Surrey follow-on but hold out for a draw
Surrey follow-on but hold out for a draw
Lancashire's bowlers produced a valiant effort to push for victory on the final day of this Specsavers County Championship but came up against determined, and occasionally fortunate, Surrey resistance with the visitors, having followed-on, holding out for a draw with six wickets down in their second innings.
Graham Onions snapped up the final wicket of the first innings at the start of the day to finish with 4-49, with Surrey 235 all out and 204 runs behind. But the rest of the morning was one of frustration for the Red Rose attack as opening pair Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman survived several scares to reach lunch on 53-0. All the Lancashire bowlers came agonisingly close to making a breakthrough, Onions in particular when Burns bottom-edged a delivery that bounced just over the stumps. It was slow going with Stoneman taking 18 balls to get off the mark and just 11 runs scored in the first eleven overs.
Tom Bailey, who reached 100 first-class wickets during this match, struck in the first over of the afternoon when Stoneman feathered a catch to stand-in wicketkeeper Dane Vilas after making 29. And with no addition to the score Bailey removed Scott Borthwick’s off stump with a beautiful delivery which nipped back, the batsman playing no shot.
The visitors continued to defend stoutly, Burns and Dean Elgar scoring 15 runs in 12 overs until the Surrey captain inside-edged a Liam Livingstone delivery onto his pads, the ball looping up to Keaton Jennings at slip, for 33 with the score 68-3 at the halfway stage of the day.
Elgar-who had his bat snapped in two by a Joe Mennie delivery-was the next batsmen to go after making 14 in one hour of resistance, dabbing at a fairly full delivery from Jordan Clark and edging behind to Vilas, but Ben Foakes and Ollie Pope succeeded in reaching tea without further mishap on 103-4, still trailing by 101 runs.
Pope, dropped when on 12 five overs after tea, lent good support to Foakes as the pair batted steadily for 31 overs before being parted at the start of the final hour; Foakes reaching his half-century from 100 balls but then edging Bailey down the leg side to Vilas for 57 in the first over with the new ball. Pope followed two overs later, edging Bailey (4-13) to Livingstone at second slip for 41 with eight overs left to briefly raise Red Rose hopes.
Sam Curran and Ryan Patel held out to take Surrey safely through to the draw on 199-6.
Glen Chapple hailed the performance of his team-and the groundstaff-at the close.
“It was a brilliant performance on a good pitch,” he said.
“There was a bit in it on the first morning when we were asked to bat first-predictably-and after the first half hour I thought we played magnificent cricket, as good as you will see in this division.
“The effort from the lads was superb throughout, we controlled virtually every session of the match. There were some top-class performances, great partnerships and some real resilience and effort over the three days. It would have been an unbelievable effort to win in three days on that pitch. If it had gone the four days I think we would have come out on top.”
The Lancashire Head Coach was delighted with the efforts of the bowling unit.
“To a man I thought they were superb,” he said “It’s not an easy pitch to bowl on but they kept pressure on the Surrey batsmen. They asked questions, were aggressive but controlled at the same time.
“The purpose they’ve all shown and the fight to try and win the game, and the high skill levels is very pleasing.
“Anyone who has watched that game from start to finish knows we are playing well. We are here to fight for everything we can get in this division and we’ve shown we are a match for anybody.
And Chapple hailed Tom Bailey’s performance this week, adding: “To finish with figures like Tom has (8-67 in the match) is an unbelievable achievement to be honest. It just shows how much he is improving. Hopefully this is going to be a big year for him.”
Chapple also was full of praise for the efforts of the groundstaff.
“If you get bad weather early in the season, the team’s playing at home are going to be exposed. Matt (Merchant) did a great job with this pitch, he had two days of drying weather last week that enabled him to get a hard pitch together. In the first game of the season we didn’t have the weather to do that, it was a bit sticky, so the scores were low and not batter-friendly. This one was a great pitch. Credit to Matt and his team for producing it.
“I bet this pitch is probably most like a mid-season pitch and the best in the country at the moment. We’ve had a proper game of cricket here (this week).”
Looking over the season so far, Chapple said: “Everybody knows that all teams in this division are strong, I don’t think you can learn too much from early season results. Anyone who comes here will have to play good cricket if we keep those levels up.
“All we can control is our performances and this game we’ve got to be happy with. We’ve got to look to get points and it’s a very competitive division and we have to be focused on playing good cricket every day.
Alex Davies and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were injury absentees today and Chapple said: “Injury-wise fingers crossed Alex Davies is okay. He took a nasty blow on the thumb and stayed off as a precaution but he would have struggled to keep wicket. It hasn’t got worse which is a good sign.
“Shiv Chanderpaul will have to be looked at over the next few days. He’s got a very tight groin but we’ll see how he comes round into the middle of the week.
Points: Lancashire 12 Surrey 8
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
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