Gurjeet Sapal at Northampton
Northamptonshire’s captain Andrew Hall feels that he has visiting team Surrey where right where he wants them after Surrey ended day two of the County Championship clash with 210 on the board and seven wickets down in reply to Northamptonshire's 397.
Hall said: “All round I think our bowlers have bowled nicely - we got them down to where we wanted to be so I am very happy with that. Ideally we could have pushed on a bit more or even if things went our way we could have picked up a couple more wickets, but having them seven down by the end of today was our target so we are happy with that.”
Hall took two wickets in quick succession at the end of the day yesterday to put Northamptonshire in a winning position. Chris Schofield and Matthew Spriegel had put on a partnership of 51, with Schofield contributing 29 from 59 balls before he was bowled by Hall.
Lee Daggett bowled consistently throughout the day, he bowled 17 overs, including five maidens picking up the two key wickets of opener Steven Davies and the dangerous Usman Afzaal. Hall has been very impressed with Daggett recent form after coming back in to the first team from the second team.
“For the last three or four games he has played for the first team he has bowled exceptionally well, when we played at Cardiff he played exceptionally well there. He is just going from strength to strength at the moment, bowling great lines, great lengths with good pace and long spells, everything you really want from a fast bowler. I am really really impressed with him and the way he has come back the last couple of weeks.”
Hall also had Steelback debutant, Chaminder Vaas, at his disposal throughout the day. The experienced Sri Lankan international did not let his skipper down, bowling with great economy and control to restrict the Surrey batsmen.
Hall said, “He bowled 15 overs for 16 runs, he is a great asset to the team, it is really nice having someone in there that you know is going to do exceptionally well. He does not give the batters anything and when you are standing at first slip you always feel like you have got a chance with him, there is always something happening. He is a tremendous team player and I have got a massive amount of respect for him. I have played against him for years in South Africa vs Sri Lanka so he is a great player and great for the side and hopefully we can start him off with a good victory or something like that I think that will be great for us.”
The Steelbacks may look to bowl the Surrey Lions out before the follow-on target on 248 today, with only three scalps left to claim. The Steelbacks will know that this is within reach as they themselves lost five wickets for 35 runs in the first session yesterday.
Hall said, “I think tomorrow if we manage to get a couple early on then that becomes part of the equation then we will have a look at something like a follow on.”
© Cricket World 2010