Surrey record welcome win
Surrey moved off the bottom of the LV= County Championship Division Two table after thumping Leicestershire by 215 runs inside three days at the Kia Oval.
The victory - Surrey’s first of the season - was spearheaded on the third day by young fast bowlers Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker as Leicestershire, set an unlikely 423 to win, were bowled out for 207.
England Lions paceman Dernbach finished with 5-41 and Meaker 4-38, with only James Taylor showing any real appetite for the fight as he scrapped for more than 50 overs for a 145-ball 52 before he was last out.
On 166 for two overnight, Surrey rapidly built on their already commanding lead as both Mark Ramprakash and Zander de Bruyn scored freely against a dispirited Leicestershire attack.
The overall lead was soon above 300 and nothing appeared more certain than Ramprakash, unbeaten on 53 when the third day began, completing a 114th first-class hundred on his comeback appearance from a serious knee operation.
But, having hit 11 fours from 142 balls en route to 91, Ramprakash then played slightly crookedly at an excellent full-length ball from Nadeem Malik and was bowled.
De Bruyn motored past 50 in the company of Steven Davies, who hit Claude Henderson’s left-arm spin high over mid-off for four before edging the same bowler through a vacant slip for four.
De Bruyn was lbw to Wayne White for 69 and Tom Maynard was caught at short extra-cover off Henderson for a third-ball duck, but Surrey’s intention was clear as they continued to go for quick runs.
When Davies, giving Henderson the charge, was stumped by Paul Dixey for 37 from just 25 balls, with seven fours, Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown declared the innings closed at 311 for six.
The afternoon and evening sessions saw Leicestershire second-innings wickets falling regularly, although Taylor and Matthew Boyce did battle through to the tea interval, taken at 93 for two, after the early dismissals of Will Jefferson and Josh Cobb.
Jefferson fell in the 12th over, driving at a widish ball from Dernbach which he edged to wicketkeeper Davies, and Cobb was lbw to the same bowler falling over to the off side as he tried to play a full ball angled in to him towards mid-on.
Boyce’s resistance ended in the third over after tea, when he had made 41 from 126 balls, and the left-hander chastised himself angrily when he edged an expansive drive at Yasir Arafat. He had batted for more than two and a half hours, putting on 50 in 23 overs with Taylor.
Wickets then tumbled in quick succession as Jacques du Toit and White were both lbw to the rampant Dernbach, who bowled with as much aggression and movement into the right-handers as he had done in his first spell in mid-afternoon.
Dixey, the triallist wicketkeeper, hit four fours in a promising innings of 20 but then undid his hard work by flapping an unnecessary hook at Meaker and edging through to Davies.
Taylor, up until then almost exclusively defensive in his outlook, straight drove Chris Tremlett for four and then hooked the England fast bowler for six.
But, at the other end, Henderson had his stumps rearranged by Meaker, who then cleaned up both Nathan Buck and Matthew Hoggard cheaply with searing yorkers.
The end came from the first ball of the scheduled final over of the day – although Surrey would certainly have claimed the extra half-hour – when Taylor, soon after taking a nasty blow on his helmet from a short ball by Dernbach, pulled the same bowler to deep square-leg.