Report: Surrey v Warwickshire, County Championship
Surrey needed only four overs on day three to complete the trouncing of Warwickshire by an innings and 97 runs at the Kia Oval and move a big step closer to successive LV= Insurance County Championship titles.
Their 22-point victory, Surrey’s eighth of the season, will push them at least 18 points clear of second-placed Essex, even if their only rivals for the championship pennant can gain maximum bowling points and also go on to beat Middlesex at Chelmsford later in this round of matches. Both counties will then have just two games left in the campaign.
Warwickshire, who lost 17 wickets to Surrey’s irresistible pace battery on the second day, were bowled out for 138 after resuming still 109 runs behind the 2022 champions and long-time Division One leaders at 126 for seven.
They had been asked to follow on the previous day and Dan Worrall struck with the fifth ball of the morning to remove Henry Brookes for seven, fencing to second slip, and the match was soon over.
Worrall also sent back Dan Mousley in his second over, the left-hander thin-edging to keeper Ben Foakes to depart for 61. Mousley had resisted stubbornly on the second evening but added only a single to his overnight score as Surrey closed in ruthlessly.
Victory came just 15 minutes into the day’s play when Jordan Clark castled last man Chris Rushworth for six with the last ball of his second over.
Worrall finished with five for 25 and outstanding match figures of eight for 59, while Clark took four for 26 in Warwickshire’s second innings and five wickets overall.
Kemar Roach’s second day four for 64 did much to send Warwickshire sliding to 161 all out in their first innings, in reply to Surrey’s 396, and Tom Lawes was Surrey’s other wicket-taker in their five-pronged pace attack with two for 27 first time around.
Warwickshire First Team Coach Mark Robinson said: “We were out-bowled and out-batted on a really good cricket wicket on which 250 to 300 was probably about par. They got virtually 400 and then we just kept getting out and yesterday was a day we didn’t want. This morning was just an inevitability, after what happened yesterday.
“Dan Worrall was outstanding throughout the match and Jordan Clark too bowled extremely well but we came into this match a little bit light due to injuries and unavailability. Kraigg Brathwaite only arrived [from the West Indies} the day before this game, Ed Barnard had never batted at No 3 before and Chris Benjamin has not had that much cricket in this format recently, but none of that is an excuse because we should be better than we have been. We still should have had more quality as a team than we showed here.”
Surrey are poised to strengthen their position at the top of the LV= Insurance County Championship after taking 17 Warwickshire wickets on an extraordinary second day at the Kia Oval.
The injury-hit Bears were bowled out for 161 in reply to Surrey’s 396 by an unrelenting seam attack – all of whom have taken their wickets at an average of under 25 this season – led by Kemar Roach (4 for 64) and Dan Worrall (3 for 34).
It scarcely got any better for Warwickshire second time around as they lurched to 35 for 5. At that stage Warwickshire were heading for a two-day defeat but Dan Mousley’s unbeaten 60 helped them avoid that ignominy and they closed on 126 for 7, still trailing by 109.
Surrey will surely finish things off tomorrow and complete what would be their first Championship double over Warwickshire since 1957, putting the pressure back on nearest rivals Essex who are playing Middlesex.
In mitigation, Warwickshire have been without three batters – Rob Yates, Alex Davies and Jacob Bethell – who would have played, but even at full strength it’s debatable whether they could have done too much better against the sustained excellence of Surrey’s attack on a green-tinged pitch offering good pace and carry.
Warwickshire’s day had started well enough as they took the last six wickets for 57 with Ed Barnard (5 for 66) claiming his first five-wicket haul for the county. Surrey even missed out on a fourth batting point when Ben Foakes was last out for a superb 125, caught off a top-edged pull aiming for his 20th boundary.
Surrey’s seamers were soon enjoying helpful conditions themselves, although they benefited from some debatable shot selection as well.
Skipper Will Rhodes, trying to leave a full-length ball, lost his off stump to Worrall in the second over and the Australian then had West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite – debuting for his fifth county – caught at second slip off an expansive drive in the last over before lunch.
Roach had already castled Barnard and in the over after the resumption he picked up wickets in successive balls, going round the wicket to bowl Mousley via an inside edge before Chris Benjamin was taken at slip to leave Warwickshire tottering on 39 for 5.
There was little respite when Worrall and Roach rested, although Michael Burgess – a former Surrey Academy player – led a recovery of sorts in stands of 40 with Sam Hain and 48 with Danny Briggs. But Clark’s nip-backer accounted for Hain and Burgess was defeated by Worrall’s seam movement just after reaching a composed half-century.
Tom Lawes got in on the act when he picked up the last two wickets and with the innings lasting only 44.3 overs Surrey had no hesitation in making Warwickshire face the music again.
They were soon in trouble with Clark picking up three wickets in 4.2 overs after Roach had bowled three overs from the pavilion end. Brathwaite lost his off stump to Clark’s sixth delivery, Hain was undone by extra bounce and Benjamin fell leg before only half-forward to a ball angled into him.
Worrall proved just as effective in a six over new-ball burst that brought him 2 for 15. Rhodes was caught behind aiming a big drive and Barnard drove loosely to cover and Warwickshire were staring down the barrel again.
But Mousley and Burgess put on 75 with few alarms but Roach returned to bowl Burgess through the gate and Worrall squared up Briggs with the first ball of his second spell.
Barnard said, “It’s a relatively easy pitch to bat on so what’s happened is very disappointing. Obviously I’m really proud to get my first five-for for Warwickshire and we actually fought back pretty well this morning. I have felt good with my bowling recently and brought some form into this game from the One-Day Cup, which did a lot for my confidence. I got some good wickets but it’s a shame how the day has ended up.
“They have got a high-class attack but it does feel like we’ve not been bowled out, and have shot ourselves in the foot a bit. We’re going to have to come back tomorrow and try and at least make them bat again. Dan [Mousley] has batted really well and shown what a good pitch it is but then we’ll have to sit down and plan for the last three games. We can still make a good fight of it here but then it will be about trying to hit those last three hard.”
A century from Ben Foakes and half-centuries by Jamie Smith, Cameron Steel and former Bear Dom Sibley put Division One leaders Surrey in a strong position on Day One of their crunch match against Warwickshire at the Kia Oval.
Surrey finished on 339 for 4 with England wicketkeeper Foakes (112*) stifling the Bears who had taken two early wickets to leave the hosts on 31 for 2.
Foakes and Steel combined to add an unbroken 152 in 42 overs for the fifth wicket after Smith had waltzed to 60 from 72 balls in a stand worth 99 with Sibley, who put together a more prosaic 65 in almost four hours of dedicated crease occupation.
Steel also played well for his unbeaten 69, from 115 balls and including 10 fours, and importantly repelling with Foakes the second new ball in the final hour to underline Surrey’s advantage.
Put in on a well-grassed surface, Surrey lost Rory Burns and Ryan Patel in the first 12 overs as they stumbled initially. Burns, on 11, edged Chris Rushworth low to third slip and Patel managed only a couple of pleasing drives before falling for 9 when Barnard angled a beauty through his defences from around the wicket.
Smith, though, immediately began to take on the Warwickshire seamers, skipping a couple of short steps down the pitch to unfurl one magnificent straight driven four off Barnard.
On 25, Smith was fortunate to get an inside edge that saved him from being stumped when he advanced at Danny Briggs’ left arm spin and aimed an ugly hack, but otherwise he continued to bat with power and class.
Smith completed a 52-ball fifty in the first over after the interval but Warwickshire sensed they were back in the fight when Barnard beat Smith with a ball angled in and beating an attempted whip past mid on to pluck out off stump after deflecting off his pads.
Sibley was then joined by Foakes in an alliance of 57 in 16 overs before, wastefully, he drove Briggs straight to mid on, called his partner for a sharp single and was, correctly, sent back. Foakes, who had actually done well to avoid the ball, did not move as Hannon-Dalby picked up and threw to the keeper’s end with Sibley run out by yards.
By tea Steel had helped Foakes steer Surrey to 224 for four and, in the day’s last session, the pair kept the scoreboard ticking steadily.
Briggs said: “We stuck at it pretty well all day and we thought the pitch would perhaps do a bit more than it did during the day.
“There were a few close decisions that didn’t go our way but the nature of the Oval is that it is a fast-scoring ground when you get in and they batted very well. We’ve just got to come back tomorrow morning and put in a big effort to try to get back into the match.”
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