Warwickshire 161 (Burgess 54, Roche 4-64, Worrall 3-34) and trailed to 126 for 7 (Worrall 3-17, Clarke 3-22). Surrey 396 (Fowkes 125, Steele 71, Barnard 5-66) 109 runs
Surrey ends. They took 17 Warwickshire wickets at Kea Oval on Monday and will be at least 18 points clear in the Championship table when the dust settles as Essex are unlikely to reach a third batting bonus point against Middlesex. This round.
That means, depending on Essex’s current fixture against Middlesex and Hampshire’s visit to Chelmsford in two weeks’ time (neither of the first two matches will be played next week), Surrey can hope to clinch a second title in a row when they play their final home game. In the summer against Northamptonshire from September 19. It’s hard to argue that they haven’t earned it.
Despite the arrival of Craig Brathwaite for the final month of the season, Warwickshire’s squad for this match was always batter-light. They are without two first-choice top-order batsmen in Rob Yates (illness) and Alex Davies (back), while Jacob Bethell and Liam Norvell are also sidelined. Ed Barnard’s promotion to No. 3 was as confident as his first innings leave, and his two innings brought five runs between them.
Barnard’s day started brightly: he took three wickets, including two in three balls, for 5 for 66, his first Championship five-for since 2019. Surrey converted their overnight score of 339 for 4 to 396; They needed four runs from three balls to reach a fourth batting point when Ben Fox pulled Danny Briggs to deep midwicket for 125.
But this is not the oval pitch of old, where runs have flown freely all season. Only once this summer has a team reached 400 in a red-ball competition: Australia were bowled out for 463 in the first innings of the World Test Championship final in June. Surrey usually play on pitches with live turf, keeping their seamers at all levels interested.
„We thought it was a good batting wicket: there’s a little bit for the bowlers, but once you get yourself in, you can get a big score like Foxy did,” Roche said. „As a bowling unit, we did well. We are a very skilled team. When we put the ball in the right place, we got results. Happy to get 17 wickets, it makes tomorrow easier.”
Worrall dismissed both openers before lunch, looping one back into Will Rhodes’ off-stump and catching Brathwaite at the slips fencing on a short, wide outswinger. Roach, like Brathwaite, who is considered surplus to requirements for the six-time Caribbean Premier League franchise, bowled Barnard on his shoulder, then in his first over after lunch cut off Don Mousley and caught Chris Benjamin at slip.
Surrey enforced the follow-on after tea and Warwickshire struggled again, slumping from 19 to 20 for 4 off 15 balls. Clarke bowled Brathwaite and Hayne edged behind, while Rhodes, edging back and Barnard, nailed a drive straight to cover.
Warwickshire looked set for defeat within two days when Clarke caught Benjamin on the back pad at 35 for 5, still 200 behind. 75 were needed between Burgess and the counter-attacking Mousley to avoid that humiliation.
But just before the end, Roach knocked Burgess off stump and Briggs bagged Worrall at second slip to leave Surrey three wickets behind and Warwickshire face a trip to confirm their neutral status in the M40 tomorrow.
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98
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