YORKSHIRE v SURREY (probable line-ups)
Burns (capt), Stoneman, Borthwick, Elgar, Patel, Foakes (wk), S.Curran, Clarke, Clark, Morkel and Batty.
Lyth, Fraine, Ballance, Kohler-Cadmore, Leaning, Tattersall (wk), Thompson, Willey, Patterson (capt), Olivier and Coad.
Mark Stoneman (Surrey) – With scores of 33 and 71 against the Bears on top of his 61 against Yorkshire a fortnight ago, Stoneman is arguably Surrey’s form batsman. But I’ve gone for him because his championship record against the Yorkies now reads 1,244 runs at an average of 41.46; including five centuries.
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire) – Surrey dodged a bullet in the corresponding fixture at Guildford where Ballance, who has made 681 runs at an average of 68.10 in this season’s County Championship, scored just six. Logic would suggest the former England man won’t be as obliging again.
Fourth placed Yorkshire, who sat out this week’s round of matches, have suffered just one defeat this season – and that was to Warwickshire, who, as they showed over both of their meetings with Surrey, are a far more resourceful team than everyone gave them credit for. Amazingly, just one win lifts the Oval outfit up to fifth, plus they’ll go to Scarborough with spirits lifted.
Rory Burns’ duck on the opening day against Warwickshire was his first in 105 first-class innings; and his first for Surrey in 89. That puts him third in the list of those who have worn the Prince of Wales’ feathers. Jack Hobbs went 117 f-c innings for Surrey without making a duck between 1923-27, Tom Hayward 112 between 1903-05 and now, bumped down to fourth, is Peter May, who got off the mark 86 times on the trot between 1953-56.
Sam Curran – A second innings half-century and, apart from that dreadful over on day one (which ended with Will Rhodes despatching him for three fours and six), the pocket all-rounder bowled beautifully within the 30-over restriction stipulated by the England management; owing to the hamstring he picked up at Beckenham.
The final morning was packed with pivotal moments, but it has to go to Curran junior striking twice in four balls.
June 30-July 3: Yorkshire v Surrey at North Marine Road (County Championship).