I have to put on my rose-tinted spectacles with four games remaining; although Surrey are the clear leaders, with a 32 point lead over Somerset, I’m sure I am not the only supporter trying to work out how we can overtake them.
For a brief moment, I’ll have a long cold look at the most daunting prospect remaining.
The disheartening aspect is the substantial beating we took in Guildford, let’s be honest and note that any innings defeat is heavy, so I hope it remains the lowest point of the season. So, the absolute essential part of the scheme, is to beat them at Taunton. It is difficult to find their weak point, they have learnt from last season when they drew ten of their fourteen matches whilst accumulating a phenomenal 47 batting points (Somerset won just 24) and have learnt how to turn good batting performances into wins.
Being positive, at that point of the season Marcus was out injured, Jack succumbed to concussion during the match and Morkel had just arrived at Surrey.
Retaining the optimism, I’ll look at our next matches. Lancashire are next, they are improving at this end of the season, we hoped they might beat Surrey but missed this by a mere six runs and produced an extraordinary comeback against Worcestershire last time out. We visit rural Hampshire, somewhere near Southampton, where spin settled the recent Test match, so Jack and Dom might have reason to be optimistic. Also they suffered an innings defeat to Essex last time out, although their form is mixed and dependent upon one or two players performing well. Then there is the big match against Surrey and finally we go to Trent Bridge. Nottinghamshire have lost their early season form in their last three matches, letting a resurgent Essex climb past them into third place.
Remaining positive, that resurgent Essex team both visit and entertain Surrey, so if Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer have a couple of good matches, a brake can be put on Surrey’s progress. The 45 point advantage we have over Essex, should just be enough, provided we match their performances.
It might just work. 96 points and a championship to play for!
(One statistical footnote: since we were promoted no team has won more than ten matches in a season)