Stand-in captain Niall O'Brien led the way as Leicestershire staged a spirited fightback in a bid to avoid the follow-on against Surrey on the second day of the LV= County Championship game at Grace Road.
Having posted a formidable total of 480, Surrey had the hosts struggling at 146 for four but an unbeaten 62 by O'Brien and half-centuries from Dan Redfern and Rob Taylor helped their side to 303 for seven by the close and needing another 28 runs to make the visitors bat again.
Veteran off-spinner Gareth Batty ensured the day ended on a high note for Surrey however, claiming two late wickets in two overs for four runs to check Leicestershire's recovery.
Taylor, having made 54 and shared a stand of 99 with O'Brien, was bowled by a quicker delivery and in Batty's next over Jigar Naik fell in similar fashion as the home side slipped from 292 for five to 298 for seven.
Earlier in the day Steven Davies had hit his best score for Surrey with 174 off 210 balls.
It was always going to be a tall order for bottom-of the-table Leicestershire to get themselves back into the game following a tough day one. But some wayward bowling from the visiting pacemen gave the home side the chance to add to the huge boundary count in the game.
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) August 16, 2014
Even though some early wickets fell, the scoreboard ticked along at a good rate with Ned Eckersley making a breezy 40 with eight fours in a stand of 64 with Matt Boyce. But when Boyce was out caught behind off a lifting delivery from Chris Tremlett, Surrey looked in command again.
Then Redfern, O'Brien and Taylor gave the home side some hope. Redfern hit 52 with 10 fours before edging Batty to wicketkeeper Gary Wilson and Taylor's half-century contained a six and four other boundaries. With O'Brien still there, Leicestershire will hope they can reach the follow-on target of 331.
Resuming at 403 for eight, Surrey added another 77 runs off 22 overs. The main focus was whether Davies could improve his career-best score of 192 he posted for Worcestershire against Gloucestershire eight years ago.
He certainly looked in the mood to do so, moving quickly from his overnight 147 and past his previous Surrey best of 156.
The boundaries continued to flow as well from both Davies and Stuart Meaker in a stand of 108. It was finally broken by Taylor who pinned Davies lbw.
Meaker was last man out for 58 off 142 balls when he edged Taylor behind giving the left-arm seamer figures of 4-91 in 20.3 overs.