Surrey all-rounder Pillans expecting response to poor start in T20 Blast campaign

BY MARCUS HOOK

Surrey all-rounder Mathew Pillans has vowed that the Oval outfit will come back hard after opening their T20 Blast 2018 account with back-to-back defeats to Middlesex and Kent.

Surrey had their moments in both contests but ultimately the absence of star players such as Aaron Finch, Jason Roy and Nic Maddinson, due to to international call-ups, cost the South Londoners dear.

“We’re going to have a couple of days rest and then come back hard,” said Pillans. “Training’s going to be intense, but we’re going to come back fighting.”

Pillans, who recorded his best figures for Surrey in T20 cricket in Friday’s six-run loss to the Spitfires, added: “It was a very tough pill to swallow, losing to Kent. The blokes were very despondent.

“But, at the end of the day, we’ve just got to keep on going. It hurts a bit, but there’s still a lot of cricket to play, so we’ll be ready to go against Essex and Sussex this week.

“We let Kent get away a little bit. It was a big lesson, but, keeping positive, it’s on to the next couple.

“We’ve put in a lot of work, especially on how we need to bowl at the end. So, it was good to see everyone execute those skills and bowl like we did.”

Pillans, reflecting on his 3-22, added: “It was very special. The crowd were fantastic. It was a case of trying to get rid of the nerves and focus on what I had to do.

“If you start thinking about other ways of doing things and what the batter’s going to, it just over-complicates things. So, it’s all about knowing what you do well.

“I really enjoy the skills aspects of white ball cricket. With talent around, if you’re not on form or if you’re executing poorly, there’s a player on the other end who can deal with what you’ve delivered, and I enjoy that challenge.”

Pillans is in his third season at the Oval, after cutting his teeth as a professional out in his native South Africa.

The 27-year-old fast bowler said: “I was contacted by Alec Stewart and Graham Ford a couple of years ago, when I was playing for the Dolphins out in South Africa.

“The three of us got chatting and you look around the Oval and what couldn’t be the draw? We’ve a great bunch of guys and everything is run very professionally.”


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