Batty’s best inspires Surrey
Gareth Batty returned 6-73, his best figures for Surrey, and Jason Roy hit a brilliant 71 as the hosts forced their way back into the LV= County Championship contest against Division One leaders Warwickshire at the Kia Oval.
Surrey ended day two 120 runs ahead with six second-innings wickets remaining - a position they can only have dreamed of at lunch when Warwickshire were just 41 in arrears on 182 for four.
Having resumed on 106 for one, the visitors lost Will Porterfield in the eighth over of the day when the Irishman, driving forcefully, was caught at slip off Batty for 46.
Five overs later, Jim Troughton’s miserable start to the season with the bat continued when he was undone by a yorker from Stuart Meaker.
Varun Chopra’s responsible knock of 78 ended unexpectedly when the former Essex man played half-forward to a flighted delivery from Batty to be bowled.
Tim Ambrose had an early let-off when an edge off Jon Lewis flew at catchable height between keeper and slip but he and Darren Maddy both got their heads down and, at lunch, Warwickshire looked set to establish a significant first-innings lead.
In front of a decent crowd, swelled by 2,500 school children who took up the offer of free entry, the complexion of the game altered dramatically in the afternoon session as the visitors slipped from 186 for four to 213 for nine.
In the second over after lunch, Meaker trapped Maddy leg before to bring the curtain down on a watchful stand of 42 in 17 overs.
With four wickets falling in quick succession to spin, Surrey delayed taking the second new ball until the 90th over.
Ambrose, looking to attack Rory Hamilton-Brown’s part-time off-spin, was bowled for 33 and five balls later, Rikki Clarke, playing back, went lbw to Batty, who struck again when Keith Barker was stumped and Jeetan Patel drove his first delivery straight back to the bowler.
Batty added to his tally when Chris Wright was caught at short-leg, though not before he and Chris Woakes had combined to give the visitors a lead of 24.
With Roy racing to a 60-ball half-century, Warwickshire’s slender advantage was soon chalked off.
In the 11th over, Roy launched Patel’s third delivery into the pavilion for six, having earlier seen opening partner Steven Davies depart to a brilliant catch down the leg side off Barker.
Zander de Bruyn fell leg before as he missed a flashing drive at Maddy and, six overs later, Roy’s dazzling 86-ball innings ended with the straighter of the two men at short midwicket picking up a catch off Clarke. Roy hit 10 fours and a six.
In the very next over, Hamilton-Brown, cutting, was caught behind off Patel to make it 108 for four, but Tom Maynard and Jacques Rudolph added 36 prior to stumps.