Northants heading for defeat

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Steven Davies

Steven Davies' superb 156 helped Surrey assume complete control at Wantage Road. They require six more wickets to secure victory

Surrey remained on course to win their LV= County Championship Division Two match at Northamptonshire after centuries from Steven Davies and Zander de Bruyn on day three.

Davies reached 156, his best score for Surrey, and also passed 1,000 first-class runs for the season in a 216-run stand for the fourth wicket with De Bruyn, who finished unbeaten on 108.

The visitors set Northamptonshire a daunting 486 to win after declaring on 410 for six, and the hosts ended day three on 103 for four.

Surrey resumed this morning on 115 for three, with a healthy lead of 190, and looking to carry forward the momentum seized on day two.

A flurry of boundaries in the early overs saw the visitors strengthen their grip on the match and opener Davies reached his ton with a single off the bowling of Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall just before lunch.

At the other end, De Bruyn also found quick runs easy to come by and the pair added 124 runs to their overnight total during the morning session.

They continued well into the afternoon, punishing the hosts before their partnership was broken with the score on 321.

Davies was finally out to Chaminda Vaas, top-edging an attempted pull that went straight up and provided wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien with a routine catch.

Tom Maynard made 34 before he was run out following a direct throw at the stumps by Rob Newton from deep midwicket, but De Bruyn held firm and completed his hundred.

In the last over before tea, Jason Roy was caught behind for nine by O’Brien off Hall, which prompted a Surrey declaration.

With Stephen Peters still nursing a back injury, Newton and Kyle Coetzer opened the batting.

Although they started positively, Northamptonshire lost Newton in the fifth over for 14, guiding the ball to Mark Ramprakash at gully off the bowling of Tim Linley.

The home side’s hopes of saving the game received further blows before the close as they lost Alex Wakely for 22, bowled by India off-spinner Pragyan Ojha, and David Sales for five, caught by Roy at short leg off the same bowler.

Coetzer’s resistance ended in the penultimate over of the day when he played a poor cut shot to be caught by wicketkeeper Davies for 54 off Stuart Meaker.

Nightwatchman Lee Daggett and captain Hall will resume in the morning on four and two respectively, facing an uphill battle to save the match.

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