Batty stars as Surrey sneak to vital victory
Spinners Gareth Batty and Murali Kartik bowled Surrey to only their second LV= County Championship Division One victory of the season in a nail-biting affair against Middlesex.
The visitors fought hard to reach 245 in their second innings before going down by just eight runs at the Kia Oval.
Batty took 6-83 - including the last wicket of Toby Roland-Jones for 17 after he and Tim Murtagh, who struck 25 not out, had added 48 amid great tension - and Kartik 3-91 in a marathon four-and-a-half-hour spell from the Vauxhall End.
Surrey finally wrapped things up just after 4pm on the final day, after a thrilling afternoon's cricket, to take 19 points and boost their chances of avoiding relegation.
But perhaps the most important wicket of the day - even more than Batty's winning lbw shout against Roland-Jones - was taken by Jade Dernbach when the paceman, called upon with Middlesex rallying to 184 for seven through a courageous eighth-wicket stand between Steven Crook and Adam Rossington, responded by yorking Crook for 67 with a superbly-disguised slower ball.
Crook had hit a six off Kartik and nine fours in an aggressive 88-ball innings, and he and Rossington - who was then caught at slip off Kartik in the next over - added 96 to give Middlesex a glimpse of a win that had seemed impossible when they came together.
Their example clearly rubbed off on last pair Murtagh and Roland-Jones too. Coming together at 197 for nine when Rossington fell, they battled through almost 28 overs to take Middlesex, against all the odds, to the brink of victory.
The visitors began the day on 45 for one chasing 254 and, within four overs, were 45 for three; Sam Robson fell to the sixth ball of the morning, caught at slip pushing forward to Kartik, and nightwatchman Tom Smith was held at leg slip off Batty.
There was sharp turn on offer, but Joe Denly and Dawid Malan made Surrey wait for their next success by adding 43 for the fourth wicket.
Denly, on 12, was lbw to Batty and the Surrey captain then had Neil Dexter taken at leg slip for two to leave Middlesex in trouble at 92 for five.
The slide continued apace when Andrew Balbirnie became Kartik's second victim of the morning, lbw sweeping for three, and all hope seemed to have disappeared when Malan - who had batted nicely for 33 - pushed hard at Batty and saw Jason Roy at slip take off to his left to cling on to a brilliant diving catch.