Browse News

News by Competition News by Topics News by County Teams News by International Teams

Join TwelfthMan now!

Centurions put Surrey in command

Watch highlights of day two

Centuries from Zafar Ansari and Steven Davies put Surrey in a commanding position against Derbyshire on a day of firsts in the LV= County Championship Division Two match at Derby.

Ansari celebrated his maiden first-class century in his 33rd match while Davies scored his first championship century of the season as Surrey closed the second day on 392 for eight, a lead of 239.

Derbyshire's bowlers did not have a great deal of luck but young paceman Tom Taylor dismissed South Africa Test batsman Hashim Amla to claim his maiden first-class wicket.

Surrey are now strongly placed to push for victory but Derbyshire will feel they deserved better from a day which started so well when Taylor bagged the prize wicket of Amla in the fourth over of another overcast morning.

The 19-year-old had bowled impressively in the previous match at Leicester without success but his first victim is one he will treasure and it was richly deserved.

He had already had two good shouts for lbw against Amla turned down but when he defeated the defensive push of the South African Test star, Martin Saggers raised the finger.

With Amla gone for 27, there was a chance for Derbyshire to get back in the game with the ball still doing just enough to encourage the bowlers but although there was plenty of playing and missing, they could not find the edge.

The slow nature of the pitch made the batsmen work hard for their runs and it was a case of patient accumulation until Vikram Solanki cut loose against Taylor.

He twice drove him past mid-off for fours before pulling the next ball over midwicket for six and a cover drive off Tony Palladino brought him his sixth four and his 50 which had come from 59 balls.

Solanki's aggression proved his undoing when he was caught at long-on two overs before lunch but that was Derbyshire's last success until after tea as Ansari and Davies batted through the afternoon.

Ansari, who scored the bulk of his runs behind square on both sides of the wicket, reached 50 from 132 balls while Davies completed his fourth 50 in six Championship innings from 74 balls.

Davies was the more fluent but Ansari's watchful approach had put Surrey in a strong position and he deserved the century which finally arrived after nearly five hours at the crease.

After missing out by two runs at Bristol last week, it was hardly surprising there were some anxious moments along the way. He was almost run out on 79 and spent 22 minutes in the 90s before steering Alex Hughes to third man for his 12th four to reach three figures.

The 22-year-old was embraced by Davies and Marcus North shook his hand as they walked off for tea - but his innings ended when he clipped the second ball after the interval low to short midwicket.

Jason Roy and Gary Wilson went cheaply to the second new ball but Davies reached his hundred from 139 balls after 44 minutes in the 90s and although he was bowled driving at North for 124 two balls before the close, the day belonged to Surrey.

Ansari said: "The way I got to the hundred was the same way I got out for 98 last week but once the runs were there it was relief having got quite a few decent scores this year without getting to the milestone."

Taylor said: "It was perfect, it couldn't have come out better to him (Amla) to be honest. There were a couple of close lbws before that but I'm just happy to get him, especially for my first wicket."

Buy county tickets

Buy tickets to see county cricket, or become a member of your local county - full details and links

County Fixtures 2014

Download 2014 fixtures wallchart and get fixtures for your county and all county competitions

Watch county highlights

Watch highlights of every match from the summer of LV= County Championship action here on ecb.co.uk