BY MARCUS HOOK
Surrey head into their two remaining games in the One-Day Cup knowing they are unlikely to progress to the knockout phase.
But given the combination of The Hundred, which has robbed them of 12 players, and injuries to seamers Jordan Clark and Matt Dunn, the South Londoners’ fringe personnel have shown a huge amount of character when it comes to defending totals.
Leg-spinning all-rounder Cameron Steel has been the standout in that respect, taking 3-41 to spark Notts’ collapse at Welbeck and 3-49 to throw Yorkshire into similar confusion.
“It’s always great to come out on top in those circumstances,” said Steel, following the three-run victory against Notts, in which he also contributed 67 off 66 balls as Surrey mustered 244-7.
“It was difficult after being forced off [by rain] so soon after the start, but Rory Burns and Ryan Patel did really well to hang in there with the ball doing loads and that gave us a solid foundation.
“I faced six dots to start with when I batted, after which I thought I’m just going to do something different here and hit the ball as hard as I can. So, I was really pleased to get some runs on the board.
“Conor McKerr [2-38] was superb up top, but, with a bowler down [in Matt Dunn] on a seam-friendly pitch we had to rely mainly on the spinners to defend our total, which is never easy.
“Yousuf Majid and Dan Moriarty bowled really nicely and I was pleased to get some wickets myself too. Dan’s exploits at the end were something else.”
Two days later, Yorkshire were seemingly well on course, at 141-3, to reel in Surrey’s 241, which owed everything to Ben Geddes’ 92 in 90 deliveries. But then Ryan Patel and Amar Virdi struck with the ball, which proved to be an invitation for Steel to work his magic again.
“It’s never nice coming second best in those tight games,” said Geddes. “But everyone’s pretty pleased with the way we scrapped to get back into that game.
“We showed a lot of fighting character, which is great to see.
“They were going nicely, but Steely came on and bowled a magnificent spell. That sort of brought us back into it.
“I was pleased to contribute and get the team into the best position it could be. It was hard work up front, but I was just trying to take it deep because I knew the pitch would get easier to bat on.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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