16 wickets tumble on the opening day against Surrey
Tom Bailey takes five wickets on Day One
Tom Bailey finished with 5 for 53 as Lancashire bowled Division One leaders and title favourites Surrey out for 211 inside 53 overs in the pink ball Specsavers County Championship match at the Kia Oval.
But Morne Morkel led a Surrey fightback in a long 43-over final session, with Lancashire sliding to 134 for 6 in reply under the floodlights even though the hard-hitting Dane Vilas scored the first half-century of the match to lead a rally from 41 for 3 in a battling fourth wicket stand of 73 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Vilas, who warmed up by taking three fours from Rikki Clarke’s opening over with a leg glance, a cracking pull and then a delicate steer to a vacant third man boundary, had scored 61 from 88 balls when he drove hard at Sam Curran, who had returned for a second spell, and edged behind to his clear annoyance. He had hit 10 fours in all.
Former West Indies batsman Chanderpaul, who celebrated his 44th birthday last week remains 25 not out despite being beaten on a number of occasions and, on 1, surviving a concerted appeal for a catch behind the wicket off Morkel, who took 2 for 10 in his first six-over spell.
Clarke, recalled to complete Jade Dernbach’s tenth over when the Surrey fast bowler limped off, was then kept on at the Vauxhall End and, in his first full over back, had Steven Croft caught at first slip for 10 and Matt Parkinson leg-before for a duck.
Morkel, introduced after Lancashire had struggled to reach 33 for 1 with Jade Dernbach having Alex Davies caught at second slip for nought and Sam Curran seeing Rob Jones edge just short of keeper Ben Foakes on 2, had Jones held low at second slip for 10 – another sharp effort by Clarke – with his fourth ball.
The giant South African then bowled the stubborn Haseeb Hameed for 22 through a studious forward defensive stroke to leave Lancashire 41 for 3, but Vilas and Chanderpaul then frustrated the Surrey bowlers before Clarke’s double-strike ensured honours went the home side’s way after a dramatic and entertaining opening day on which the pink ball always held sway.
Bailey’s impressive new ball burst of 3 for 18 had put Lancashire in early charge, as Surrey slid to 28 for 3 and then 110 for 5 by the first interval after opting to bat from the 1.30pm start on winning a toss.
Aaron Finch and Sam Curran both batted well for 43 and 40 respectively but Clarke was run out for 15 following a mix-up with Ryan Patel, who soon edged Joe Mennie behind to go for 12, and it took an unlikely ninth wicket stand of 56 between Dernbach and Morkel to hoist Surrey above 200.
Dernbach was last man out for 31, lifting Bailey to deep mid wicket, and Morkel fell for 23 trying to repeat a six off leg spinner Parkinson that had brought up a batting bonus point for Surrey from the previous ball.
Parkinson had earlier sent back the dangerous Australian international Finch, who edged a perfectly-pitched leg break to second slip, while Curran – so unlucky to be left out of England’s third Test against India at Trent Bridge – was brilliantly held by diving keeper Davies off Bailey.
Surrey openers Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman both got off the mark with first ball boundaries in an opening over which cost Bailey ten runs. Burns edged the first ball of the match along the ground through the slip cordon, and Stoneman confidently square cut to the ropes.
But Bailey responded at the end of his second over by drawing Burns into a loose shot as he edged to second slip on 6, and then produced a beauty to have Stoneman taken low at third slip for 14.
Arun Harinath, driving, soon followed when he edged to the keeper in Bailey’s fifth over, leaving Surrey 28 for 3, and Ben Foakes was undone on 12 after a bright start by a perfect leg cutter from bustling seamer Mennie which he edged to Davies.
Finch straight drove Parkinson high for six in his opening over and also included three fours in a typically punchy 63-ball effort, but Surrey’s best innings was played by Curran, who stroked five fours in a 50-ball stay.