Rain and an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 85 runs between Rob Taylor and Jigar Naik put a dent in Surrey's promotion ambitions as Leicestershire held out for a draw in the LV= County Championship Division Two match encounter at Grace Road.
Surrey declared their second innings on 279 for five after batting on and adding 62 runs in six overs at the start of the day.
That left Leicestershire to chase a victory target of 387 in a minimum of 88 overs. But they lost four wickets for 99 runs and were 140 for four when a torrential downpour in mid-afternoon caused a two-hour stoppage and the loss of 32 overs.
When play finally resumed Surrey needed to take six wickets in the remaining 22 overs to secure the victory they needed to keep their second-placed position.
But they could manage only two, as Taylor and Naik joined forces in a unbeaten partnership that spanned 19 overs. Taylor finished on 40 off 51 balls with seven fours while Naik was 42 off 66 balls with seven boundaries when the sides shook hands on a draw with Leicestershire on 232 for six.
The draw earned Surrey 13 points but saw them slip behind Hampshire into third place. Hampshire and Essex have a game in hand on Surrey.
Still attacking at Grace Road pic.twitter.com/m1VYIOGkvs
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) August 18, 2014
Although they held an overnight lead of 324, Surrey decided to bat on and some big hitting from Jason Roy and Steven Davies saw them take the total to 279 for five before declaring with Roy unbeaten on 44.
Leicestershire were soon losing wickets with Stuart Meaker uprooting Angus Robson's leg stump, having Greg Smith caught behind and Matthew Boyce taken at backward short leg fending off a bouncer.
At the same time Meaker was expensive conceding 89 runs in 13 overs, with Dan Redfern in particular tucking into some short pitched deliveries.
The introduction of Gareth Batty's off-spin brought Surrey their fourth wicket with Ned Eckersley popping up an easy bat-pad catch.
Redfern reached his half century off 48 balls with 10 fours just before the rain arrived. He was out for 64 on the resumption, caught at mid on off a mistimed pull against Meaker and Niall O'Brien was brilliantly caught at slip by Roy off Batty.
At that point Surrey still looked favourites to win but Taylor and Naik kept them at bay. Meaker finished with figures of 4-146 in 21 overs.
Disappointed Surrey captain Gary Wilson said: "It was frustrating the way the rain came in as it did, and now we must look to win our two remaining games and hope other results go in our favour."