Published: 21st April, 2014
Essex closed the second day at the Kia Oval on 225-6 after the Surrey bowlers combined to put the batsmen under pressure throughout the day. Matthew Dunn took 3-53 but all the bowlers contributed as the day ended with honours just about even after the washout of yesterday.
Thankfully the sun arrived at the Kia Oval and play got underway on time as Surrey won the toss and decided to bowl. Alastair Cook and Jaik Mickleburgh looked solid against the new ball pairing of Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker as the Surrey pair found some early movement.
Cook looked in excellent touch playing nicely off his legs and dominating the scoring as Chris Tremlett and Dunn came into the attack. Surrey lost the services of Zafar Ansari when he collided with the boundary boards and was taken to hospital with suspected concussion and was later discharged for further assessment from the Surrey medical staff.
Essex moved past fifty in the first hour of play but Dunn then made the breakthrough when Cook top edged an attempted hook and Steven Davies took the catch behind the stumps to leave the visitors 60-1. Mickleburgh continued to play solidly but suddenly rain arrived at the Kia Oval and an early lunch was taken with Essex 73-1.
After the interval Mickleburgh moved onto 38 but he then edged an attempted drive from Dernbach and Graeme Smith took a sharp catch at first slip. Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara came together and moved Essex past 100as the batsmen were made to work hard for their runs.
Westley played nicely with a couple of attractive drives to the cover boundary as a partnership began to develop. Smith then switched Dunn to the Pavilion End and the Surrey paceman immediately had Westley caught at backward point by Jason Roy for 31. And two balls later Dunn dismissed Greg Smith courtesy of an excellent catch from Gary Wilson at second slip and Essex suddenly found themselves 126-4.
Bopara continued to play calmly and alongside Ben Foakes he steadied the innings as they guided the visitors to the tea break with the scoreboard reading 159-4 and Bopara unbeaten on 29. After the interval Meaker and Roy bowled well in tandem with Roy keeping it very tight from the Vauxhall End allowing Meaker to attack.
And Meaker ended Foakes stay at the crease when he bowled him for 22 to leave Essex 173-5. Bopara was joined by James Foster and they moved Essex past 200 and secured a first batting point. Bopara continued to show great patience and he moved onto 49 when he nudged a delivery from Roy down the legside and Davies took an excellent catch low to his left.
Foster and Graham Napier survived an excellent spell from the bowlers when bad light brought and end to the day with the scoreboard reading brightly 225-6. An intriguing day and Surrey’s bowlers will be looking to finish the Essex innings as quickly as possible on the third morning.