Report: Warwickshire vs Surrey, Specsavers County Championship

Day 4

Surrey took a giant step away from relegation trouble and gave Warwickshire a giant shunt towards it by completing a 226-run victory in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship at Edgbaston.

Chasing a notional victory target of 396, which would have been their fifth-highest fourth-innings total ever, Warwickshire were bowled out for 169 after tea as Surrey took emphatic revenge for their heavy defeat in the reverse fixture at Guildford last month.

The home batting was pared away in the sunshine by a remoreseless collective effort from Surrey's attack, six of whom took wickets.

Warwickshire resumed on the final morning on two for one and had few alarms in the first 40 minutes but then quickly lost both overnight batsmen. Nightwatchman Chris Wright backed up too far and was run out at the non-striker's end by Gareth Batty's throw from mid-on. Varun Chopra edged Mark Footitt's sixth ball of the innings to wicketkeeper Steven Davies.

That brought together big guns Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott but the latter lasted just 33 minutes before edging an excellent ball from Stuart Meaker to wicketkeeper Steven Davies.

At lunch Warwickshire were 72 for four with Bell on 14 and Laurie Evans showing he was up for a battle, having made just four in 47 balls up to the interval. Surrey's tandem spin attack of Batty and Zafar Ansari bowled skilfully to keep the scoring rate around one run per over after lunch and Evans soon fell when he played back to a turning delivery from Ansari and had his off-stump knocked out.

Bell gritted his way to 32 (104 balls, four fours) and added 34 in 19 overs with Tim Ambrose but then bat-padded Batty to Rory Burns at short leg. Ambrose (was was to end on 27 not out from 135 balls) and Rikki Clarke dug in for 31 in 14 overs and were on the brink of taking their side through to tea when, in the final over of the session, Clarke was bowled offering no shot to Sam Curran.

That left Warwickshire 142 for seven which quickly became 147 for eight when Keith Barker edged Meaker to the wicketkeeper. Jeetan Patel struck 16 from 20 balls before slashing Footitt high to Burns at third slip. When Olly Hannon-Dalby bat-padded Batty to silly-point it was all over and Surrey's players dissolved into paroxysms of joy. For Warwickshire, problems mount.

Day 3

Kumar Sangakkara made the smooth transition from T20 to four day cricket to help Surrey tighten their grip on their Specsavers County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

The former Sri Lanka left-hander, playing championship cricket for the first time in two months having helped the Tallawahs win the Caribbean Premier League, stroked a stylish 88 against his former county which tipped the balance firmly in Surrey’s favour.

Sangakkara narrowly missed out on the 56th first-class century of his career but his efforts, and a breezy 62 from Sam Curran, sustained Surrey against a persistent attack and took them to 390 all out, which left Warwickshire needing 396 for an unlikely win.

Surrey enjoyed the best batting conditions of the match with a day of unbroken sunshine which were enjoyed by nightwatchman Stuart Meaker who extended his shift until after lunch for a defiant 41, his highest score in two years.

Meaker outlasted Rory Burns, who went LBW working Oliver Hannon-Dalby off his legs, but his vigil of just short of three hours ended when he was caught behind pushing forward to Jeetan Patel.

Sangakkara, who shared a third wicket stand of 60 with Meaker, played positively and reached his 50 from 71 balls then enjoyed a slice of luck on 76 when wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose was unable to hold a chance off Patel.

Ambrose also missed a more difficult chance when Zafar Ansari edged Chris Wright but he soon made amends which broke a fourth wicket partnership of 61 with Sangakkara.

Jason Roy helped Sangakkara to up the tempo by contributing 36 to a fifth wicket stand of 54 but the pair departed in successive overs from Keith Barker after tea. Roy edged to Rikki Clarke at slip and Sangakkara departed two balls later when he nibbled to Ambrose having struck 12 fours from 126 balls.

Warwickshire needed to wrap up Surrey’s second innings quickly, instead the left-handed pair of Steve Davies and Sam Curran clobbered 102 in 17 overs in an aggressive seventh wicket partnership.

Davies passed 1,000 first-class runs for the season on his way to a chirpy 42 and Curran improvised audaciously, pulling Hannon-Dalby one-handed for one of his three sixes.

The return of Chris Wright broke the stand as Davies picked out deep midwicket and Tom Curran went next ball, feathering a catch to Ambrose.

Sam Curran soon followed when he gave Ambrose his fifth catch of the innings and Wright his fourth wicket and Mark Footitt holed out to long on. Warwickshire faced an uncomfortable two overs at the end of a testing day and lost Ian Westwood, LBW to the fourth ball from Tom Curran, for a duck.

Day Two

Eighteen-year-old seam-bowler Sam Curran took the starring role with five wickets as Warwickshire and Surrey delivered a superb day of Specsavers County Championship cricket at Edgbaston.

Curran, playing only his 13th first-class match, took five for 44, including a devastating burst of three for two in 18 balls, to leave the home side reeling at 101 for six in reply to Surrey's 252.

But led by Keith Barker (62, 82 balls, ten fours) and Ian Bell (43, 130 balls, four fours), Warwickshire recovered to reach 247, a deficit of just five runs, before Surrey reached 33 for one second time round in 15 overs up to the close.

On an excellent pitch, offering reward for all types of bowler and demanding high batting skills, the contest has been utterly compelling and of an intensity, quality and drama redolent of Test cricket. A good-sized crowd was engrossed all day and ended it without a clue which way the game will swing next.

Warwickshire began their first innings at start of play and soon lost Varun Chopra, who edged Tom Curran to Jason Roy at second slip. Ian Westwood and Jonathan Trott added 40 from 15 overs before falling in the space of nine balls from Stuart Meaker. Trott, on 13, edged an attempted cut and wicketkeeper Steven Davies parried the ball to Kumar Sangakkara at slip. Westwood reached 45 (92 balls, nine fours), his championship-best this season, then edged to Roy.

From 91 for three at lunch, Warwickshire then had their middle-order ripped out by that high-class salvo from Sam Curran. Laurie Evans and Tim Ambrose were caught by Rory Burns in the gully, in the latter case quite brilliantly, and Rikki Clarke fell lbw to a swinging yorker.

That was 101 for six but Bell and Barker added 95 in 28 overs - the biggest partnership of the match so far.  While Barker was aggressive, Bell was at his most resolute and it took a near-unplayable ball to remove him when Sam Curran got one to rear off a length and Dominic Sibley made no mistake in the slips.

When Sibley pounced again to end Barker's resistance, Curran had his five-for but Jeetan Patel (29, 30 balls) and Chris Wright (18 not out, 26 balls) ensured that 50 were added for the last two wickets to take their side almost to parity.

Patel then had Sibley well-caught by a diving Westwood at short leg in the penultimate over of the day.

Day One

Warwickshire spinner Jeetan Patel was again a thorn in Surrey's side as they were bowled out for 252 on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston.

Patel, who took ten wickets during Warwickshire's emphatic victory at Guildford in early July, added another four on his home ground to take his championship tally this season to 45.

Having chosen to bat, Surrey saw several players get in but none play a major innings. Rory Burns (50, 153 balls), Kumar Sangakkara (47, 96), Steven Davies (38, 60) and Dominic Sibley (33, 89) put down roots but were then prised out by an attack which, led by Patel (four for 58) and Rikki Clarke (three for 46), maintained pressure all day.

After the formality of the toss (Surrey have won 32 of the last 35, Warwickshire just one in the championship all season) openers Burns and Sibley added 62 in 27.3 overs before the latter bat-padded Patel to short leg. Burns ground on to a half-century before Patel switched to the Pavilion End and won an lbw decision.

Sangakkara and Zafar Ansari took their side to a promising 146 for two just before tea but then perished to indiscrete shots to successive balls. Ansari edged an attempted drive at Olly Hannon-Dalby to third slip and Sangakkara tried to force Patel and sliced to slip.

Jason Roy was reprieved by a dropped catch at long leg on five and a missed stumping on 11, but failed to exploit his good fortune, edging Clarke to the wicketkeeper. His was the first of three wickets in a fiery evening spell by the former Surrey player. After Davies leading-edged Patel to extra cover, Clarke struck quickfire blows by forcing the Curran brothers to send catches behind the stumps.

Stuart Meaker top-edged a pull at Chris Wright and was well-caught by Varun Chopra running back from slip. Captain Gareth Batty counter-attacked  effectively for 27 (23 balls) to lift his side to a second batting point before bring pinned lbw by Keith Barker.

Warwickshire were then spared an awkward three overs batting before the close by bad light.

Surrey are without Ben Foakes (quad strain), rested as a precaution ahead of next Thursday's Royal London Cup quarter-final at Northampton, while

Warwickshire make two changes in the top order. Opener Ian Westwood has replaced the out-of-form Andy Umeed while Laurie Evans, recalled from a loan spell at Northamptonshire, has come in for Sam Hain (sore shoulder).

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Brian Halford

Brian is Warwickshire's Club Journalist and has reported on the Bears since 2000.