Published: 2nd April, 2014
An unbeaten century from Steven Davies and lovely bowling from Tim Linley have left Surrey in an excellent position to push for victory on the final morning at Fenner’s.
Surrey declared on 259-3 with Davies 100* and Gary Wilson 53* after Dominic Sibley had made 61 earlier in the day. And Linley then reduced Cambridge MCCU to 27-3 when bad light and rain brought an early end to proceedings.
Sibley and Rory Burns began the morning with bat in hand for Surrey and both started confidently. Sibley found the boundary with a flick off his hip and Burns looked comfortable as they guided Surrey through the first half an hour of play.
Patrick Sadler came into the attack and made the breakthrough when he trapped Burns LBW for 11 to leave Surrey 25-1. Zafar Ansari, fresh off the back of his half century yesterday immediately found the boundary on a couple of occasions as the Cambridge bowlers found some late movement in the air.
The Surrey pair moved the score past fifty and as it had done for the batsmen on the opening day their hard work started to pay dividends as the runs began to flow. Ansari played a couple of handsome shots off the front foot and Sibley accumulated his runs in good style especially through the legside.
Ansari had moved onto 31 when Zain Shahzad switched to bowl around the wicket and the change of angle did the trick as he bowled the left hander to leave Surrey 84-2. Ansari’s wicket fell on the cusp of lunch as Sibley went to the interval unbeaten on 41.
After the interval Davies began fluently and Sibley moved to his fifty from his 122nd delivery with a punch through the covers off Shahzad that raced to the boundary. But Shahzad then nipped a ball back at Sibley who was adjudged LBW for 61 to leave Surrey 111-3.
Davies continued to play elegantly and at the other end Wilson was immediately busy at the crease. Together they took Surrey through the afternoon session with no great alarms as Davies eased the ball around Fenner’s and Wilson played nicely off both front and back foot.
As the lead grew the run rate increased and Davies moved to a silky fifty from 87 balls with a smooth cover drive off Sadler that raced to the boundary rope. Surrey moved past 200 and when tea arrived Davies was unbeaten on 70 and Wilson was 38* and the partnership was worth 103.
Davies slipped into fifth gear after the break striking three quick boundaries and Wilson moved to a richly deserved fifty with a pleasing drive straight back down the ground to the Pavilion boundary. A single took Davies to his century from 121 balls and Surrey immediately declared on 259-3 with Wilson 53*.
Surrey’s lead was 243 and Tim Linley reduced the hosts to 2-1 when he had James Johnson smartly caught by Wilson at 2nd slip. And that became 5-2 Adil Arif edged Linley to the safe hands of Jason Roy at 3rd slip on 1.
Stuart Meaker was once again bowling with control and pace from the Pavilion End as Nipuna Seneratne and AlexHearne looked to repair the early damage. But Linley was in a lovely rythm and took his third wicket when he had Hearne well caught by Gareth Batty at 1st slip for 4.
The umpires decided to take the players off as the light became gloomy and rain started to fall with Cambridge MCCU 27-3 and Linley with figures of 3-5 from his 7 overs. No more play was possible at Fenner’s and Surrey will return in the morning looking to press for a quick victory.