It is soon to be awards time and, as always, there are four categories of Surrey CCC Supporters' Club awards for you to vote on:

1) Player of the Season
2) Most Improved Player of the Season
3) Young Player of the Season, and
4) The Sylvester Clarke Rum Moment of the Season.

In case you are wondering about the last of these prizes, it was introduced in 2002 to mark the most memorable Surrey-related moment of the summer. For example, four years ago the Rum Moment was Mark Ramprakash achieving one hundred first-class hundreds. In 2010, Jason Roy received the award for his T20 century against Kent. Surrey's end of season awards dinner is on November 29. So, the closing date for the voting is Saturday, 20th October 2012.

The Supporters' Club's Christmas Party will take place on Monday, 17th December at the Hanover Arms, 326 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 (close to the Oval tube station). For anyone wishing to attend, the evening gets underway around 7.30pm and there will be a FREE hot and cold buffet available. The final three Century Club draws of the year - one of which will carry a top prize of £200 - will be made the same night.

By way of a reminder, if you would prefer to receive this newsletter as a .pdf document, by email, instead of having it sent to you by post, simply inform Marcus Hook at

The Surrey CCC Supporters' Club has been bequeathed over 150 cricket books, which were listed in the last edition of Oval World. To see the book list again go to:  If you would like to purchase any of these books, please contact Marcus Hook as soon as possible. The prices shown include UK postage and packing. However, if you would prefer to collect in person, to reduce costs, simply deduct £2.25 per item.

As at August 13, with most counties having four more County Championship matches still to play, the Oval World Fantasy Cricket League table looked like this:

1 Jamie Dowling The Cherry Pie Chuckers 400.3   23 Dot Sharp Strictly Cricket 309.7
2 Marcus Hook Depeche Modi 382.6   24 Mick Shaw Lukesmile 308.5
3 Jean Galsworthy Rosebery Ramblers 377.8   25 Tracey Field Victoria Sponge Warriors 303.0
4 Chris Payne Theakstons Old Peculiars 374.5   26 Michael Greensmith Blackway Allstars 2012 300.2
5 Nigel Sharp Nigel's Nurdlers 369.5   27 Paul Witney Sunbury Prides 298.0
6 Albert Ratcliff Bertie's Bash Hits 361.7   28 Jim Forrest Forrest Firecrackers 297.7
7 Ann Millington-Jones Ann's Allsorts 347.9   29 Chris Stoneman Albezanaan 2012 293.0
8 Leigh Jones Coaches Galore 345.2   30 Alistair Gordon Alistair's Allsorts 291.5
9 Richard Budden Surrey Stars 343.5   31 Paul Jeater Essex Wombles 289.8
10 Grahame Cove Jason Roy Lewis 340.9   32 John Lofts John's Crackerjacks 289.3
11 Bill Bateman Deflated 339.2   33 Michael Wright Almost Surrey 288.4
12 Brian Cowley Ruislip Ramblers 337.8   34 Ann Atkins Ann's Team 287.3
13 Roger Hudson The Wild Rovers 329.0   35 John Flatley The Sole Judges 279.3
14 David Barker The Comics 328.0   36 Sarah Atkins Yet More Hash Browns 277.3
15 Mark Smith Mountain Madness CC 327.5   37 Bob Parsons Ever Hopefuls 276.1
16 Chris Keene Keene As Mustard 326.2   38 Thomas Earl 111 All Out 274.5
17 David Pearce Pears Hopefuls 324.9   39 Anthony Earl ACE XI 274.4
18 Paul Blake Blakey's Eleven 323.5   40 Tony Raisborough Onecanonlyhope 272.5
19 Andy Woodhouse Aines Blankey Boys 320.6   41 Adrian Lofts World Of Sport Umbrella 267.5
20 Rob Lewis Oval The Bars… 320.2   42 Nick Wheeler Demons + 1 240.7
21 Don Lambert Don's Donkeys 315.5   43 Chris Levitt The Old And Young Hopefuls 234.6
22 Nick Robinson Comeontheree 314.6   44 Dave Taylor Hot Chocolates 195.6

Saturday and Sunday, 6-7 October: Zip wire across the pitch, Kia Oval. £45 per person.
Thursday, 29th November: End of season awards lunch, Kia Oval. £25 per member.
Tickets can be purchased by telephoning 0844-375-1845.


The results of the Q2 and Q3 Century Club draws of 2012 were as follows:

4th Draw
1st - £40 - Colin Bayly (No.26)
2nd - £12 - Rob Lewis (No.25)
3rd - £8 - Don Mew (No.33)

5th Draw
1st - £40 - Frank Smith (No.102)
2nd - £12 - Barry Newman (No.97)
3rd - £8 - Ann Atkins (No.38)

6th Draw
1st - £200 - Tony Packwood (No.57)
2nd - £25 - Hilarie Randall (No.34)
3rd - £15 - Ann Millington-Jones (No.45)

7th Draw
1st - £40 - Steve Bush (No.80)
2nd - £12 - Kim World (No.49)
3rd - £8 - Jon Hall (No.30)

8th Draw
1st - £40 - Albert Ratcliff (No.3)
2nd - £12 - John Douglas (No.75)
3rd - £8 - Jonathan Miller (No.6)

9th Draw
st - £200 - Les Brewin (No.10)
2nd - £25 - M J Calder (No.115)
3rd - £15 - Grahame Cove (No.107)

Anyone wishing to become a Century Club member for the remaining three draws can do so by sending a cheque for £9.00 (made payable to the SCCCSC Century Club) along with their details to Sarah Atkins at The Cheviots, 236 Ashbourne Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 2DR.


Surrey's tense and much needed championship eight-run victory over Middlesex (15-18 August) owed much to Rory Burns and Arun Harinath's 217-run alliance. Both youngsters made centuries, but, for Harinath, it was his first in first-class cricket. After the match he said: "It's really satisfying, mainly because we won. I don't think I'd feel the same way if they had made those extra nine runs." The opening day could hardly have been less distinguished, with Surrey collapsing to 144 all out after winning the toss. It prompted one bookmaker to offer odds of 8-1 on a Surrey win. Middlesex ran them close. Indeed, almost as close as the corresponding fixture at Lord's back in April, which the north Londoners edged by three runs. But Gareth Batty's relief upon clinching victory - not to mention figures of six for 83 - was palpable as the Surrey captain sank to his knees mid-pitch. Harinath said: "I knew it was going to be hard work, at the start of the day. I didn't expect them to lose wickets so early. I thought twenty or thirty runs would separate us. But we've got two great spinners. We've got Gareth (Batty) and we've got Murali (Kartik), who bowled exceptionally well in both innings." But victory would have been impossible without Burns and Harinath's rearguard, which straddled days two and three. "The wicket, once you got through that early period, and if you could had a plan against spin, became easier. The spinners found that when the hardness went off the ball, we also struggled to take wickets when the ball went soft. But I was glad it was us this time. We've spent a lot of time together. We both wanted to put a marker down for the boys and the opposition, to let them know they were in a bit of a scrap." From a personal perspective, the 25-year-old left-hander said his 109 was "comfortably" his best innings. "I played a couple in 2009, opening the batting in some tough conditions, but that was extremely satisfying," he said. "I'll never forget making my maiden first-class hundred. It's just as satisfying because a lot of people put a lot of work into me. Gareth Townsend, the Academy director, Graham Thorpe, a couple of years ago, and Alistair Brown. So the team around me, and as a club... I owe them a lot of thanks. We've got to look forward now. It's a big three games for us. If we can pick up another win then we should be odds on to avoid relegation."

On August 10, it was announced that Rory Hamilton-Brown has relinquished the Surrey captaincy and that Gareth Batty would assume the role until the end of the season. Batty was appointed acting-skipper in June after Hamilton-Brown decided to take a break from cricket following the death of team-mate Tom Maynard. The 24-year-old said: "It has been a privilege to have been in charge of a fantastic group of players. What we achieved together is a great source of pride to me. I would now like to concentrate on my own game and try to achieve ambitions I have in the game by continuing to play well for Surrey." Surrey's team director, Chris Adams told the club's website: "Having taken on the captaincy in 2010, winning a Lord's final and securing promotion to Division One in 2011 were both fantastic achievements. He has undoubted talent and a desire to take his game to the next level. I hope he achieves all his ambitions within the game in the years to come."

The England & Wales Cricket Board is giving cricket fans the opportunity to have their say on county cricket and its future, through the biggest survey of its kind in the game's history. David Collier, chief executive of ECB, said: "ECB has taken significant steps to improve our county game and is committed to improving the match-day experience for county cricket’s loyal and valued supporters. Approximately 1.5million fans attend county cricket every season, and we are intent on getting more people through the gates into our county grounds. Along with the Morgan Review, this piece of research is essential to our planning for the future of county cricket, and we are committed to listening to the opinions of fans. This is the biggest piece of fan research in our history, and we look forward to seeing the results." The survey can be found at

Following the defeat by an innings at the hands of fellow strugglers Durham (7-9 August), Chris Adams called on the Surrey players to execute their plans. The club's team director said: "They outplayed us in all facets. They outbowled us in both innings. They dug in at crucial times and outbatted us. To score three hundred on this pitch was way over what I would call par. I think the plans, very good. The effort, from the lads, excellent. But, execution of the plans is where we lost the game. Yes, things didn't run for us, but, equally, we can't have any complaints. We were outplayed and we got thoroughly beaten." Much was made of Surrey's decision to bat first, but Adams felt the loss of two wickets either side of lunch on day one was crucial. He said: "It was the right plan to go with. As I say, the execution wasn't right. The target was to get 200 as a minimum score (in the first innings). At 67 for three, with Jason (Roy) well set and Arun (Harinath) well set, that was well within target. If we had got to 200 I think we would have gone to win the game. Some tight calls went against us when Durham batted, at the same situation, at 58 for four. If those calls go our way there's parity through first innings and then we're into the business end of the game. As it happened, we lost Jason just before lunch on day one and Arun straight after and that put us under a lot of pressure to get anywhere near enough runs. I still felt confident, had things run for us with the ball, that we could have bowled them out for a similar score. It didn't. They dug in and two quality players in Benkenstein and Collingwood batted the amount of balls that you need to get the right score... and beyond, and to get anywhere near making them bat again was a big ask." Searching for positives as he looked ahead to the last quarter of the campaign, Adams added: "The last four pitches that we play on should suit our team, the make-up of our side. They're all pitches which favour batting and spin. It's at least two wins from four that we need to achieve our target, which is to stay in Division One. It's been tough cricket this year, the lads know that. They are a young, developing side for the most part. Even the senior players have found it very very difficult this year. It doesn't make them bad players or bad people overnight. They've worked very hard this week. Their effort, I cannot fault. Where we need to improve is the execution of plans."

On August 3, Surrey CCC announced that Steven Davies has signed a new three-year contract. Davies, who has made 13 limited-overs appearances for England, will remain at the Oval until the end of 2015. The 26-year-old told BBC London 94.9: "I've had a great three years since moving from Worcestershire and I think we've made some great progress. Surrey is a massive club and we want to win trophies. There's lots of hard work to do. I want to get back in the England set-up and for me to do that I'll have to play well for Surrey." The club's team director Chris Adams said: "Steven is such an important player. As a wicketkeeper who performs vital batting roles in all forms of the game his stock is high, so to secure him for a further three seasons is great news."

With Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari, Surrey's latest opening pair, having a combined age of 41, it's worth remembering that, not all that long ago, a section of the Surrey faithful were lamenting the enforced departure of a certain 42-year-old - the legend that is Mark Ramprakash. But after being recalled to the Surrey first team, Burns followed up a first-baller against Lancashire with championship scores of 79, 77 and 42. The 21-year-old left-hander said: "I'm really happy with how I'm playing at the moment and feel in really good form. But the hard bit is getting in form. Once you're in form, you've got to try and sustain it." A batting average of 87.25 in this season's Second XI Championship on top of eye-catching performances for Banstead was always going to be impossible to ignore. But the secret, according to Burns, is treating cricket as a red ball game. He said: "I don't really think it's mattered who I've been playing against, it's more how I'm going about and my business. People talk about the step up and there is an obvious step up. But you tend, when you're out there, not to think about who is bowling. You're just looking at the red thing and thinking about how you're trying to play it more than anything else." The other facet to Burns's game is his ability to bat for long periods. His last three innings have all seen off the new ball. When asked the secret, Burns responded: "To be honest, the only thing that's going through my head, as someone's running in, is watch the ball. That's a pretty good place to be in rather than thinking about what my feet might be doing or where my hands are going. It's just simple - watch the ball, and wherever the ball goes you react. At the end of the day cricket is just a red ball coming at you." Burns was, however, handed a huge slice of luck in the first innings at Edgbaston, when he was dropped on nought. Burns said: "The first ball I got off Keith Barker was a pretty good ball. I looked at the replays and it looked a good ball. So, you can take confidence that his best ball has gone." The 21-year-old opener has a habit of cashing in when fortune is smiling on him, like when he made an unbeaten 230 for Cardiff MCCU against Oxford MCCU in 2010. "On that occasion I left one, on 18, and it clipped my off pole, but the bail stayed on," said Burns, who is adamant that such things have no effect on his psyche thereafter. His reprieve when Richard Johnson, Warwickshire's wicketkeeper, floored a routine catch behind did, however, give Burns food for thought. He said: "I just saw that and I thought I'll shift myself across, so anything outside my eyeline I can shoulder arms to it. Then, anything straight, I can play to straight mid-on at clip. That was just my game plan. I just broke it down a little bit." Surrey's draw with Warwickshire (27-30 July) left them sixth in Division One of County Championship, but close enough to the relegation zone to know they can ill afford any slip-ups. Burns said: "I haven't really got involved in where we are in the table yet. You just do what you do and then, come the end of the year, hopefully we'll be alright. You control the controllables in sport. If we play well and control what we do then we'll stay in the first division."

On July 28, David Thomas, the left-arm all-rounder who flirted with an England place and helped Surrey to the 1982 NatWest Trophy, died aged 53. Thomas, Warwickshire born but a Surrey player from his debut in 1977 to 1987, was a hard-hitting lower-order batsman and a left-arm bowler capable of sharp pace and swing. Had he not been a contemporary of Ian Botham, had illness not intervened, or had he been born in the Twenty20 age, Thomas might well have gone on to enjoy a distinguished international career but, never one to allow consistency to compromise the obvious joie de vivre with which he played his cricket, it was not to be. Known universally as 'Teddy' on account of the slicked, Teddy-boy style hairstyle he had in his early days, Thomas became an increasingly important part of the Surrey teams that contested four Lord's finals between 1979 and 1982. The first three ended in defeat, but they finally beat Warwickshire in the 1982 final with Thomas winning the man-of-the-match award for his three for 26, which included the key wickets of Dennis Amiss and Geoff Humpage, dismissed for ducks. He claimed 57 first-class wickets in 1983 and 60 in 1984 but, despite being named in England Test squads, he never made it into the final eleven - he was 12th man for the 1983 Trent Bridge Test against New Zealand - and left Surrey for Gloucestershire at the end of 1987. It was there, after seeking treatment for the recurrence of a groin injury, that he was diagnosed with the Multiple Sclerosis that plagued him for the rest of his life and forced his retirement from the professional game aged just 29. He also enjoyed spells with Natal and Northern Transvaal. Andy Brassington, a former team-mate at Gloucestershire said: "The passing of David 'Teddy' Thomas is deeply sad to all who had the pleasure to have played with him or against him, to all of the cricket lovers who watched him bat and bowl with such pride, passion and talent and all those supporters who have enjoyed his company and endless stories over a beer at the close of play at the many bars he graced up and down the country over the years. It speaks volumes about the character of Teddy that while suffering from this terrible illness he spent endless time raising funds and awareness for the Multiple Sclerosis charity and all with a smile on his face. On behalf of all your former colleagues and friends at Gloucestershire thanks 'Teddy' for all the fun and laughter we shared together, you will be greatly missed by all of your family at Gloucestershire, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family." Surrey's players wore black armbands on the third day of their County Championship match against Warwickshire as a mark of respect to Thomas. He leaves a wife, Louise, and four children.

Mark Ramprakash has expressed concerns that county cricket may be breeding a culture of drinking and excess. The former England batsman, who recently retired after a 25-year career, was speaking during the first Test between England and South Africa at the Kia Oval, where he played a dozen seasons for Surrey; a club that is still coming to terms with the death of Tom Maynard. Less than a fortnight earlier Maynard, 23, had been one of three players, including Rory Hamilton-Brown, the Surrey captain, and Jade Dernbach, the England one-day bowler, to be fined two weeks' wages by the county after a night out during a county championship match at Horsham. "You come into the Kia Oval and there are quite a few nice expensive-looking cars," Ramprakash told BBC Test Match Special. "If young players show promise they're on to quite good salaries quite quickly. How that translates into their lifestyles, well, it can be very tempting for young men, if they're earning a few quid, to go out and enjoy themselves. You have to keep close tabs on them and that's where the senior players are very important in the dressing room. You hope that the right messages are put across: enjoy your cricket, enjoy yourself off the field but there is a balance." Ramprakash bemoaned the decline of a team-bonding culture where players of all ages would spend time together off the field. "I was sharing a dressing room in the last few years at Surrey with some very young men and they would often go off and do their own thing," he said. Richard Gould, Surrey's chief executive, responded by saying: "Within professional cricket I don't think it's a wide issue but there will always be individual cases. Young men believe they are not vulnerable and in many ways that is the charm of young men. But therein lies danger. I don't recognise the money angle. I came from another sport and saw the money washing around," said Gould, who used to work at Bristol City Football Club. He added: "We work with the PCA [Professional Cricketers' Association] and the ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] fund lifestyle consultants - there are six around the counties."

The rebuilding programme Chris Adams talked about following the championship draw with Lancashire, at Guildford, has started with the signing of Worcestershire batsman Vikram Solanki on a two-year contract (July 20). With the 36-year-old's current contract due to expire in the autumn and Worcestershire unable to give him assurances regarding a new deal, Surrey pounced. Adams said: "Signing a player of the class and experience of Vikram Solanki is a huge boost for the club, giving our young batsmen a chance to learn from one of the most professional and widely respected players in the country. I am delighted that he has chosen to join Surrey and very much look forward to working with him in coming years." He added: "I think it's a great signing. We weren't preparing to sign anyone at this time, but considering what's happened to the side in recent weeks, to find ourselves in this position, where we are recruiting and rebuilding, and the first signing is Vikram Solanki, I'm delighted, absolutely. He's a terrific player, somebody I played against a lot over the back end of my career. I played one-day internationals for England with him as well. He's an absolutely smashing guy and a very dangerous batsman in all forms of the game. He comes with a great career behind him, still with years to go. So, it's a good challenge for him and the timing, for us, couldn't be better really." Adams also highlighted Solanki's leadership qualities, which suggests Adams sees the former Worcestershire captain as a key member of his inner circle. He said: "Always, as I do, I did my homework. I asked a lot of questions of my own players, and I asked a few other people this week about Vikram Solanki, players I played with and people he would have played with for a period of time. To a man, they all gave a great endorsement, not just about what a great batsman he is and what he brings to a cricket team, but also what a great person he is. He will bring leadership qualities that will just spread through the dressing room. That's exactly the type of person we need."

Following Surrey's draw with Lancashire at Guildford, where rain put paid to the fourth and final day, their team director, Chris Adams revealed that Surrey were embarking on a recruitment drive following the loss of several key players. "We will definitely be recruiting," Adams told CricInfo (July 14). "We were always going to be looking for an opening batsman and an overseas player, but now we will be looking for a middle-order batsman as well. We also need an infusion of leadership, so we may be looking at senior players. Most people wait to the off-season to rebuild, but we will start now. We have a very different group of players now. A month ago we had a team who had earned the right to have a bit of freedom with their preparation, that dynamic has changed. We have a young group, with less knowledge, and I've asked the coaching staff to take a more hands-on approach with them. We are more than fine with our seam bowling unit and we will be giving more opportunities to some of our young players. Zafar Ansari is a star of the future while Jason Roy has suddenly become a senior batsman. The likes of Tom Lancefield, Arun Harinath, Gary Wilson, Rory Burns and Matthew Spriegel will all have opportunities, too. There are a couple of other players - the likes of Chris Jordan - who need to show us what they can do over the next couple of months. We've been left in a state of rebuilding. And that rebuilding job starts now." Adams dismissed the idea that Ramprakash might have been asked to postpone his retirement to provide some experience in a green-looking top-order. "We have been very fortunate to have seen the best of Mark Ramprakash at Surrey," Adams said. "I first saw him when I was 13 and I knew then that he was going to be a genius. But he has made his decision and I respect that. The time was right for him."

On 9-13 October, Surrey's Gary Wilson will not be jetting off on holiday. Instead, he'll be cycling 380 miles in aid of cancer research. Wilson will be joined on Irish Cricket's Big Bike Ride by the captain of Ireland and long-standing friend, Will Porterfield. Sadly, back in April, Gary lost his mother to cancer and wants to do something for others in the same predicament. The idea originated from Chris Adams's Big Cricket Ride for leukemia and lmphoma research last year. Wilson will be cycling from Cork to Belfast stopping at Kilkenny, Dublin, Armagh and Londonderry on the way. He will be inviting other celebrities, friends and cricketers to join him along the way. Gary said: "The Cancer Research charity is very special and close to my heart and I want to give something back to everyone affected by this disease. I also really appreciate the fantastic support I have had from our supporters over the years, who are some of the best supporters in the game. If anyone is able to donate towards our ride I would really appreciate it."

July 5 marked the end of an era with the retirement of Mark Ramprakash. The 42-year-old, who was, by common consent, the most prolific batsman to play for Surrey in the last 30 years, called it a day after being told he no longer featured in the club's thinking. At last his farewell press conference, Ramprakash said: "I'd like to express how lucky I feel for having had a very long and enjoyable career in a game that I love passionately. It has been an honour and a privilege to represent Middlesex, Surrey and England. I have many memories which I will always cherish. I had a tough start to this season. I wanted to play. However, last week I was informed that I was not in Surrey's selection plans and therefore I felt the time was right to step aside. I wanted to finish this year strongly. I felt that September would likely be the time when I looked forward to pastures new, but I suppose having had a tough start, having been left out of the side and then not been in Surrey's selection plans, that brought things forward." In just 12 seasons at the Oval, Ramprakash climbed the list of Surrey centurions to finish in the same company as the all-time greats - Hobbs, Hayward, Sandham, Edrich and Abel. He said: "I'm very proud, very happy and I think if anyone had given me this at the start of my career I would have grabbed it. I've been very lucky to have played for so long. I've tried to keep myself fit, be professional. I think you've got to keep evolving as a player and as a person, adapting to new coaches and new types of cricket, and I've enjoyed all of it. I've had a great 12 years here at Surrey. It's been a great move for me to come to the Kia Oval. I've made a lot of friends, but I have to thank the coaches, my team-mates, the staff at the club and the fans as well for all the support they have given me. I've had lots of ups and downs along the way, but all those people have been fantastic. I've made some lifelong friends and I really value the association with Surrey County Cricket Club and I want that to continue. Whatever format it was, to win trophies with Surrey - in 2001 the Benson & Hedges, the Championship in 2002 and the Twenty20 in 2003 - those were really fantastic moments for me and I'll cherish them." Asked to pick out two highlights, Ramprakash said he was equally proud of his maiden Test hundred and of making one hundred first-class hundreds - a feat that has only been achieved by 25 batsmen. He said: "The first Test hundred took a while. I made my debut in 1991, I had lots of ups and downs, lots of really tough moments. I wasn't sure whether I was ever going to achieve that feat, but it did come to me in the end. I managed to persevere and I think making a hundred hundreds is also about perseverance. I've been lucky to play a long time. Therefore, by playing a long time, and trying to keep improving, I've managed to get up to that milestone. I would have liked a few more. I started this season with the intention of finishing very strongly for Surrey. I had a difficult start, but remained fully committed and wanted to play more. I want to go out there now and play. I still feel I can play at this level, without doubt, that's what I've trained for. Even though I was left out of the side, I trained for that and was committed to that. So much has happened to the club so far this season and I very much wanted to try to help and contribute. But the decision has been made, so now it's time to reflect but also look forward."

Following Surrey's championship defeat at Horsham, the club's team director, Chris Adams admitted it represented a low point. Adams said: "Every time we lose a game of cricket there is a level of disappointment, and, on this occasion, a degree of honesty. The players are disappointed and I'm disappointed because it doesn't get much worse than that. In essence, we've lost almost a complete day to rain and still got beat. That's a proper pasting. I don't think we can have any issues or complaints about the result. We were outplayed. It was a strange game. We knew it was an important toss. It was one we lost and we knew the conditions would be tough. But we just didn't adapt quickly enough and that's been a familiar story. Whether junior players or senior players, we haven't adapted enough in the first innings. And as we've seen over the last few weeks, it's been the captain trying to hold the ship together with the bat in the second innings, with not enough of a contribution from anywhere else. My focus is trying to work out how we're going to get some serious runs on the board. We might be one innings away from that. When that happens, what I have seen in this game is that with Murali Kartik in the side the balance of the side looks very nice. It allows the seamers to bowl with great venom and accuracy for longer periods of time." At the start of the season Adams promised that Surrey would work harder, be better prepared and commit more than their opponents. But Adams conceded: "It is draining, watching us coming from behind all the time. But we said at the start of the year that we would have to learn on our feet in Division One. What we know about Division One is that there is no easy game. Sides do not back down. They dig in. To allow Sussex to get away as we did and for their tail to wag like it did has proved very costly. We're at the halfway stage, with eight games gone. We are certainly not at the end of the table that we would have hoped, after beating Sussex in the first game. The challenge for the team isn't to put four-day cricket to bed. We've got a lot to look forward to in terms of Twenty20 cricket and, on paper, we have a very strong side and two wonderful overseas players to complement some young, exciting and dynamic cricketers. It will do us all a world of good if we get on a run in the Twenty20 and give a good account of ourselves. On paper we look a strong side. Providing we prepare mentally for the challenge we should have a good competition."

On June 7, David Gibson, who took more than 500 wickets for Surrey as a fast bowler, died in Australia at the age of 76. Gibson took ten wickets in a match against Gloucestershire on his County Championship debut in 1957 - a feat he never repeated - in the first of just two appearances that summer. The following season, in which Surrey won the seventh and last title in their remarkable sequence of back-to-back championships, he deputised for Alec Bedser in almost half their games. Gibson was a regular in the side for the next seven years. In 1965 his claims to be classed as an all-rounder were underlined when he came within four runs of making 1,000 in the season. Allied to his 86 wickets that year, it proved to be the summit of his career. He went on to make scores of 95 and 98, but cartlidge trouble, which ultimately brought an end to his playing days, limited Gibson's appearances in 1966 and, thereafter, he was unable to hold down a regular place, although he did score 300 runs and take 18 wickets in eight matches in 1967. Gibson eventually retired at the end of 1969. In 185 first-class appearances he took 552 wickets at 22.22 runs apiece and scored 3,143 runs at 18.93. Gibson moved into coaching - he was Surrey's 2nd XI coach in 1979 and 1980 - before emigrating to Bowral in Australia, where he worked for a time for the Bradman Foundation.