Hashim Amla warms Surrey after Rory Burns, Ollie Pope feel icy Bristol blast

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Josh Shaw and Ryan Higgins lead way with ball for hosts on green-tinged surface

Surrey 220 for 9 (Amla 56, Shaw 4-48) vs Gloucestershire

The opening day of the new LV= Insurance County Championship season saw Bristol over 20 degrees cooler than Chennai, where Rory Burns last walked out in a competitive match, and Surrey felt a chill all day as they made 220 for 9 against Gloucestershire.

Josh Shaw, with 4 for 48, and Ryan Higgins, 3 for 35, ensured the home side did not squander winning the toss on a green-tinged pitch. They were denied the chance to finish Surrey off inside the day by late rain.

They may even feel a touch disappointed, having conceded 32 boundaries. Higgins, beginning the season averaging just 21 with the ball, was the chief exception, leaking only 35 runs from his 19 overs.

“We’re really happy with that,” Shaw said. “We wanted to bowl on that wicket and we’re pleased with how we’ve gone. We probably weren’t at our best but when you’ve got Surrey 220 for 9 not quite firing it’s only a good thing.

“Ryan Higgins mentioned changing the angle of the seam for a delivery and I tried it and managed to get a wicket so that was a nice one.”

The challenge for Burns was the diametric opposite of that which he faced in India, as the players walked out in conditions that might have felt more like January. But he nonetheless failed, with an angle through the slips for four before he edged to second slip driving at one from David Payne that swung away. Ollie Pope also drove loosely, to backward-point, for 22 in Surrey’s struggle.

With England’s batsmen having not contributed, 38-year-old former South Africa stalwart Hashim Amla, now an overseas player with Kolpak registrations ended, guided his side to 91 for 3 at lunch with a series of punchy cover drives and punishment of George Scott’s wide deliveries. He reached an 85-ball fifty, but soon after the break was driving flat-footedly at Shaw and palpably lbw for 56.

Ben Foakes, lbw for 26, beaten by one from Higgins that nipped back, and Jordan Clarke, sharply held by wicketkeeper James Bracey standing up to Higgins for 8, quickly fell to leave Surrey in a hole at 144 for 6.

From which point regret might linger for Gloucestershire as Jamie Overton made a streaky 40 – edging Payne just wide of second slip and Scott also narrowly past at catcher at takeable height. He went on to flick Shaw to fine leg to raise a batting point but eventually fell dragging Payne into his off stump trying to force off the back foot.

Jamie Smith, one of Surrey’s brightest young things, also lost his off stump, for 20, to one that nipped back from Shaw and the same delivery accounted for Gus Atkinson in just his third first-class match.

“It wasn’t easy. Being ultra-critical we could have got a few more but I think we’re still right in the game,” Overton said. “You got yourself in and felt a little settled but one just did something out of the blue.

“But you can still score on this pitch and we let ourselves down with not taking a couple of partnerships on a little longer.”

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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