Hamilton-Brown leads from the front
A counter-attacking unbeaten 51 from captain Rory Hamilton-Brown took Surrey to the brink of victory over Middlesex at Lord’s before bad light ended the bid with 10 overs remaining.
On an action packed third day, 19 wickets fell and all 22 batted as the ball continued to dominate.
Middlesex, having polished off the Surrey first innings at the start of the day by claiming their last five wickets for 61, were then skittled themselves inside two hours for a paltry 106.
Having lost opener Joe Denly and Australian Chris Rogers either side of the lunch break, Middlesex succumbed to Jon Lewis in the mid-session by losing their last nine wickets for only 77 runs.
Lewis, the 36-year-old former England and Gloucestershire seamer, found a nigh-on unplayable length to extract some bounce and plentiful lateral movement to claim 5-51 - his first five-wicket haul since moving to London from the west country.
The collapse left Surrey with four sessions to pursue a victory target of 141 and secure their first championship win at Lord’s in 15 years. True to their attacking style, the visitors set out to score the runs in today’s final session and win with a day to spare.
The run-chase soon came off the rails however as Toby Roland-Jones trapped Jacques Rudolph leg before and then had Mark Ramprakash held low down at slip.
Experienced seamers Tim Murtagh and Corey Collymore also chipped in. The former had Steven Davies caught in the gully from a back-foot cut then Collymore saw Zander de Bruyn force a short one into the hands of Rogers at extra-cover.
With their score on 68 for four, few would have blamed Surrey for shutting up shop for the day, but Hamilton-Brown was thinking otherwise.
The right-hander continued to go for his shots, powering six fours in a 49-ball half-century as he and Tom Maynard added 27 at an even quicker tempo.
They had moved to within 46 runs of pulling off a three-day win when the umpires took the players off for bad light.