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  • Specsavers County Championship 3m

    Devastating Footitt spell too good for Warwickshire

    Mark Footitt decimated Warwickshire with a spell of 6-14 in nine overs to put Surrey in total control at the Kia Oval

    Remarkable fast bowling by Mark Footitt, who took 6 for 14 in a nine-over spell of relentless hostility either side of tea, left Warwickshire’s first innings shattered as they were tumbled out for 91 at the Kia Oval.

    Forced to follow on, in reply to Surrey’s first innings 454, Warwickshire had reached 29 without loss in their second innings by stumps, still 334 runs behind.

    Footitt’s fiery initial burst of three for nought in nine balls, just before the interval, sent Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell and Sam Hain on their way for ducks and put Surrey in complete command of their Specsavers Division One opener.

    Another good-sized crowd, basking in the south London sun, lapped it up as Footitt roared in from the Vauxhall End to leave Warwickshire reeling at 39 for 4 at tea and, shortly afterwards, 42 for 7.


    Warwickshire had actually been 30 without loss, but then Sam Curran winkled out Alex Mellor for 18, edging low to third slip, and, suddenly, Footitt – brought on as first change after a five-over new ball spell from Tom Curran – poured himself into the breach.

    In his second over, a dramatic 15th of the innings, the former Derbyshire left-armer had Trott leg-before shuffling across his stumps before, three balls later, angling one across Bell to square him up on the back foot and have Warwickshire’s other high-profile former England batsman caught at second slip.

    Hain, pushing weakly at another rapid delivery, was also held by Scott Borthwick at second slip and, resuming his spell after the break for tea, Footitt saw opener Will Porterfield edge behind for 18 and both Rikki Clarke and Keith Barker fall for ducks – the fourth and fifth Warwickshire batsmen to fall to him without scoring.

    Clarke was leg-before, soon after being beaten all ends up by a Footitt thunderbolt, and Barker castled by one that seemed to shoot through a little low, one ball after fending off a vicious lifter.

    Jade Dernbach, brought on for the 26th over, removed Tim Ambrose for 6 with his third ball – courtesy of another smart catch low down at second slip by Borthwick – and when Sam Curran relieved Footitt the younger left-arm paceman almost immediately struck again to have Jeetan Patel taken at second slip for 8. That was a fourth catch for Borthwick.


    A last wicket partnership of 30 between Chris Wright and Oliver Hannon-Dalby spared Warwickshire the embarrassment of being dismissed for their lowest championship total for almost four decades, but it was all over when Hannon-Dalby mishit Tom Curran to square leg to go for 2 and leave Wright, only the third Warwickshire batsman to reach double figures, unbeaten on 28 from 30 balls.

    Wicket-to-wicket, Footitt’s wrecking-ball burst was 6 for 3 in 32 balls, and it is the fourth championship match in succession, going back to late last August, that the 31-year-old has taken five or more wickets in an innings. Close to England Test selection at times in the past two years, especially when he was included in the squad for the 2015-16 tour to South Africa, Footitt can surely spearhead a Surrey tilt at the championship title this summer if he stays fit.

    Earlier Kumar Sangakkara’s carefully-constructed 71, from 161 balls, had pushed Surrey on from their overnight 327 for 3, but a hint that batsmen might not continue to have things all their own way came when Surrey struggled to accelerate following Sangakkara’s exit, leg-before to the persevering Hannon-Dalby at 378 for 4. Fellow seamer Wright was the chief beneficiary as he finished with figures of 5 for 113.

    Off spinner Patel also picked up a couple of late wickets, as reward for more accurate bowling on a second day of toil for the visiting attack, and only Ben Foakes briefly flourished with 34 from 66 balls. Surrey, indeed, lost their last seven wickets for 76 runs in 27 overs but that was as nothing compared to the Footitt-induced carnage that was to come when Warwickshire batted.

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