Dazzling Dalrymple shines through
An unbeaten century from all-rounder Jamie Dalrymple lit up a grey day in Guildford as Surrey lost their way in the LV= County Championship Division Two derby clash against Middlesex.
After reducing the visitors to 51 for four on a rain-affected opening day, Surrey failed to capitalise on their enterprising start by allowing Dalrymple to blast a 164-ball hundred and steer the visitors through to a respectable 308 all out.
Having returned to Middlesex in the close season following a three-year stint with Glamorgan, Dalrymple collected 16 fours and a brace of sixes in his 122 not out – the 11th first-class ton of his career and his first since re-joining the county.
After a 45-minute delay for drizzle at the start of the day, Dalrymple - 10 not out overnight - set about frustrating the Surrey seam attack with a sensible blend of tenacious defence and bludgeoning attacking strokes.
He and Chris Rogers combined to add 101 for the fifth wicket before the latter fell for 59, leg before on the back foot to a Zander de Bruyn off-cutter.
Surrey initially appeared to rally after the lunch break when John Simpson also went leg before to de Bruyn for 15, but heads seemed to drop when Gareth Batty downed two slip chances in successive overs, including Dalrymple on 51.
Batty made it third time lucky by snaffling another chance off Tim Linley to account for Steven Crook and then Tim Murtagh, who got the toe end of the bat on a wide one from Jade Dernbach and again diverted it to first slip.
Steven Finn chipped a comfortable return catch to Batty to make it 237 for nine and bring in Middlesex’s last man, Corey Collymore, but Surrey struggled to finish the job off.
At one point Dalrymple and Collymore stood virtually side by side at one end of the pitch, only for Surrey to make a hash of the run-out attempt, and Dalrymple again made them pay.
While Collymore stubbornly held up one end, Dalrymple went for his shots. He slog swept, cover drove and then flat-batted a long hop to the ropes to move into the 90s as Batty conceded 15 in one over, including three Dalrymple boundaries.
The right-hander went down on one knee to hoist a glorious off drive for six against De Bruyn and, having broken his bat, changed blades to hook a Stuart Meaker bouncer for six over long leg as Middlesex posted a third batting point after reaching 300.
Having added 71 for the last wicket, Collymore steered a short one into the hands of Tom Maynard at gully to give Linley, the pick of a misfiring attack, figures of 3-60.
The innings closed just after 4pm, but rain arrived soon after to prevent the start of Surrey’s reply.