Jamie Overton’s season’s best six for 61 and a breezy 28 up the order helped LV= Insurance County Championship leaders Surrey seal a thrilling final day victory over Yorkshire at Scarborough as they pursued 227 to win by four wickets with three balls remaining
England Test quick Overton’s exploits with the ball set up the victory target in the final 44 overs of a high-scoring contest which only burst into life when he struck twice in the penultimate over of day three.
Surrey’s chances of a fifth win in nine games were left doubtful at 147 for six as a tigerish home bowling display was led by two wickets apiece for Jordan Thompson and Shannon Gabriel.
But Overton’s England Test team-mate Ben Foakes and Australian Aaron Hardie saw them home with an unbroken 81 stand, the pair finishing 42 and 40 not out.
Yorkshire, who started the day on 65 for two – a lead of 71, were bowled out for 220 midway through the afternoon, including Matthew Waite’s career best unbeaten 59.
While Surrey’s victory yielded 22 points and puts them 15 clear of Hampshire in second, Yorkshire were expecting to claim seven from their second defeat in eight. But that may change by three points due to a slow over-rate in the game. They are ensconced in mid-table either way.
Yorkshire lost four wickets during a morning interrupted by 25 minutes of bad light and rain.
George Hill, Will Fraine, James Wharton and Will Luxton fell lbw before lunch to give Surrey a real sniff of victory.
Each fell to a different bowler, started by Overton trapping Hill in front for 38 with a devastating yorker five overs into the day, leaving Yorkshire 73 for three.
Dan Worrall got Fraine with the first ball after the resumption at midday – 80 for four – before Wharton fell to Tom Lawes and debutant Luxton to Hardie.
Yorkshire reached lunch 136 for six, a lead of 141 with a minimum of 67 overs remaining.
Either side of the break, Waite and first-innings centurion Jonny Tattersall shared a calming 52 for the seventh wicket.
However, within six balls of each other, Tattersall (14) was trapped lbw by the off-spin of Will Jacks and Thompson was caught at second slip by Jacks off Overton, whose fourth wicket left Yorkshire at 180 for eight in the 59th over – a lead of 186 with almost 53 overs remaining.
Steve Patterson then fell to the same combination as Thompson shortly afterwards, handing Overton his second five-for of 2022.
That gave Waite license to attack with only Gabriel for company.
Waite reached his fifty off 73 balls as he took three fours off a Worrall over to elevate the lead beyond 220, only for Gabriel to edge behind off Overton to end a 32 stand.
Rory Burns and Ryan Patel started Surrey’s chase confidently, scoring at just under five runs per over until the former was stumped for 20 advancing at the off-spin of Dom Bess two balls before tea, where the visitors reached at 32 for one in the seventh over.
Gabriel was not on the field when Surrey’s chase started having sustained a hip injury fielding in the first innings. But he returned after tea with gusto.
Surrey slowed up in the early stages of the evening in the face of some testing bowling from Bess – and this chase was by no means plain sailing.
Ryan Patel miscued Patterson to cover for 27 before Hashim Amla (28) uppercut Thompson to third, leaving Surrey 90 for three in the 20th.
Overton had been elevated to number four to increase the scoring rate and got off the mark with a six over long-on off Bess, repeating the dose before falling lbw to a Thompson slower ball – 121 for four in the 24th.
Then Gabriel steamed in, trapping Jacks lbw for 27 and uprooting Jamie Smith’s off-stump with a beauty in his first two overs as a Surrey win suddenly became doubtful at 147 for six in the 28th, 80 still needed by the leaders.
But Foakes (41 balls) and Hardie initially steadied and then shared three sixes off Bess.
Hardie pulled the winning runs off Patterson with four needed off the last over to gain revenge for last week’s final over Vitality Blast defeat at the Oval.
Yorkshire have been docked two points for a slow over-rate. They take five points from this match.
Surrey’s Aaron Hardie said:
“We’re absolutely pumped (to win that).
“To come here today and win was a bit of a dream. Everything had to go perfectly to plan, and it pretty much did.
“We’re buzzing in the changing rooms, and we’ll enjoy the long drive back tonight.
“To Yorkshire’s credit, they came really hard. Shannon Gabriel bowled really well. Our plan was to take it deep because we knew we’d be the ones driving the game.
“If we took risks early and lost wickets, Yorkshire would be a chance of winning.
“We wanted to get Yorkshire out of the contest and have a crack late on. It worked.”
Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson said:
“You never really find much to be proud about in defeat, but at the same time I am proud of the way we fought with some inexperience in the team – Tattersall playing his first game of the season and Luxton making his debut.
“But it’s another game lost.
“Every game we’ve played in four-day cricket this year has gone down to the last hour, so it says that we’re not conceding an inch. Over time, we’ll find a way to win.
“That’s been the one frustration this year. We’ve found ourselves in winning positions in a large number of games and haven’t been able to get across the line.”