SURREY BROWN CAPS v SOMERSET SABRES at the Brit Oval (C&G Trophy), 7 MAY 2006

With Surrey now quoted as evens to win Division Two of the County Championship, perhaps it is time they asserted themselves in the one-day arena, starting with the South Conference of the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy; for which they are currently fourth in the betting, at 6-1. Two places below them is tomorrow's opponents the Somerset Sabres, at tens.

One factor that is very much against the home side is their record against the Cidermen. Of their last nine one-day meetings with Surrey, Somerset have won eight. In their favour, though, is the likelihood that Marcus Trescothick has done enough to convince the England selectors that he deserves to be in the squad for next week's First Test against Sri Lanka. Secondly, despite playing last Monday, Ian Blackwell has had a recurrence of his back spasms, and is therefore a fitness doubt.

Judging by last season's performances in one-day cricket this leaves the following dangers as far as the hosts are concerned. Keith Parsons and James Hildreth did well with the bat. But look out also for Wes Durston, who played in just 8 matches last term - he averaged 99.50 and had a strike rate of 100.50 runs per 100 balls. With not so much as one Somerset bowler taking more than 19 wickets in List A cricket in 2005, the Surrey batsman could be rubbing their hands with glee. Top of the Sabres' averages, however, was up-and-coming left-arm twirler Arul Suppiah with six victims at 24 runs apiece.  

Azhar Mahmood currently has 2,953 runs and 247 wickets in List A cricket. James Benning has 990 runs. Alistair Brown (9,926) is closing in on the ten thousand run-mark. Jade Dernbach looks set to make his tenth List A appearance. On the Somerset side Richard Johnson has 196 wickets while Cameron White has 951 List A runs.

Scott Newman and Stewart Walters are missing from the team that beat Kent on Bank Holiday Monday. To make up the twelve in come Mohammad Akram, Rikki Clarke and Azhar Mahmood. On the injury list are Martin Bicknell (groin) and Jimmy Ormond (back and hamstring).

Kent 1 May 2006 C&G Won By 1 Run Canterbury 223-5 (30) 222-6 (30)
Sussex 30 Apr 2006 C&G Lost By 5 Wickets The Oval 272-9 (50) 274-5 (48.2)
Scotland 25 Sep 2005 NL Won By 8 Wickets The Oval 204-2 (30.3) 212-9 (45)
Warwickshire 14 Sep 2005 NL Lost By 68 Runs Edgbaston 224 (40.3) 292-8 (45)
Derbyshire 4 Sep 2005 NL Won By 8 Wickets Derby 89-2 (16.1) 88 (39.1)

The weather forecast is improving all the time, so you want a decision out of me, don't you? Well, if Trescothick plays, then I would have to err on the side of a Somerset win. On the other hand, should the Sabres have no Blackwell and no Trez then it could well be a pleasing end to a productive week for the Brown Caps.

M Trescothick, M Wood, C White, J Hildreth, K Parsons, C Gazzard (wk), I Blackwell (capt), G Andrew, R Johnson, A Caddick and C Willoughby.

Richard Kettleborough and Nigel Llong. Third Umpire - Graham Burgess.

28 Aug 2005 NL Lost By 5 Wickets The Oval Surrey Bat 237-7 (45) 238-5 (39.5)
2 May 2005 NL Lost By 99 Runs Taunton Surrey Field 226-9 (44) 325-6 (44)
28 May 2003 C&G Won By 6 Runs Taunton Somerset Field 281-6 (50) 275-9 (50)
21 Aug 2001 NL Lost By 4 Wickets Taunton Surrey Bat 236-8 (45) 237-6 (41)
10 Jun 2001 NL Lost By 8 Wickets The Oval Surrey Bat 68-5 (10) 69-2 (6.3)
14 Aug 1999 NWT Lost By 120 Runs Taunton Surrey Field 195 (43.3) 315-8 (50)
18 Jul 1999 NL Lost By 2 Wickets Guildford Surrey Bat 225-9 (45) 227-8 (43.2)
23 May 1999 NL Lost By 6 Wickets Taunton Somerset Field 184-9 (45) 185-4 (38.3)
25 May 1998 NL Lost By 7 Wickets Taunton Somerset Field 127 (38.1) 130-3 (29.5)
8 May 1998 B&H Won By 9 Runs The Oval Surrey Bat 296-6 (50) 287 (48.5)
27 Apr 1997 NL Won By 3 Wickets The Oval Surrey Field 181-7 (39.5) 180 (37.4)
30-31 Jul 1996 NWT Won By 5 Wickets The Oval Surrey Field 226-5 (52.5) 225 (59.1)
5 May 1996 NL Lost By 53 Runs Taunton Surrey Field 232 (36.5) 285-4 (40)
11 Jun 1995 NL No Result The Oval No toss made - - -
9 May 1995 B&H Won By 7 Wickets Taunton Somerset Bat 203-3 (53.1) 202 (54)