4:00pm Saturday 3rd September 2011
By Stuart Amos
Banstead all-rounder Matt Spriegel reckons Surrey’s current crop of stars are out to emulate those of the club’s glorious past and claim its first limited-over silverware since 2003.
The Kia Oval outfit seemed to sweep all in top flight cricket before them over a seven-year period from 1996, winning the county championship (twice), the Natwest Pro40 league (twice), the Benson and Hedges Cup and the Twenty20 Cup.
But, with the exception of the County Championship Division Two title in 2006, the Surrey trophy cabinet has since been a barren place, although that could soon change with the Lions on the verge of a Clydesdale Bank 40 final appearance.
And providing skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown’s men beat Sussex Sharks in Sunday’s semi-final at the Oval, Spriegel reckons Surrey can fulfil their date with destiny.
“There are some experienced sides still left in the competition, but we’ve been playing really good one-day cricket this year and are confident we can give anyone a game,” he said.
“Some of the guys in the squad now are really exciting and it would be fantastic to reclaim some trophies and establish this team as greats.
“They have come through the second team and have played important games in the past, which gives us a lot of experience.
“We enjoy playing on the big occasion and with such a young team, hopefully, that can continue for years.”
Spriegel, who plays his club cricket for Banstead in the Surrey Championship Premier Division, is a key performer in the one-day side.
He tops Surrey’s CB40 batting averages, thanks to Monday’s 86 against Durham, and has made some telling contributions with the ball – most notably with 3-39 against Warwickshire last month.
Spriegel’s recent run of form has come on the back of some solid performances for Banstead and he hopes it continues into the semi-final and final.
“The CB40 has been a good competition for me and I hope to play in the final,” he said.
“The top order has got us off to some fliers this season, but when I’ve been needed I feel I have have contributed in the middle order.”
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