Surrey team director Chris Adams has explained the reasoning behind his criticism of a Lord’s pitch that helped Middlesex to clinch their slender three-run LV= County Championship win in the London derby.
After the narrow defeat the former Sussex and England batsman blasted the surface as “the worst pitch I’ve ever seen at Lord’s”.
Adams said: “We got stuck in, showed a lot of fight and character and played the type of determined cricket we feel we will have to play in order to succeed in Division One. And yes, I feel we should have won.
“But there’s no getting away from the fact that it was a bowler-friendly pitch right from the first day and I don’t think groundsmen have any excuse for us to be playing on soft, green wickets unless, of course, that’s been the instruction from the director of cricket.
“We’ve had such a good March weather-wise you’d expect wickets to be hard and firm in order to produce quality cricket, but what we got made batting incredibly difficult throughout.”
No batsman in the four-day match reached three figures, indeed only three posted half-centuries, leading to a lopsided war of attrition for the batters of both counties and an uneven contest between ball and bat.
“Both sides scored markedly less runs in their second innings than they did first time around, which is further proof to me that this pitch was too soft right from the start,” explained Adams.
“Right from the first delivery, every time the ball hit this pitch it left dents and imprints. We no longer have the heavy roller to iron those ball marks out in between the innings, so you’re left with significant indentations on the pitch surface every day the game goes on which, in turn, leads to inconsistency in bounce as well as lateral movement off the seam.
“Even Dawid Malan, the top-scorer in this match, said driving was almost impossible. Those are his words, not mine, and he scored 88 out there! I will mention it (the condition of the pitch) in my report to the ECB, but that’s about as much as you can do nowadays.
“Having changed the bonus points system the draw is effectively like a loss as the points you gain make little or no difference on gaining ground on the teams around you. If ever there were a directive for clubs to start producing result pitches, be it inadvertently or not, there it is.”