Report: Warwickshire v Surrey, Championship
Weather interference and an excellent pitch for batting combined to sentence the LV=Insurance County Championship between champions Warwickshire and Surrey to a draw at Edgbaston.
A mouth-watering opening-round clash between two sides with serious title aspirations ended in stalemate with Surrey on 43 without loss in their second innings after Warwickshire piled up 531 in their first.
On a pitch offering the bowlers nothing, Bears wicketkeeper Michael Burgess hit a career-best 178 (221 balls, 20 fours, eight sixes) – his fourth first class century. He enjoyed resolute support from the tail, notably number 11 Olly Hannon-Dalby with whom he added 122 for the tenth wicket. Hannon-Dalby made an unbeaten 11 (89 balls) having got off the mark from his 67th ball faced.
Warwickshire took advantage of the advantageous batting conditions which, along with the loss of 47 overs in the match to rain and bad light, killed off any hopes of a positive result.
Then home side resumed on the final morning on 293 for seven and soon raised the third batting point in unusual fashion when Craig Miles headed a short ball from Jordan Clark over the slips for four.
Surrey’s bowlers persevered but the pitch showed no sign of deterioration and Burgess added 55 with Miles (32, 60 balls) and 54 with Henry Brookes (29, 65 balls). Miles and Brookes both perished to slick slip catches by Ollie Pope, off Reece Topley and Ryan Patel respectively, which set the scene for a bizarre passage of play in which Burgess and Hannon-Dalby stretched the innings by another 134 minutes.
When Hannon-Dalby went in, Burgess was on 69. Twenty overs later, the number 11 was still there and still to score when Burgess reached his ton. It was one of those sessions totally inexplicable to anyone who is not familiar with cricket…and pretty inexplicable to many who are.
With the game long dead, batsmen turning down runs and weary bowlers plodding in, attention turned to numerical quirks which could not possibly affect the match result, like would the 50 partnership be raised with Burgess having scored all 50? (It was).
Surrey plugged away nobly, but Burgess plundered a weary attack until lifting Will Jacks to deep mid-wicket. The last two hours had been whimsical but Warwickshire’s 531 was a seriously good recovery from 41 for four.
The 48-minute, post-tea session in which Surrey began their second innings is unlikely to feature in any future publications which chronicle the glorious history of cricket.
Matt Lamb’s second first class century underpinned Warwickshire’s fightback against Surrey as the opening-round clash between the two LV= Insurance County Championship title contenders heads for a draw at Edgbaston.
Reigning champions Warwickshire closed a weather-truncated third day on 293 for seven in reply to Surrey’s 428 for eight. The visitors are well-placed for a solid first innings lead but, with only one day left, the match appears destined for a draw.
At 41 for four early on the third morning, Warwickshire were in deep trouble but Lamb (106, 138 balls) and Sam Hain (78, 228) added 157 to stall the visitors’ charge. The fifth-wicket pair saw off a menacing burst from Kemar Roach (three for 82) then put the batsman-friendly pitch back into perspective. Hain’s broad bat blunted the bowling while Lamb was more aggressive, most of all with delightful straight and on-driving. The 25-year-old moved fluently to 50 in 68 balls and 100 in 121 before perishing to a brilliant catch in the deep by Will Jacks.
Lamb and Hain had done the hard yards in getting their side to the follow on figure of 279. Once that was reached, a draw became overwhelmingly likely.
The opening throes of the day belonged very much to Surrey. Warwickshire’s overnight 16 for two soon became 16 for three when Danny Briggs edged the ninth ball of the day, from Roach, to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes. A high-class duel between Roach and Rob Yates then saw the latter move elegantly to 32 (59 balls) before he was uprooted lbw by a near-unplayable in-ducker from the Barbadian.
The champions were wobbling but Lamb and Hain matched sound temperament with technique to add 157 in 42 overs. As the bowlers began to run out of ideas with the old ball, it took a brilliant piece of fielding to force the breakthrough. Lamb mistimed a pull at Reece Topley and Jacks dived low at deep square leg to pull off a spectacular one-handed catch.
At 198 for five, further quick wickets would have put Warwickshire under pressure but Dan Mousley knuckled down alongside Hain. The sixth-wicket pair added 65 in 36 overs before Hain shouldered arms at Jordan Clark and was aghast to see the ball hit the stumps.
It was a curious conclusion to such a watchful innings but credit to the bowler for still plugging away tirelessly at sunset and the impressive Clark then also removed Mousley (43, 128 balls), smartly caught by Ollie Pope in the cordon.
Ben Foakes underlined his intention to nail down the England wicketkeeper’s spot long-term with a high-class century for Surrey against Warwickshire on the second day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Edgbaston.
Foakes struck a composed unbeaten 132 (263 balls, 18 fours, one six) to provide the backbone as Surrey kept the champions in the field for almost two days on the way to an imposing 428 for eight declared.
It was not a flawless knock, he was dropped in the slips on 37 and 54, but those were rare aberrations in over six hours of impressive concentration and resolve from the 29-year-old.
With support from Ollie Pope (58, 85 balls) and Jordan Clark (50, 91 balls), Foakes lifted Surrey to a total with which they will aim to put their hosts under serious pressure. In 12 overs before the close, Warwickshire faltered to 16 for two in reply, having lost Dom Sibley for a first-baller and skipper Will Rhodes.
After resuming on the second morning on 168 for three, Surrey were made to work hard for runs in a morning session which yielded 72 runs from 35.1 overs. Pope posted a 76-ball half-century but was increasingly shackled by Olly Hannon-Dalby and then bowled by the Yorkshireman.
Foakes and Jamie Smith ground out a stand of 25 in 15 overs before the latter edged Danny Briggs to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess. When Hannon-Dalby trapped Will Jacks lbw, at 255 for six, Surrey needed impetus and Foakes and Clark supplied it with a stand of 86 in 28 overs.
Hannon-Dalby (four for 78) and Briggs (three for 84) maintained pressure on the batsmen but the other bowlers were less accurate. Hannon-Dalby and Briggs harvested a combined seven for 162 while the other bowlers took one for 260.
Clark ladled Rob Yates to short fine leg and Kemar Roach bat-padded Briggs to short leg but, at 350 for eight, Foakes found another useful partner in James Taylor. They added an unbroken 78 in 21 overs before the declaration left Warwickshire an awkward 12-over session in deteriorating light.
Surrey struck an immediate blow when Sibley, having shown excellent form in pre-season, copped a first-baller. Reece Topley’s first delivery was wide and swinging outside off stump and the opener was lured into a drive which he dragged onto his wicket. Rhodes then fell to Roach, strangled down the leg side as Foakes completed his fine day with a smart catch.
Ryan Patel started the season with a flourish as Surrey made 168 for three against champions Warwickshire on a heavily rain-affected opening day of the LV=Insurance County Championship campaign at Edgbaston.
Patel averages just 24.50 in first class cricket but showed his potential by batting with verve to race to a 56-ball half-century after Surrey won the toss and chose to bat.
The 24-year-old struck 75 (107 balls) in an opening stand of 117 with Rory Burns before Warwickshire hit back among a series of rain breaks. Burns (41, 77 balls) and Patel fell within four balls of each other, albeit two hours apart either side of a heavy downpour.
Ollie Pope then moved sweetly to an unbeaten 40 (46 balls) in the last session of a day which brought the shivering crowd just 45.5 overs.
On a staccato day, with a bitterly cold wind blowing, it was a bracing opening to their title defence for Warwickshire who were missing their three most potent fast bowlers. Already without England pair Chris Woakes (unavailable) and Olly Stone (long-term injury) they are also without last year’s talisman Liam Norwell due to a back spasm.
After Surrey captain Burns called correctly, he was soon watching approvingly from the other end as Patel sped to his half century with five fours and two sixes. The 100 came up in the 22nd over and when the visitors reached the last ball before lunch on 117 without loss, their day was advancing perfectly to plan.
But Burns then lifted that ball back to bowler Danny Briggs and when play finally resumed in the afternoon, Patel flashed at the fourth ball, a wide offering from Olly Hannon-Dalby, and nicked it to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess.
Hashim Alma’s uncomfortable 23-ball stay for two runs was ended when Hannon-Dalby shattered his stumps but, from 126 for three, Surrey were stabilised again by Pope who took advantage of some ill-directed bowling to hit eight fours.
Warwickshire are without new signing Alex Davies whose debut is delayed by a one-match suspension for historical social media posts. Seam bowler Henry Brookes is recalled for his first championship game since September 2019.
Surrey are without the Curran brothers, both on their way back from back injuries, but are otherwise at full strength.
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