BY MARCUS HOOK
Surrey seamer Jamie Overton says he hopes to avoid getting booed if selected for this week’s County Championship clash at Taunton, against his old county Somerset – for whom twin brother Craig has used the opening weeks of the season to make a strong case for an England recall.
“Excited is probably not the right word,” said Jamie, who moved to the Oval on a three-year contract last August. “The strangest thing will be playing against Craig. I’ve played with him since I was probably seven or eight, but I’ve never actually played a cricket game against him, so that’s going to be the strangest part.
“Knowing what we’re like, we will be very competitive. And we won’t be taking it easy on each other, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t say there’s extra motivation, but it’s always nice to get one over your brother.”
Jamie added: “I’m not apprehensive, but going back to a ground that you’ve called home for near enough 10 years is going to be very strange. But it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to. Hopefully I won’t get too many boos.”
Surrey’s weather-affected draw with Leicestershire at Grace Road makes the Taunton trip a must-win for the South Londoners, who have registered just one victory this summer to Somerset’s four.
Overton’s twin brother Craig has been pivotal for the Cidermen – taking 32 wickets at just 13.96 runs apiece and weighing in with 211 runs at an average of 35.16.
“Any sibling rivalry, you always want to get one over them a little bit, so we’ll see what happens,” said Jamie. “The last three, four, five years Craig’s done really well, so it’s going to be hard to pip him, but I’ll be doing my best, that’s for sure.”
Surrey top order batsman and second 11 skipper Ryan Patel enjoyed a welcome return to form last week, posting scores of 126 and 60 against a Sussex side that included England fast bowler Jofra Archer.
Archer, who is bidding to put his recent right elbow injury behind him ahead of next month’s Test series against New Zealand, worked up no small amount of pace; bowling 29.2 overs and taking the wickets of Nico Reifer and James Taylor as Surrey racked up 410 at Hove in response to the hosts’ 487.
Matt Dunn (3-56) then accounted for both of Sussex’s openers, but the match ended in a draw. It followed a defeat to Essex by an innings and 150 runs at Billericay – in which Patel made 74 – and a draw with Yorkshire at Guildford.
Surrey’s seconds’ next three-day 2nd XI Championship match starts on Friday at the LSE Ground, New Malden, against Hampshire.
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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