Championship Report: Surrey v Warwickshire
Surrey dominated the morning session as they took 7 wickets for 67 runs to deny Warwickshire of back-to-back County Championship victories.
As Warwickshire began their chase, in pursuit of the further 142 required, Miles fell on the fourth ball of the day as he was trapped lbw by former bear Rikki Clarke for 9. This nervy start for Warwickshire continued as Hose survived three lbw shouts before scoring and Surrey were convinced they had Sibley caught at third slip for 61 but were denied another wicket.
However it wasn’t long before Surrey took the game away from Warwickshire as they took 7 wickets for 67 runs under overcast conditions which undoubtedly aided their bowlers.
Firstly, in a period where Warwickshire lost 3 wickets in 7 balls, Hose fell lbw to Curran for 21, which broke a 41-run partnership between Hose and Sibley. Then on Lamb’s third ball, he was bowled through the gate by Curran without scoring. In the next over, whilst attempting a quick single Ambrose was ran out who also went without scoring.
In a crucial time of the game, Surrey got the wicket they wanted as Sibley who had batted for 5 hours and showed excellent resilience fell when he was caught and bowled by Morkel for 73, leaving Warwickshire 8 down needing 94 to win.
With a large task placed on the tail, the two remaining wickets fell in quick succession, with Patel being stumped for 8 whilst on the counter attack. The final wicket falling as OHD skied a delivery from Batty which landed back in the bowlers hand, as Surrey had Warwickshire all out for 215, giving them a win by 74 runs.
An entertaining day of cricket at The Oval saw Surrey set Warwickshire a testing 290 to win, but resilient batting and Craig Miles’ maiden Warwickshire 5 wicket haul nods the visitors just in front.
The course of the game seemed to changed character across the first two hours of play, with the first two days offering plenty for the bowlers in terms of swing and seam under overcast conditions.
However, in the morning there was little sign of swing as Surrey took the momentum and motored ahead, playing some very fluent shots to increase Surrey’s lead and strengthen their position, with Warwickshire struggling to restrict the flow of runs at both ends.
A breakthrough did come however, when Miles took a wicket with his first delivery of his spell, as Foakes played a lose shot and was caught at point for 12. He then got the prize wicket of Elgar, as he top edged to fine leg for 53, as his second wicket of his maiden Warwickshire 5 wicket haul.
In what proved to be a key stage of the match, Hannon-Dalby took a wicket in the first over after lunch, with a stunning outswinger trapping Smith LBW for 14. Surrey continued with their aggressive intent, as Clarke added 5 boundaries with 6 balls alongside Curran.
Curran fell soon after although for 52, giving Miles the third of his five wickets, thanks to an outstanding catch by OHD at fine leg. His next delivery found the inside edge of Clark, and landed in the gloves of Tim Ambrose to give him the prestigous milestone of 1,000 dismissals in all formats. His 5th wicket of the innings was an edge from Morkel to give him figures for his afternoon spell of 5-0-25-3.
Jeetan Patel brought the Surrey innings to a close when Clarke departed after a rapid 49, with Surrey ending on 325, setting a testing chase of 290.
Rhodes and Sibley took the crease in difficult, gloomy conditions and managed to see Warwickshire through to tea without loss, needing 268 to win.
They continued their impressive display after tea as they reached 50 without loss, denying Surrey of an early breakthrough. That partnership however came to end when Batty was brought into the attack and trapped Rhodes lbw for a well made 43.
Yates then fell to an impressive ball from Morkel, which he edged behind for 4, after battling a very vocal introduction for the Surrey crowd.
Rikki Clarke and Jordan Clarke were then introduced to attack who made the last hour for Warwickshire incredibly tough with some pin-point accurate bowling that would trouble any batsman. Nevertheless Hain and Sibley showed tremendous resilience throughout that spell as they reached 50 partnership in the 42nd over.
Unfortunately this pair could not continue, as in the concluding overs of the day Hain fell when he was stumped for 26. The departure of Hain brought night watchman, Miles to the crease who endured a tough over from Morkel to end the day which he saw out to guide Warwickshire to 148/3 at close, needing a further 142 to win on the final day.
Surrey fought back strongly against Warwickshire on the second day of an engrossing Specsavers County Championship tussle at The Kia Oval.
Surrey closed on 141 for three – 105 ahead – after bowling the Bears out for 230 to restrict their first-innings lead to 36.
The Bears looked set for a more significant lead when they were 158 for three but the home bowlers found the venom that had eluded them the previous day to take the last seven wickets for 72.
For the first five sessions of the match, batting was hard work against a ball which deviated through the air and off the pitch, but then, for the sixth, the sun came out and run-gathering became more straightforward. Surrey opener Mark Stoneman (71, 85 balls, 11 fours) took advantage to leave the match finely-poised at its halfway stage.
After the Bears resumed on the second day on 89 for one, Rob Yates batted through the morning session but lost four partners. Dom Sibley (31, 70 balls) edged Morne Morkel to slip and Sam Hain was lbw to Jordan Clark before Adam Hose and Matt Lamb edged excellent balls by Morkel and Sam Curran respectively.
Yates went into lunch unbeaten on 48 after more than two hours resistance but did not add to his tally in the afternoon before he nicked an away-swinger from Curran. After his 49 at York last week, it was the second successive near-miss of a maiden half-century for the 19-year-old but he can take plenty of satisfaction from two important innings for the team in low-scoring games.
Yates’ departure left the Bears on 184 for six, ten runs behind. Craig Miles chiselled out 20 from 45 balls before edging Clark and Tim Ambrose’s 87 minutes of defiance for 18 was ended by a Curran yorker on his toe. Olly Hannon-Dalby edged Clark to second slip and Jeetan Patel holed out to mid-off off Morkel.
As batting conditions eased, Stoneman and Rory Burns launched Surrey’s second innings with a stand of 77 in 13.5 overs before the former was lbw to Patel for 34 (42 balls). Scott Borthwick edged the Bears captain to slip and then Stoneman nicked Hannon-Dalby to supply Ambrose with his 999th victim in all formats – one more tomorrow will leave ‘Amby’ as only the second Bears keeper, after Geoff Humpage, to reach 1,000.
Warwickshire put in an excellent day’s work at The Kia Oval as they bowled Surrey out for 194 and then advanced to 89 for one by the close of the first day of the Specsavers County Championship match.
It seems the more ill-luck with injuries the Bears suffer the harder they bite back. With Liam Norwell the latest addition to an seam-bowling injury-list already containing Ryan Sidebottom, Olly Stone, Henry Brookes and George Panayi, the Bears gave a debut to Lancashire loanee Toby Lester – and he headed up a superb collective effort.
Lester collected a career-best four for 41, while Craig Miles underlined his ability as a wicket-taking bowler with three for 58 and the again impressive Olly Hannon-Dalby took two for 35.
The Bears’ reply was then briskly launched by an opening stand of 76 in 16.3 overs between Will Rhodes (51, 64 balls, eight fours, one six) and Dom Sibley who was unbeaten on 22 when bad light lopped off the last 15 overs.
To add to a very satisfying day for Warwickshire, wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose passed 700 dismissals in first-class cricket. He now needs just two more in the second innings to reach 1,000 in all formats.
After captain Jeetan Patel took up the away team’s option to bowl first, both opening bowlers struck early. Hannon-Dalby’s seventh ball took Rory Burns’ edge through to Ambrose and Lester trapped Borthwick lbw.
Craig Miles was next to break through when Mark Stoneman (33, 68 balls) edged to second slip where Liam Banks, on for a brief cameo as sub for Sam Hain, took a sharp catch, head-high.
From 94 for three at lunch, Surrey advanced to 110 without further damage but then lost three wickets for six runs in 19 balls.
Lester ousted Dean Elgar (26, 67 balls), who missed an attempted leg-glance was lbw, and Curran, caught by Ambrose down the leg-side. Ben Foakes (30, 44 balls) lifted Hannon-Dalby to Rob Yates at point.
Miles returned to knock out Rikki Clarke’s off-stump and power a yorker through James Smith’s defence. Lester then came back to take his fourth wicket when Jordan Clark edged to Ambrose before the keeper snaffled a leg-side chance to remove Morne Morkel off Patel.
It was a fine effort by a seam unit which had never worked together before. You could only feel for one component of it – Matt Lamb, whose figures of 6-1-30-0 did no justice at all to a nifty spell which included a dropped catch and caught-behind off a no ball. The only disappointing factor for the Bears was a tally of 40 extras, comfortably the biggest contributor to Surrey’s total.
Rhodes and Sibley then made swift progress, the former bringing up the half-century stand with 14 from three successive balls from Morkel. Rhodes was in excellent nick, one sweetly-timed cover-drive causing an unfortunate casualty when a pigeon failed to spot the ball speeding its way and was carried from the field in a dazed state. Sadly, it failed to recover.
In indifferent light, Rhodes edged a Clarke away-cutter to the wicketkeeper but Sibley and Yates avoided further mishap in awkward conditions until the light closed in for good.