Dernbach et al give Surrey control
Jade Dernbach led the way as Surrey’s bowlers decisively responded to their Middlesex counterparts’ efforts on a wicket-laden second day in the LV= County Championship Division One clash at Lord’s.
Following an attritional opening act of the London derby, in which the visitors compiled 267 for four after winning the toss, many expected more of the same on day two.
Yet Middlesex’s attack had other ideas and came out fighting in glorious sunshine at the home of cricket. The upshot was Surrey managing a less-than-expected total of 338, Gary Wilson being stranded on 30 not out.
It appeared the pendulum had swung in the hosts’ favour on the back of those efforts, but Surrey chipped away and assumed control as Middlesex closed on 161 for nine in reply - still 177 behind - with Dernbach claiming 3-59.
On a seemingly benign surface, the home side perhaps enjoyed some overdue rewards for yesterday’s efforts this morning.
Indeed, amid Wilson looking comfortable, wickets tumbled with regularity at the other end.
Tim Murtagh trapped Steven Davies lbw before Toby Roland-Jones produced the day’s best delivery, a snorter than bounced and took Zander de Bruyn’s glove on the way through to John Simpson.
Paul Stirling grabbed his first championship scalp by luring Gareth Batty into a leading edge that Chris Rogers snaffled at cover - a combination that ousted Dernbach to end Surrey’s innings after Corey Collymore had seen off Chris Tremlett and Tim Linley.
The way Rogers began his innings, mixing solid defence with some glorious strokes through the off side, suggested batting was easier than it appeared initially.
But de Bruyn’s introduction proved crucial as the Australian drove loosely to inside edge on to his stumps.
Rogers had looked in good nick, but his class paled in comparison to the aesthetic beauty that was Joe Denly’s brief stay.
A crisp timer, the former Kent man often proves easy on the eye; however, today’s stay was all too brief, Dernbach nipping one back for an lbw verdict that ended a 32-delivery 21.
While partners fell, Sam Robson was the steadying influence as a rock-solid temperament - and a little fortune - helped him to 36.
The tea interval proved his undoing, though; the opener feathered behind off de Bruyn after Batty had trapped Dawid Malan lbw.
Simpson and Neil Dexter battled thereafter, only for a fired-up Dernbach to bolster Surrey’s position.
Bowling at good pace, the paceman had Dexter taken low at slip before pinning Stirling in front first ball - albeit earning a generous verdict with the ball seemingly heading down leg.
Simpson then inexplicably hit Batty straight to mid-on, and Tremlett took a sharp return catch to get rid of Roland-Jones.
A fine day for Surrey was completed by Linley trapping Steven Finn lbw in the penultimate over, leaving the hosts with plenty of hard work ahead to even avoid the follow-on.