 that augurs well for the rest of the 50-over competition.

Geddes, 22, smashed five sixes to leave the hosts seemingly well-placed with 325 at the halfway stage. But the Foxes proved irresistible, ultimately when Louis Kimber (89 not out) and Wiaan Mulder (67 not out) came together for just 18 overs to fashion an unbeaten 146-run stand for the visitors’ sixth wicket.

With most of Surrey’s star names involved in The Hundred again, the One-Day Cup is Geddes’ opportunity to build on his two first-class centuries last term, a winter playing Grade cricket in Australia plus 460 runs to date in this season’s Second Eleven Championship.

Surrey v Kent LV= County Championship, Day one, The Kia Oval, 26 June 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

Geddes’ maiden first-class century came last May at Guildford, where he made 104 against Sri Lanka Development XI. Five weeks later, he followed it up with 124 against Kent at the Oval.

“It was a real highlight for me to achieve both landmarks,” says Geddes.

“When I was asked to lead the team in the Royal London Cup, it was something I really jumped at. I’ve always loved captaining, right through the Surrey age group sides from U14 onwards and for my school and club teams.

“Our squad was decimated by players being away in The Hundred, so we had a very inexperienced side. But everyone was brilliant and it was fascinating to see how the older players we were up against went about things.

“I loved every minute of it and I think we all learned a lot.”

Reflecting on opening his 2023 One-Day Cup account with 67 against Leicestershire, Geddes added: “The aim is to win a place in the first team and keep it for as long as possible, so I’m pleased to have contributed. It was my first time in that No.7 role in 50-over cricket.

“Ben Foakes was outstanding and we were all just surprised it was his first one-day hundred.

“We thought our total was about par for the conditions, but they batted extremely well, especially that stand at the end between Kimber and Mulder.

“We didn’t reach the standards we expect of ourselves both with the ball and in the field, so we have spoken about putting that right going forward.”


Domestic cricket continues to ride on the wave created by the Ashes, which, but for the weather in Manchester, England might have wrestled back off Australia. But as was the case in July, the wait for the promised heatwave goes on.

Despite not being involved in the Ashes, Surrey’s Ben Foakes says he too looked on enthralled. Many pundits felt Foakes – who was recently named one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year – should have retained his country’s wicketkeeping gloves ahead of Jonny Bairstow.

The series made household names of Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, but even though Stokes, Woakes and Foakes would trip nicely off the tongue, England are yet to field all three in unison.

Surrey CCC v Kent CCC LV= County Championship Division 1, The Kia Oval, 18 May 2023
Picture : Keith Gillard

“I found it quite tricky, but watching it [the Ashes] was class. It was so entertaining. Everyone was gripped by it,” said Foakes, who has now hit 644 runs at an average of 40.25 in all formats for Surrey this summer.

“I’ve spent the majority of my career watching, from the outside looking in. But the last year was the first time I’d felt like an England player, rather than a county player occasionally coming in.

“Without feeling anything to do with it, you do feel a part of it. When you have played with them all, you know what they are going through and you want them to do well. England didn’t win unfortunately, but what it’s done has been great for the country.”

One of the drawbacks with the Metro Bank One-Day Cup, which Foakes will now use to gain regular game time ahead of the climax to the County Championship, is the knockout phase is limited to the top three teams in the two groups of nine.

It means Surrey’s clash with Kent today (Friday) – just game three out of eight in the group for each – is almost a “must not lose” for both sides.

With the promise that unused Hundred players will be filtered back to their counties for the One-Day Cup – in a departure from the first two iterations of the 100-ball tournament – surely it would have made far more sense to make every Metro Bank group match count by having the top four in each going forward to battle out a standard round of quarter-finals.


Ben Foakes, who continued to underline his ability with the bat, if not with the wicketkeeping gloves, by hitting 106 in the five-wicket defeat to Leicestershire at the Oval.

Surrey CCC v Middlesex CCC – DAY ONE LV= County Championship Division 1, The Kia Oval, 11 May 2023
Picture : Keith Gillard


Ben Geddes (67 in 39 deliveries) smashing three sixes off the first four balls of the final over of Surrey’s innings against the Foxes.


11 August – Surrey v Kent at the Kia Oval (Metro Bank One-Day Cup)

13 August – Notts v Surrey at Welbeck (Metro Bank One-Day Cup)

15 August – Yorkshire v Surrey at York (Metro Bank One-Day Cup)



Patel, Sibley, Burns (capt), Foakes (wk), Steel, Geddes, Clark, McKerr, Moriarty, Dunn and Majid.


O’Riordan, Compton, Leaning (capt), Blake, Finch (wk), Evison, Bazley, Stewart, Qadri, Quinn and Parkinson.


Rory Burns (Surrey) – Before the season the Surrey skipper said: “I haven’t played a lot of white ball cricket in recent times, but with the aim of putting my name back in the [England] ring, I’ve made a few tweaks.” Although Burns is struggling for form, one senses a big score is just around the corner.

Joey Evison (Kent) – The 21-year-old all-rounder has made 182 runs at an average of 60.66 in Kent’s County Championship meetings with the Oval outfit this summer.


Centuries from Ben Compton and Joey Evison helped defending champions Kent kick their 50-over campaign off in style, by recovering from an early collapse to edge out Yorkshire. But, like Surrey, the Hop county were then undone by Leicestershire, who have assumed an early lead in Group A. Surrey’s other fixture to date (away to Middlesex) succumbed to the weather.


Of the six totals over 300 so far in the Metro Bank One-Day Cup, just one has been posted by the team batting second.

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