A defiant batting display for the ages from Hashim Amla staved off defeat for Surrey and thwarted Hampshire’s push for victory and their quest top-two finish in Group Two of the LV = County Championship.
Resuming on 6/2, Surrey held on for an unlikely draw, reaching 128-8, with former South Africa batsman Amla batting all day to be unbeaten on 37 from 278 balls.
Amla scored just three runs from the first 100 balls he faced and did not find the boundary rope until the 125th ball of his brave vigil, where he took three heavy blows to the body that had many traditionalists at the Ageas Bowl purring.
Hampshire’s attack bowled tirelessly but were left to rue the dropped chances – including a simple opportunity grassed by Ian Holland at leg slip 17 overs from the close when Amla was put down off the admirable Keith Barker, who finished with figures of 3-9 from 22 overs.
Ryan Patel soaked up 85 balls before his off-stump was uprooted by Abbott after lunch.
Felix Organ took Hampshire’s third wicket of the day when Jamie Smith’s inside edge looped into the hands of Holland, before first-innings centurion Colin de Grandhomme bowled debutante Ben Geddes for 15.
Barker got his third wicket when Jordan Clark was trapped lbw for four, before Organ raised hopes of a home victory when he bowled Jamie Overton.
However, Amla and fellow fellow veteran Rikki Clarke held firm for the final nine overs to see out the draw.