Report: Surrey v Warwickshire, County Championship
Kemar Roach produced a stunning spell of pacy swing bowling to set up a remarkable Surrey victory by six wickets against Warwickshire at the Kia Oval.
Roach’s final morning six-over burst of 4 for 20 earned him overall second innings figures of 5 for 72 as Warwickshire slid from an overnight 270 for 4 to 310 all out in just under an hour.
And Surrey raced to 252 for 4, past their target of 248 from a minimum of 82 overs, with Hashim Amla cruising to 80 not out from 113 balls, with 12 fours, and Ollie Pope hitting a quickfire 52 in a 101-run stand that followed Rory Burns’s 61 and his own second wicket partnership of 71 with Amla.
But the match was won and lost before lunch as instead of being able to press for victory themselves by setting Surrey a stiff fourth innings target, as had seemed certain before play began, Warwickshire were suddenly left knowing that even the consolation of eight points for a draw was now out of the equation.
Jordan Clark supported Roach superbly with two wickets of his own, to finish with 3 for 61, and Surrey romped to the seventh win of their LV= Insurance County Championship campaign midway through the last session with 21.2 overs to spare on a pitch that had encouraged the seamers for much of the first three days but which, long before the end, had dried out noticeably to make batting easier.
Despite second-placed Hampshire also winning against Yorkshire at Scarborough, and third-placed Lancashire beating Kent at Old Trafford, Surrey’s 22-point win has actually extended their lead at the top of Division One to 16 points over Hampshire, and 34 over Lancashire, with the last three rounds of the championship season to come in September.
Warwickshire took just five points from the game. Burns and Ryan Patel launched Surrey’s chase with a purposeful opening stand of 58, before Patel lifted a drive at Nathan McAndrew to extra cover to go for 24. And Burns, who had survived a big lbw shout on 0 when he shouldered arms at Liam Norwell, then combined well with Amla before – tied down a little by Danny Briggs’ accurate left-arm spin – he tried to whip a ball through a well-set legside field and was caught at mid wicket.
Pope’s aggressive cameo ended with a top-edged hoick to point off Brad Wheal and Ben Foakes also skied a catch off Briggs on 2 before Will Jacks arrived to sweep and then reverse-sweep his first and fourth balls for six, both off Briggs, and then finish the match with another six over extra cover off Wheal.
Warwickshire’s collapse early on the final day turned the game dramatically on its head inside the opening hour. At one stage they lost four wickets in 15 balls and, overall, their last six wickets fell for the addition of only 40 runs in 11.5 overs. To be fair to Warwickshire, two prime dismissals – those of Sam Hain for 96 and Michael Burgess – were controversial ones, with umpire Billy Taylor first giving an astonished Hain out to a legside catch by keeper Foakes and then upholding an lbw appeal when Burgess was hit flush on the boot on the line of leg stump to a hooping inswinger from Roach.
But Roach and Clark still bowled with great skill and fire to polish off Warwickshire’s second innings in such style, finding consistent swing despite warmer and less cloudy conditions than the previous three mornings. Will Rhodes was the first to go, for 74, after adding just two runs to his overnight score and taking his superb fifth wicket stand with Hain to 137.
Nibbling at an outswinger from Roach, bowling from around the wicket, the left-hander edged to Foakes in the third over of the day. Then, nine runs later, came the Hain decision with the right-hander swishing at a ball that swung down the legside to a tumbling Foakes – ending a fine innings of 96 from 200 balls, with 10 fours, that took Hain’s season championship run tally to 954. Burgess’s dismissal in the same over for 8, after two beautifully-struck fours, was another big blow for Warwickshire and soon they had also lost Wheal, pinned leg-before for 1 by Clark.
McAndrew was next out, bowled by Roach aiming an expansive off drive against another inswinger, leaving Norwell – who on nought had survived a brilliant leaping effort by Roach at extra cover to catch his booming drive at Clark – to eke out another 17 runs with Ollie Hannon-Dalby before Warwickshire’s No11 was athletically held at long leg for 9 by Conor McKerr off Clark.
Sam Hain’s assured 87 not out and his superb unbroken stand of 127 with Will Rhodes enabled Warwickshire to fight back strongly on day three to reach a second innings 270 for 4 against Surrey at the Kia Oval.
Warwickshire captain Rhodes was unbeaten on 72 when bad light ended proceedings seven overs early and, with Alex Davies also contributing a gritty 49, LV= Insurance County Championship leaders Surrey go into the final day 207 runs behind and suddenly with their unbeaten Division One record under possible threat.
Surrey were badly handicapped, however, by an injury to England Test fast bowler Jamie Overton, who had to be helped from the field early in the morning session after sending down just five balls. He did not return.
Overton hurt his left foot in the delivery stride as he was about to send down the last ball of his first over, with Warwickshire struggling at 32 for 2 after losing both Dom Sibley and nightwatchman Danny Briggs in the fifth and sixth overs of the day.
Hain has so far batted for four hours, facing 187 balls and hitting nine fours, and is in sight of a fourth hundred of a prolific season which has now brought him 945 runs at an average of almost 79. He always looked in control, accumulating solidly but, at one stage, cutting Will Jacks’ off spin away for four and then skipping down the pitch to the next ball to loft it straight for another boundary.
Rhodes, more aggressive in his approach from the moment he reached the crease, has hit 10 fours from only 105 balls and the fifth wicket pair have taken Warwickshire from being only 80 runs ahead with four wickets down into a position where they might be able to declare and put Surrey under fourth innings pressure.
Warwickshire had resumed on 1 without loss in their second innings, an overall deficit of 63, and they looked to be in deep trouble when Sibley was bowled by Kemar Roach for 6, shouldering arms to a ball that swung back into him, and Briggs quickly followed for 1 when he pulled at Jordan Clark and under-edged to keeper Ben Foakes.
Chris Benjamin then thick-edged a cut at Clark through Ryan Patel’s upstretched fingers at third slip for four, and batting looked a tricky business in the day’s opening session and under cloudy skies.
Six minutes before lunch, indeed, Benjamin’s promising 76-ball 38 was ended by a fine catch by Foakes from an inside edge as he propped defensively forward to one from Jacks that turned sharply.
Davies, on 23 at the interval, added 75 with Hain in increasingly confident manner as Surrey clearly missed Overton’s pace in the middle overs of the innings.
Jacks, though, produced another excellent piece of bowling to give them a much-needed boost, with an arm ball luring Davies forward and allowing Foakes to pull off a smart stumping as the batsman over-balanced as he played and missed. Davies had battled through 137 balls, in more than three hours at the crease.
The post-tea session was dominated by Hain and Rhodes, however, as Surrey took the second new ball to no avail at 227 for 4. Warwickshire’s 200-run lead arrived when Hain punched Clark off the back foot to the square cover ropes to underline the transformation in the game’s fortunes.
Ollie Pope’s sparkling 65, and a determined ninth wicket stand of 72 between Conor McKerr and Jamie Overton, edged Surrey ahead at the midway point of the LV= Insurance County Championship contest at the Kia Oval.
Pope, who faced only 73 balls and hit two sixes and nine fours, scored the only half-century of the match so far, while McKerr and Overton’s heroics enabled Surrey to reply with 316 to Warwickshire’s 253. In two overs’ batting before stumps, Warwickshire reached 1 without loss in their second innings, reducing their overall deficit to 62.
Fast bowler McKerr, called up only as a late replacement for Dan Worrall, who suffered a shoulder injury in the warm-ups before the game, scored an assured career-best 37 in two hours’ resistance.
And Overton, batting down at No10 because of a damaged right hand, contributed an equally responsible 38 to earn Division One leaders Surrey a precious third batting bonus point as well as a handy first innings lead.
Just after McKerr’s dismissal, lbw on the back foot to slow left-armer Danny Briggs, and before he was last out, pulling Ollie Hannon-Dalby to deep mid wicket, Overton was struck a painful blow on the same hand by Liam Norwell but, after on-field treatment, he batted bravely on. Hannon-Dalby finished with 3-44, taking his season’s championship wicket-tally to 46.
In contrast to Warwickshire’s first innings, Surrey’s reply was always more aggressive in intent with Ryan Patel setting the tone almost immediately by taking three successive fours off Norwell’s opening over.
Two magnificent extra cover driven boundaries were followed by another four to square leg but then, from the very next ball, Patel’s attempt to hit a near long hop through square cover was undone when the ball hit the toe-end of his bat and looped up almost comically to Nathan McAndrew at cover, who ran in to take the easiest of catches.
Patel departed in understandably high dudgeon and when Hashim Amla was leg-before to the probing Hannon-Dalby for 9 in the ninth over Surrey were in early bother at 25 for 2.
Opener Rory Burns’ reaction, now in partnership with Pope, was to counter-attack and the pair had added 47 in six overs when, shortly before lunch, Burns was adjudged lbw to McAndrew for 27.
Pope, who had shuffled down the pitch to drive his very first ball, from Hannon-Dalby, deliciously wide of mid on for four, and had also in the morning session swivelled in his crease to club a shortish ball from Brad Wheal high over square leg for six, was now joined by Ben Foakes in a stand of 55 in 15 overs that continued to take the attack to Warwickshire.
Hannon-Dalby, though, impressed in a lengthy spell from the Vauxhall End and, in his 13th over and the 30th of the innings, his perseverance paid off when an off-cutter pinned Foakes plumb lbw for a well-made 31.
Will Jacks was away quickly with a flicked four to long leg against Hannon-Dalby and Pope went to the game’s first half-century with a superb square driven four off Norwell. Jacks then whipped Will Rhodes’ medium pace twice wide of mid on for further boundaries.
Pope, however, had just pulled Wheal for six when, attempting to repeat the stroke next ball, skied for Alex Davies to take the catch running in from deep square leg.
He and Jacks had added 46 in eight overs and another 39 in seven came from Jacks’ subsequent alliance with Jordan Clark, who offered some thumping strokes of his own until McAndrew bowled him for 28 with an excellent ball that removed off stump.
By then Jacks had also gone, for a bright 51-ball 44, caught behind off McAndrew, but Surrey’s middle order had scored 164 in 36 afternoon overs and, after tea, the tail added another 73 thanks largely to McKerr and Overton.
Tom Lawes, caught at second slip off Norwell for 12, had enjoyed a remarkable escape just before the interval when he was beaten by a ball from McAndrew which clipped the outside of the off stump so hard that it deflected away past diving keeper Michael Burgess for four byes. The bails, though, did not budge!
Day two had begun with Warwickshire, on 240 for 8 overnight, losing their last two wickets for the addition of only 13 runs. McAndrew, who resumed on 40, at least made sure of a third batting bonus point before he sparred at a ball from Kemar Roach, berating himself for edging a catch to Pope at second slip.
And Lawes, replacing Roach, struck with his fourth ball to bowl Norwell with a perfect inswinger that plucked out middle stump. It gave Lawes figures of 3 for 38 from 20.4 overs, and the teenager was the pick of Surrey’s attack throughout the innings in just his fifth first-class appearance.
Warwickshire battled their way to 240 for 8, despite no one passing fifty, after being put in to bat by unbeaten Division One leaders Surrey in their LV= Insurance County Championship match at the Kia Oval.
Seven of their top eight got to 22 or more, without going on to a significant score, although all-rounder Nathan McAndrew remains 40 not out after a determined effort in the final session of a hard-fought day. Dominic Sibley’s 43 was the best individual score, while Surrey’s five-man pace attack all troubled the batsmen with 19-year old seamer Tom Lawes perhaps the stand-out bowler with figures of 2 for 38 from 20 overs.
Surrey were missing their Australian spearhead Dan Worrall, who took 11 wickets in the game in last week’s win against Essex, due to a shoulder injury suffered in the warm-up. Conor McKerr, called up to replace Worrall, ended the day with 3 for 39 and Jamie Overton took 2 for 47 despite having to lead the field for treatment to a sore finger on his bowling hand, sustained when hit a painful blow at first slip in mid-morning.
On a grassy surface, Warwickshire initially did well to get to lunch at 71 for 2 with Sibley twice dropped on 19 and 28 but always showing typical grit in the tricky conditions.
Cameron Steel, on as a substitute fielder while McKerr travelled to the ground, could not hold a difficult low diving catch to his left at a widish fourth slip when Sibley edged Overton and later in the morning session the Warwickshire opener saw Ryan Patel spill a straightforward chance at third slip off Lawes.
Surrey’s pace battery also beat the bat with regularity but their only successes before lunch came when Alex Davies, on 23, edged Lawes’ second ball to Overton at first slip and then, at 65, when McKerr – having taken the field just after 12.15 – struck with the first ball of his second over to have Chris Benjamin held by Will Jacks at first slip for 7, pushing crookedly at one that lifted and left him.
The first hour of the afternoon session was a particularly attritional affair and Warwickshire’s first innings looked in danger of grinding almost to a halt when Sibley’s defiance was ended by Lawes, who made a ball lift sharply to have the former England Test opener caught off the face of his bat by keeper Ben Foakes, and Sam Hain was dismissed seven overs later by Jordan Clark.
Warwickshire were 107 for 4 in the 54th over when Hain, having made it to 27, edged the persevering Clark to second slip where Ollie Pope held on to the catch at the second attempt. McKerr’s second spell just before tea saw an increase, at last, in the scoring rate with his first three overs back costing 30 runs.
But both Michael Burgess, twice, and Will Rhodes were fortunate to see short-arm pulls at the pacy McKerr result in top-edged fours over the keeper and slip cordon and Rhodes also thick-edged the same bowler between slips and gully for another streaky boundary.
Burgess, however, fell for 22 to Overton’s fourth ball after tea, in the session’s second over, when he edged an outswinger to Foakes and McAndrew almost immediately needed an on-field concussion test when, trying to hook, he was hit flush on the helmet by Overton.
Rhodes was livid with himself for flashing at McKerr, in the 76th over, and edging to Foakes to depart for a 74-ball 34, and Danny Briggs left shaking his head in disbelief when, after scoring a useful 23 in 46-run seventh wicket stand with McAndrew, he chipped a full toss from Overton straight back to the bowler. And Surrey were further boosted when McKerr won an lbw appeal against Brad Wheal, on-loan from Hampshire, to dismiss the tailender for 4 with the day’s penultimate ball.
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