Days after the delight of earning an England recall after a gap of nearly 11 years, 38-year-old Gareth Batty was left bitterly disappointed after his Surrey side went down meekly against Warwickshire in the final of the Royal London One-day Cup at Lord’s on Saturday.
Despite having the likes of Jason Roy and Kumar Sangakkara in their ranks, Surrey could only put up 136 runs on the board thus allowing Warwickshire an easy eight-wicket win with almost 20 overs to spare.
The defeat was extremely painful for the Surrey skipper who saw his side come up short during the same stage of the 2015 edition as well when they lost to Gloucestershire by a close margin of six runs.
The defeat against Warwickshire though was anything but close as Surrey was completely outplayed despite making a promising start.
"To lose in this manner is a little bit embarrassing," Batty said. "We have not really turned up today. We just got it wrong and it hurts like hell. We're not blaming the pitch, absolutely not. We've no one to blame but ourselves.
"It was obviously a tired surface, but it certainly wasn't a 136 all out surface. We just didn't adapt to what was put in front of us unfortunately and they bowled well in the conditions. We were around 90 odd for 2 so to be 136 all out was not acceptable."
Surrey were 98/2 at one stage and looked set for a total close to the 250-run mark before suffering a batting collapse that left them with an impossible task to claw back in the match. Jonathan Trott's unbeaten 82 meant that Warwickshire barely had to break a sweat for victory, but Batty is hopeful that his side can make good use of the positives from the heavy defeat.
"Sometimes you can lose with dignity. I hope we lost with dignity and we allowed Warwickshire to enjoy what was a very fine performance. Hopefully, we become better people and men because of that," Batty said.
Future is bright
“The club have made progress. We're not the finished article but when we do become that, we'll be the finished article for quite a long time because of the age of the squad and the quality we have in different positions in the squad.”
“We dropped off a cliff today, but we've played good consistent cricket in this competition. In the Championship we had a real purple patch in the middle when we played some excellent cricket and challenged the best teams in the country and some wonderful players.”
“We didn't start well and had we started better who knows where we would have been. In Twenty20 we missed out on qualifying for the quarter-finals by a point, so we're not a million miles away,” he added.
Players can play for England in the future
Batty also credited the players for sticking together after the tough times that followed the death of promising fast bowler Tom Maynard and believes that many of the present youngsters in the squad can go on to represent the national side in the future.
"We've played some very, very good cricket. When these young lads do get picked for England they'll be ready to go," Batty said. "Some of this group went through some horrible times a few years ago," Batty said.
"So you can be relatively philosophical at times. Sometimes it can be straightforward a bit more bat and ball, but it doesn't feel like that right now. This group of players know they can be together for a very long time and they should be thinking that this is just the start of opportunities.”