Burns and Pope fall cheaply for Surrey Lawrence and Westley shine for Essex Opener Robson hits 165 for Middlesex D ay one: Surrey (220-9) vs Gloucestershire After a lean winter both of Surrey's England batsmen, Rory Burns and Ollie Pope, needed their springs to blossom but they were dismissed for four and 22 respectively by a similar impatience. During their winter Test series in India, England's batsmen interpreted the message to be positive so enthusiastically that some tried a shot at almost every ball – Pope for one dancing down the turning pitch in Ahmedabad to the left-arm spin of Axar Patel and being, not surprisingly, stumped. In their growing desperation England's batsmen, apart from their captain Joe Root, seemed not to observe Rishabh Pant's shot-selection. Pant may have given the impression he slogged every ball but no. He blocked or left 138 balls in that series; sure, he made hay off the 100 balls he attacked but, normally, only after playing himself in. On a slow and nibbling Nevil Road pitch in early April, against Gloucestershire's medium-pacers (not one over of spin), Burns and Pope blocked or left only a few balls before launching into drives. Consequently Surrey needed a sensible 40… Read full this story
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