Day three report: Nineteen wickets fall as Surrey and Middlesex battle for first win
18:27 14 April 2012
Stumps, day three: Surrey 95-4 & 222 all out versus Middlesex, 256 all out and 103 all out
Nineteen wickets fell at Lord’s in the County Championship Division One tussle between London rivals Surrey and Middlesex in what was a fascinating third day’s play at Lord’s.
All 22 players spent time at the crease and with Surrey still requiring 46 runs tomorrow, with six wickets in hand, neither side can consider themselves overwhelming favourites to secure their first win of the 2012 season.
Jon Lewis was the Surrey star as the pace man picked up his first five wicket haul for his new county as they skittled out the hosts for just 106 in their second innings.
Surrey themselves started the day on 161-5, but lost their last five wickets for just 61 runs as impressive spells by pacemen Tim Murtagh and Corey Collymore tied down the Surrey batsman.
The duo maintained a consistent off stump line, as the south Londoners struggled to put bat to ball.
Visiting skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown was the only batsman to make an impact for Surrey and he began his innings aggressively, cutting a short delivery from Murtagh for four before walloping Collymore over deep square leg for six.
However partner Chris Jordan looked horribly out of nick and Murtagh was rewarded for his fine spell, as his inswinging delivery in the 90th over cleaned up the right-handers’ leg stump with the score on 184.
Batty could add just four as his leading edge off Collymore was brilliantly caught by Joe Denly at point.
Hamilton-Brown reminded observers of his talents with a classy off drive of Murtagh, however he was trapped lbw shortly afterwards by Toby Roland-Jones for 35 in what was the 24-year-old’s second over of the day.
Lewis was in no mood to die wondering and was off the mark with a swashbuckling leg side swipe for four, before beautifully cutting the next delivery for another boundary.
His stay was brief however, as three balls later he mis-timed a Neil Dexter delivery to Murtagh at mid-off for a simple catch, while Dernbach’s innings lasted just five balls, with Roland-Jones claiming his third victim.
With a lead of 34, Middlesex made a poor start to their second innings as Joe Denly was caught at first slip by Batty off the bowling of Zander De Bruyne.
De Bruyne was in on the act just two balls after lunch as he dismissed Chris Rogers for just four, with wicketkeeper Steven Davies taking the catch.
First innings top scorer Dawid Malan was next to go thanks to a brilliant Jade Dernbach delivery, which ripped through Malan’s defences and onto the stumps.
The paceman was on the mark again trapping Robson plumb in front for 43 and when skipper Dexter went for a duck, lbw to Jon Lewis, the hosts were in deep trouble at 76-5, just 110 ahead.
Middlesex were desperate for a partnership to stem the tide of wickets, however Gareth Berg lasted just 11 deliveries, edging a short Lewis delivery to first slipper Batty.
Wicketkeeper John Simpson did not last much longer but his innings of nine ended in unfortunate circumstances, run out by Lewis, who deflected Rayner’s drive on to the stumps, with the wicketkeeper stranded halfway up the wicket.
Surrey were well on top and the hosts were eight down as Rayner tickled a bouncing Lewis delivery to Davies, shortly before tea to leave Middlesex 100-8.
It got worse for the hosts as the ever consistent Lewis claimed his fourth and fifth victims, with Roland-Jones edging behind to Jacques Rudolph, before the former Gloucestershire man trapped number 11 Corey Collymore lbw after facing just two deliveries.
Chasing 141 for victory the visitors started tentatively and lost Jacques Rudolph lbw to Roland-Jones for just six, while fellow opener Davies was caught at point by Denly cutting a Murtagh delivery after scoring eight.
The bowlers were well on top and Surrey were reduced to 22-3 when Mark Ramprakash was well caught at slip by Malan off the bowling of Roland-Jones.
The visitors dug in however as De Bruyne and captain Hamilton-Brown edged their side towards their target, before the South African played a sloppy shot to Rogers off a short and wide Collymore delivery.
Hamilton-Brown was unbeaten on 51 at the close and you get the feeling that if the former Sussex man remains at the crease, it will be Surrey who emerge victorious.