Richardson rampant on rain-hit day
Alan Richardson claimed 5-42 as Worcestershire made the best of a weather-shortened second day in the LV= County Championship Division One match against Surrey at the Kia Oval.
Only 35 overs were possible, following the loss of the entire first day’s play to rain, but Surrey were struggling on 123 for seven at the close.
Richard Jones, with 2-33, supported Richardson well and Worcestershire appeared in a good position to take control of proceedings heading into day three.
The only bright moments for Surrey came in an opening stand of 48 between Jason Roy, who hit six sparkling boundaries in a 36-ball 38, and Steven Davies, and then during a sixth-wicket partnership of 53 between Tom Maynard and Chris Jordan, which rallied the home side from the depths of 69 for five.
Maynard and Jordan, however, fell to Richardson in what - for Surrey - was a damaging mini-spell of 15 minutes late in the day.
A resumption at 5:15pm, after a delay of almost three hours, resulted in Maynard falling lbw for 34 and Jordan being bowled off an inside edge, driving at Richardson, for 20.
When bad light and more rain arrived to force the players off again at 5.30pm, Surrey had lost two wickets for only six runs in three and a half overs.
Play began on time, with the sun shining, but the early Surrey optimism began to dissolve when Roy and Davies fell to Richardson.
The 36-year-old seamer, honoured by Wisden for taking 73 championship wickets in 2011 at an average of 24, trapped Roy lbw with a full-pitched ball that seemed to shape away late and then produced a beauty to have Davies caught at the wicket for 15.
Mark Ramprakash, who has now scored just 52 runs in five innings this season, was caught at first slip pushing defensively at Jones. And Surrey were suddenly 59 for four when Rory Hamilton-Brown fell to the same bowler, caught at the wicket off one that bounced a bit more than anticipated.
The first rain interruption of the day followed shortly afterwards, after 85 minutes’ of play, and a restart at 1.30pm was followed by Zander de Bruyn departing for six, held at second slip following a loose stroke at Richardson.
Surrey had recovered to 117 for five by the time rain came again at 2:20pm, with Maynard playing some superb strokes – including two fours in the same over from Jones, the first through deep square-leg off his toes and the second driven powerfully over mid-on.
But then came the late burst of action, leaving Worcestershire firmly on top.