Foakes continues excellent form in tight contest - Kia Oval Skip to main content

Ben Foakes posted an assured half-century on day two of Surrey’s LV= Insurance County Championship match against Somerset at The Kia Oval, with the game intriguingly poised.

 

Ben Foakes rallied Surrey with 63 at The Kia Oval as the LV= Insurance County Championship’s early pace-setters replied with 204/5 to Somerset’s 337 on day two of a hard-fought Division One contest.

Ollie Pope also made an attractive 47 from 72 balls, in an 80-run fourth wicket partnership with Foakes, while Sam Curran scored 44 not out in his first knock of the season following a stress fracture in the back that had sidelined the England all-rounder for six months.

But Peter Siddle struck an important blow for Somerset when he had Foakes caught at second slip from the last ball of the 59th over, leaving Will Jacks to keep Curran company for 10 more overs until play ended for bad light at 6.20pm with 4.5 overs of the day’s allocation unbowled.

The in-form Pope’s innings was only ended by a quite brilliant one-handed diving catch on the deep square-leg boundary by Tom Banton, but the same player earlier put down a comparatively easy chance at mid wicket when Foakes, on just 2, clipped Josh Davey off his pads straight to him.

Surrey would have been 59/4 if Banton had held on to that opportunity, so his celebration and smile 24 overs later said it all after he had sprawled to his right and, miraculously, come up with the ball after Pope pulled Craig Overton high with a stroke that the England Test batter expected would take him to his fifty.

Foakes was then joined by Curran in another good stand of 45 for the fifth wicket, reaching his own half-century with a lovely back-foot force through extra cover for four off Jack Brooks – soon after Curran had produced probably the shot of the day with a gorgeous straight-driven four off Davey.

There were 10 fours overall for Foakes, who now has 240 runs from his first three Championship innings of the campaign.

Curran, superbly on-driving Siddle for another of his six fours, played an excellent hand and there was also time before stumps for Jacks to hit two quality boundaries in his unbeaten 10. It all added up to a creditable Surrey recovery after they had lost their first three wickets inside the opening 18 overs of the innings.

Ryan Patel was first to go, for 5, well-held at the second attempt in the gully by Jack Leach as the left-hander cut hard at former Australia paceman Siddle.

Rory Burns, having batted securely for an hour either side of lunch for 12, was brilliantly caught off Overton by keeper Steven Davies, who dived across in front of first slip to hold a thick edge as Burns tried to work wide of mid-on off his pads.

And it was 48/3 when Hashim Amla deflected a rising ball from Brooks to second slip as he attempted to take his bat away at the last second.

Things might have been different had Banton not dropped Foakes off Davey, but by stumps a match between the division’s top and bottom teams was fascinatingly poised at the halfway mark.

Somerset, resuming on 283/6 after a hard-fought first day, were earlier guided to 337 all out by Tom Abell who took his overnight 121 to a classy unbeaten captain’s innings of 150 that spanned more than seven hours. Abell struck 22 fours, and faced 298 balls.

Surrey chipped away at Somerset’s lower order, however, with Davey falling for 27 to a chest-high third slip catch by Jacks off Jordan Clark and Leach, Siddle and Brooks all going cheaply.

Leach, having hung around a while for his 6, chipped James Taylor to mid off from a leading edge, Siddle was run out for 2 by Curran’s throw from third man as he tried to get back for a second run and last man Brooks edged Reece Topley’s left-arm swingers to first slip to go for 0.