On a competitive second day, Surrey’s penultimate wicket rose to the occasion to push the Three Feathers beyond 400 before Yorkshire fought back with the bat to reduce their opponents’ lead to 95 and keep this Second XI Championship fixture at Guildford in balance.
Resuming on 348/8, the ninth wicket pairing of Ollie Sykes and Amar Virdi batted brilliantly to add 79 runs off 84 balls together in the morning session. The course of their attacking alliance saw Surrey Academy’s Sykes notch up a well-made 55, which included some glorious drives down the ground, while Virdi launched a six and five fours in his cameo of 29 runs off 30 deliveries.
Yorkshire’s frustration eventually ended when the handy lower-order stand was broken by DJ Leech, who got Sykes caught behind, before Virdi was dismissed by JA Gunn on the very next ball from the other end as Surrey finished on a competitive total of 427.
Seamer Leech (3/80) posted the best figures for the visitors, while ME Milnes, Gunn, and Shutt also collected two wickets apiece.
The White Rose’s opening pair of WA Luxton and Y Vagadia started positively against the new ball, swaying their way to 52/0 from 10 overs by the time lunch was called.
While skipper Luxton was quite cautious in his approach in the first wicket stand of 64, the brunt of the heavy lifting was done by Vagadia, who had raced to 56 off 47 when Dan Moriarty uprooted his stumps.
The visitors continued their good start by adding 56 runs and reached 120/1 before NM Kelly was cleaned up by Tommy Ealham for 18 off 57 balls.
31 runs and 43 balls later, off-spinner Ealham claimed his second wicket as HG Duke’s (8) reserve sweep was caught by Arjun Gill at backward point.
W Fraine then joined his skipper in the middle, and the two of them combined for an impressive partnership of 101 runs, with Luxton also bringing up his century in the process.
It was Virdi who got the breakthrough and ended Luxton’s 212-minute stay in the middle when the off-spinner found the opener’s outer edge that was caught by Geddes at slip for 115.
However, the new pairing of Fraine and BM Mike denied Surrey from making further inroads as they added 48 runs and took the visitors to 300/4 by the time Fraine dragged on, attempting to reverse sweep Moriarty, for a well-made 67.
Once again, in the aftermath of a wicket, Yorkshire maintained their discipline and absorbed Surrey’s mounting pressure to eventually form a steady partnership as Mike and IF Light added 32 unbeaten runs and seeing the visitors to 332/5 by the close, 95 behind Surrey. In the process, Mike became the fourth Yorkshire batter to pass fifty.
All of Yorkshire’s five wickets have been claimed by the spinners, with Moriarty (2/86) and Ealham (2/51) being Surrey’s most potent bowlers.