Worcestershire fall foul of downpour
Rain, perhaps fittingly, had the last word at the Kia Oval as the LV= County Championship Division One match between Surrey and Worcestershire ended in a draw.
Play was interrupted at 3:30pm, with Worcestershire on 94 for one chasing 246 after Surrey had been bowled out for 224 in their second innings.
The players never returned, and the match was called off just before 5pm.
It was a sad and frustrating end to a game that began with a first-day washout and a second which featured only 35 overs.
But, when seven wickets fell on that day and then 19 more on the third, a result looked probable as Surrey resumed today 152 ahead on 131 for six.
Rory Hamilton-Brown, the Surrey captain, took his overnight 55 not out to 76 before being eighth out at 164, dragging an attempted lofted drive tamely to long-on. He batted with a sensible mixture of defence and aggression for 96 balls, hitting eight fours.
Hamilton-Brown had earlier lost Gareth Batty for 19 - after the duo added 39 for the seventh wicket - when the off-spinning all-rounder was caught at point off a nasty lifter from left-armer David Lucas, which hit the shoulder of the bat.
The pitch, however, never misbehaved again and, indeed, seemed to flatten out as it dried further in the sunshine which preceded late afternoon rain.
Stuart Meaker, Jon Lewis and last man Jade Dernbach all hit out attractively to take Surrey’s overall lead well past 200 and visiting openers Daryl Mitchell and Michael Klinger had to negotiate a tricky three-over mini-session just before lunch.
But, as the afternoon went on, it seemed Worcestershire would be the ones to win this fascinating contest, with Klinger playing brilliantly to take the attack to the Surrey bowlers.
The 31-year-old Australian, who is acting as overseas player until his fellow countryman Phil Hughes becomes available in late May, was strong through the off side and Dernbach, in particular, felt the force of his driving and cutting.
He reached his fifty with a six down the ground against Batty and was 69 not out when his partner, Mitchell, was bowled by a beauty from Chris Jordan for 20.
Worcestershire still looked in control at that stage, only for the rain to intervene.