Tom Lawes took four wickets on his LV= Insurance County Championship debut as leaders Surrey forced Kent to follow on at The Kia Oval.
The 19-year-old, swinging the ball consistently against the right-handers, sparked a collapse by taking three for 10 in the space of 18 balls either side of lunch after Kent, fortified by Daniel Bell-Drummond’s century, had been 216 for two.
They were bowled out for 331 with Lawes, a product of Surrey’s academy and Cranleigh School, finishing with four for 51.
“It’s been quite a surreal week making my T20 debut and then being called up to make my Champo debut. It’s awesome!” 🤎@tom_lawes reacts to taking four wickets on @CountyChamp debut with @backandacross after day three against Kent.#SurreyCricket pic.twitter.com/w7RfxE26iN
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) June 28, 2022
Kent followed on with a hefty deficit of 342 but openers Ben Compton and Joe Denly dug in to reach 121 for 0 at stumps. It was an impressive effort although they still trail by 221 with work to do on the final day.
Bell-Drummond and Jack Leaning had put on 161 for the third wicket in 54 overs to raise Kent’s hopes of saving the match on what remains a good batting surface.
When he reached 93, Bell-Drummond passed 7,000 first-class runs and a clip through mid-wicket off Gus Atkinson shortly afterwards took him to his 14th first-class century. Eventually he fell, driving a Will Jacks delivery to backward point for 102, which included ten fours.
Lawes could have claimed Leaning twice in the same over before eventually dismissing the Kent captain for 75. He failed to hold on to a tough return catch diving low to his left in his follow through before Dan Worrall dropped a chance at slip three balls later.
But the teenager’s perseverance was rewarded with two wickets in two overs as Leaning played on and Ollie Robinson drove airily and was caught at third slip. From 256 for three, Kent proceeded to lose their last seven wickets for 75 in 27 overs.
George Linde played on to Lawes in the third over after lunch and he had his fourth wicket when Matt Milnes wafted outside off stump and was caught behind.
Conor McKerr picked up two wickets when he switched to the Vauxhall End as Kent’s last four fell for 15 runs. Jordan Cox, who played well for his 47, clipped a leg-stump half-volley to mid-wicket and after Jacob Duffy was caught behind to give Atkinson his first wicket, McKerr finished things off courtesy of a superb reflex catch by Ben Geddes at short leg off Jas Singh’s firm push.
There were 44 overs left in the day when Kent began their second innings and Surrey were unable to find a breakthrough, but not due to a lack of effort. Compton coped well when Surrey’s seamers tested him against the short ball, while Jacks was brought into the attack in the ninth over.
The left-hander passed 1,000 Championship runs when he got to eight and Denly reached his highest score of an injury-affected season as Surrey’s seven bowlers toiled for a breakthrough.