A record second wicket stand of 217 between Rory Burns (121) and Arun Harinath(109) who both made struck their maiden Championship hundred’s has given Surrey an excellent chance of forcing a victory against Middlesex.
The Surrey pair batted exceptionally well and their efforts saw Surrey dismissed for 341 a lead of 253. And at stumps Middlesex were 45-1 as Gareth Batty picked up the prized wicket of Chris Rogers late in the day.
Burns and Harinath began the morning with Surrey 86-1 and they picked up where they had left off on the second evening. Both played watchfully moving Surrey into the lead and then taking Surrey past 100.
Harinath moved to his first Championship fifty of the summer from his 109th delivery when he whipped Tim Murtagh to the midwicket boundary. And Burns then moved to his half century from his 110th delivery with a boundary off Toby Roland-Jones as the partnership between the Surrey pair moved past 100.
Together Burns and Harinath guided Surrey through the first hour of play and continued to bat with great intelligence as the field was pushed back and they kept rotating the strike building Surrey’s lead.
Harinath and Burns moved their partnership to the 150 mark and Harinath then moved past his previous best in First Class cricket when he worked Andrew Balbernie to the boundary rope. The partnership moved past the previous best for the second wicket for Surrey against Middlesex as both batsmen took themselves into the nineties.
And Burns then brought up his maiden Championship hundred when he worked Dawid Malan into the legside for a single. His century had arrived from 193 balls and had included twelve boundaries.
All eyes turned to Harinath and in the next over he paddle swept Joe Denly and as he came back for the second run he brought up his maiden First Class hundred from 178 deliveries with nine boundaries.
Together Burns and Harinath guided Surrey to lunch with the scoreboard reading 210-1 with the partnership worth 197 and Surrey’s lead 122. After the break the Surrey pair moved the score onto 230 but on 109 Harinath drove at Steven Crook and was caught by Chris Rogers at slip. It had been a fine innings from Harinath and the partnership with Burns had been worth 217.
Zander de Bruyn came to the crease and was positive straight away as a partnership began to develop for the third wicket and the lead continued to grow. Middlesex took the new ball straight away and Roland-Jones brought Burns’ exceptional innings to an end when he trapped him LBW for 121 to leave Surrey 264-3.
And Roland-Jones had a second wicket when he had De Bruyn on 23 caught by Rogers at slip. And that became 278-5 when Roland-Jones trapped Rory Hamilton-Brown LBW for 2. Jason Roy was looking in excellent touch as he had in the first innings but on 17 he was trapped LBW by Crook.
Steven Davies and Gareth Batty moved the score past 300 and Surrey went to the tea break with the scoreboard reading 303-6 and the lead 215. After tea Roland-Jones bowled Batty for 3 and Murali Kartik was LBW to Crook for 2 and Surrey found themselves 318-8.
Davies played sensibly keeping the scoreboard moving and extending Surrey’s lead. Davies had moved onto 44 when he picked out Crook off the bowling of Tim Murtagh to leave Surrey 341-9. And in the following over Tom Smith dismissed Jade Dernbach without scoring as Surrey were all out for 341.
254 for Middlesex to win Chris Rogers and Sam Robson gave them a solid start to their run chase. Rogers had moved onto 19 when Batty trapped him LBW with three overs of the day remaining leaving the visitors 43-1. Robson and Smith guided Middlesex to stumps with the scoreboard reading 45-1.
A fascinating final day awaits at the Kia Oval and thanks to the efforts of Burns and Harinath, Surrey have given themselves an excellent chance of forcing a crucial victory.
To see highlights of the third day watch the video below