Surrey ease relegation fears

Lv County Championship
Scott Newman

Scott Newman guided Surrey to a much-needed LVCC victory

Surrey virtually assured themselves of safety in Division One of the LV County Championship by crushing Warwickshire by nine wickets at Edgbaston.

The visitors’ highest first wicket stand of the season, 149 between Scott Newman (87) and Jon Batty (68 not out) sealed victory with more than 52 overs to spare, and increased Warwickshire's own relegation worries.

Surrey could be mathematically safe by the end of the week if Warwickshire fail to take maximum points from their last game against title-chasing Lancashire at Old Trafford.

Warwickshire have now won only one of their last 18 games in all cricket, and may be dependent upon Kent losing their last two matches to avoid a second relegation this season having already been demoted in the NatWest Pro40.

Their gritty resistance on day three appeared to have left Surrey with a tricky target of 177, but any suggestions that this might be a tense final day were quickly shattered by Newman.

The left-hander took the attack to Warwickshire from the first ball, lashing Neil Carter through the covers for four and savaging anything short or wide.

Jon Batty

Jon Batty contributed a valuable unbeaten 68

Newman's aggression denied Carter and Alfonso Thomas the opportunity to settle into a rhythm, and it was not long before Tim Ambrose, Warwickshire's acting captain, withdrew Carter and replaced him with rookie seamer Chris Woakes.

Former Derbyshire slow left-armer Ant Botha caused Surrey most problems, extracting occasional turn and bounce from a wearing pitch.

But Botha also came in for punishment, noticeably when Newman swept him for a huge six halfway up the Eric Hollies Stand to complete an entertaining half-century from 84 balls.

Newman struck eight fours and also swept Botha for another six in his 50.

The return of South African seamer Thomas at the City End merely led to an acceleration in the scoring. Newman drove him for three offside fours in an over as Surrey romped along at a run-a-minute.

Batty completed a more restrained, but equally valuable 50 just before lunch, by sweeping Botha for his 11th four.

Surrey were only 46 short of victory at lunch and needed just 37 minutes after the interval to complete the formalities.

Newman pushed onto his highest score since the opening championship game of the season before he was caught behind playing defensively to give Woakes his first championship wicket.

But Batty remained to steer Surrey to an easy win in partnership with Mark Ramprakash, who straight drove Woakes for the winning boundary.