Will Jacks has vowed that Surrey will fight tooth and nail to overcome the 75-run first innings deficit conceded by the visitors in the on-going Bob Willis Trophy clash with Essex at Chelmsford.
But the 21-year-old, who top scored with 70 in Surrey’s first innings, is under no illusion as to the size of the task.
Day two started well for the Oval outfit, who polished off Essex’s tail to restrict the reigning county champions to 262. But Surrey, in reply, then lost Ryan Patel and Scott Borthwick without scoring.
Thanks to an 80-run fifth wicket stand between Jacks and Sussex loanee, Laurie Evans, the visitors rallied to post 187.
“Getting bowled out for one-eighty is never ideal, neither is being two down for one,” said Will Jacks. “Essex have got a very good bowling attack. Having won the title twice in the last three years, we know what we’re up against on their home ground.
“We had a few good periods with the bat after losing those two early wickets, but we’re slightly behind where we want to be.
“We’ll have to bowl well. We know they’ve got a good line-up, with Alastair Cook opening the batting. So, whatever they get, we’ll just have to fight and give it our best.
Surrey’s wickets were shared by off-spinner Simon Harmer (6-67) and seamer Jamie Porter (4-53). Since signing as a Kolpak for Essex three years ago, Harmer has taken 229 first-class wickets at an average of 20.06.
“He’s tough on any pitch,” said Jacks. “But when he’s spinning it like that on day two, with drift and the bounce, it makes it even harder. So, when it comes to the fourth innings, we’re going to have to fight hard and back ourselves to chase whatever Essex put on the board.”
Jacks added: “It was hard work, obviously, but it’s very rewarding if you do well. It’s a good challenge. So, it was nice to get the runs I did. I had a bit of luck, which you always need on these sort of wickets, but slightly disappointed when I got out in a pretty easy way, I guess, and that I couldn’t go on to make it a really big score.
“I really enjoyed batting with Laurie. He was brilliant. We spoke before the game about trying to be aggressive against Harmer, and Laurie did that. He swept really well and used his feet nicely and put Harmer under pressure, which was good.”
Surrey’s current injury crisis has necessitated acquiring two players on loan – Laurie Evans and Adam Finch, both of whom went straight into the starting eleven.
Speaking last Friday, director of cricket, Alec Stewart said: “We have four players in the England Test set up while Tom Curran and Jason Roy have been made unavailable for selection for Surrey after their ODI series.
“With that and the fact Hashim Amla and Morne Morkel are still waiting on clearance to travel to the UK and six players, including Topley, are unfit to play, we have had to make use of the loan system to boost our depleted squad.
“Both Worcestershire and Sussex have been very accommodating in releasing Adam and Laurie for this round of games which gives them both a great opportunity to play first-class cricket.”
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