Rain spoils enthralling finish between Surrey and Worcestershire
17:52 22 April 2012
County Championship Division One: Surrey (140 and 224) drew with Worcestershire (119 and 94-1)
Rain put an end to an enthralling day between Surrey and Worcestershire as the match looked set to have a positive result.
The visitors had cruised to 94-1 chasing a target of 246 and had a miniumum of 39 overs remaining to reach their target.
Michael Clinger had looked in ominous form, cruising to 69 not out and the stage was set for a thrilling finale.
Surrey had resumed on 131-6, a lead of 152, with Rory Hamilton-Brown resuming on 55 and Gareth Batty at the crease.
It was the latter who hit the first boundary of the day to the deep point boundary after four overs as the visitors looked to pick up early wickets.
And Hamilton-Brown joined the party soon after, hitting Alan Richardson back over his head to move the lead past 160.
Batty was the first man to depart with lead at 163 and he was caught brilliantly by James Cameron at point off the bowling of David Lucas.
Stuart Meaker’s arrival appeared to be the cue for Hamilton-Brown to attack and he moved into the 70s with a four through square leg.
But with the skipper 24 runs from his century he skied Richardson’s delivery to Shaaig Choudhry to give the Worcestershire bowler 10 wickets in the match.
However, Surrey inched their lead past the 200 mark thanks to successive fours from Jon Lewis.
The home side reached 199 before losing their ninth wicket with Meaker slashing Richard Jones to Vikram Solanki at slip.
Last man Jade Dernbach smashed his third ball to the boundary to lift Surrey’s second innings above the 200 mark.
In the next over the England bowler smashed Richardson for six with a wonderful shot, straight back down the ground.
Dernbach then smashed Jones for successive boundaries to lift the lead past the 240 mark, causing the field to spread.
The fun couldn’t last as the bowler went for one big shot too many and picked out Choudhry at mid on to set up a victory target of 246 to win in a minimum of 70 overs.
Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell and Michael Clinger survived the three overs before lunch.
The latter then hit a wonderful cover drive off Dernbach straight after lunch as the wicket appeared to have flattened out as the visitors cruised to 21 without loss.
Indeed the victory target moved to under 200 without a wicket falling.
Meaker gave Klinger a scare when he succeeded in hitting the opener in the lower abdomen.
Gareth Batty came on in the 19th over and the 172nd over of the match, the first over bowled by a spinner in the match.
And the former England bowler nearly had reward with his third ball as Klinger hit over the top which just evading the despairing dive of Meaker, to move the Australian onto 41.
Klinger was caught off the bowling of Batty but it was by a gentleman in the crowd, who caught it in such a nonchalant way and that maxium took him to his half century.
Mitchell, on the other hand, only had nine by the time the Australian had reached 50 and although he hit a boundary to take his tally to 20 off 91 balls he was clean bowled by Chris Jordan the very next ball.
Surrey had 39 overs in which to claim the last nine wickets and Vikram Solanki came to the crease.
One ball later and Solanki was walking back to the pavilion as umpires took the players off at half past three.
Just 20 minutes later and the rain came pouring down and the hosts would be breathing a sigh of relief as Worcestershire had looked comfortable.