Linley leads Surrey promotion charge
Tim Linley led the way as Surrey closed on promotion by dominating Derbyshire on the second day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match at the Kia Oval.
Derbyshire had tumbled to 28 for four and then 62 for five in reply to Surrey’s mammoth first-innings total of 468.
Paul Borrington led somewhat of a revival as his unbeaten 76 - amassed over four hours - saw the visitors to 177 for seven, a position from which they are still highly unlikely to rescure the encounter.
Indeed, Surrey remain in a strong position to go on to win and, subsequently, secure top-flight cricket next season.
It was a fine effort from 23-year-old Borrington against some challenging Surrey bowling, with Linley’s three new-ball wickets taking his season’s tally to 73, Stuart Meaker producing high pace, and spin pair Pragyan Ojha and Gareth Batty extracting significant turn from a dry surface.
Derbyshire captain Luke Sutton also played his part in his side’s recovery, with a determined 32 in a partnership of 90 after Ross Whiteley helped Borrington add 34 for the fifth wicket by swinging Ojha for six and one-bounce four.
Surrey began the day on 400 for eight, and Meaker took his overnight 17 to an unbeaten 55 as he and Linley stretched their ninth-wicket partnership to a more-then-useful 73.
Meaker hit 10 fours in a fine innings that ensured the home side would put a potentially match-winning first-innings score on the board.
Having achieved the maximum five batting bonus points on the first day, Surrey soon knew from events elsewhere that victory in this game – with their couple of bowling bonus points – would assure them of promotion to Division One.
The first bowling bonus point took them less than eight overs to secure, with Derbyshire left tottering at 17 for three at lunch after Linley removed Matt Lineker and Wayne Madsen, while Ojha chipped in to have Wes Durston caught at slip for two.
Dan Redfern was the fourth Derbyshire scalp, leg before to an inswinger from Linley as the Surrey attack looked like it was going to make short work of their opponents.
But, after Whiteley was removed by a Meaker thunderbolt, edging to keeper Steven Davies, the hosts were frustrated as Borrington and Sutton first dug in and, slowly, grew in confidence despite being beaten every so often by Ojha’s flight and turn.
In the closing overs, however, Surrey tightened their grip on the game again when Sutton edged Chris Jordan to wicketkeeper Davies before Ojha trapped Clare leg before.