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Burns 100 Leads Surrey Reply At Worcs

Published: 11th September, 2018

Surrey need just four more points to seal their first County Championship title for 16 years after another impressive performance from Rory Burns on the second day against Worcestershire at New Road.

On the day Alastair Cook ended his England career at the Kia Oval, Burns reinforced his claims to fill his shoes at Test level by making an unbeaten 103 of Surrey’s 213-6.

Somerset’s six wicket setback against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl has opened the door for the destination of the title to be decided with two games to spare.

Surrey began their first innings knowing maximum batting points would enable them to secure silverware and the first of those has been claimed.

If they failed to achieve that target, then at least a draw would be sufficient to start the champagne corks popping sometime in the next two days.

But they were made hard to work for any rewards by a Wayne Parnell inspired Worcestershire and their bottom placed opponents need points just as importantly in their battle to stay in Division One.

First the South African shepherded Worcestershire to three batting points by making a disciplined 42 as they totalled 336 all out in 116.4 overs – an excellent recovery from 165-5.

Then the 29-year-old produced an excellent opening spell which brought him the wickets of Mark Stoneman and Dean Elgar for ducks.

He enjoyed a third success in dismissing Ollie Pope (48) before leaving the field with the webbing of his right hand strapped up after fielding a return drive from Rory Burns.

Steady morning rain prevented any play before lunch but both teams quickly made up for lost time as ball generally held sway over bat.

Worcestershire began the day on 288-6 and Morne Morkel dismissed Ed Barnard without addition to his overnight 63. A square drive for four by Parnell off the same over brought up the 300.

But Tom Curran collected wickets in successive overs with Ben Twohig (2) caught behind and Josh Tongue (5) pouched at short cover.

Parnell’s determined effort ended when he pushed forward to Amar Virdi and nicked through to Rikki Clarke at slip.

He had defied the Surrey attack for 104 balls and struck six boundaries. Parnell immediately rocked Surrey back on their heels by bowling Stoneman and having Elgar brilliantly caught at backward point by Barnard from successive deliveries.

Pope survived the hat-trick ball but was dropped by Daryl Mitchell at second slip from his third ball faced in the same over.

Burns and Pope counter-attacked to good effect after tea during a partnership of 97 in only 23 overs.

But Parnell switched ends and enjoyed a third success when Pope drove at the left armer and was caught behind.

It became 135-4 when spinner Ben Twohig accounted for Will Jacks (17) who tried to work the ball through mid wicket and was bowled.

Burns continued on unflustered and found a willing partner in Rikki Clarke (33) in adding 68 for the fifth wicket. Two wickets fell in two overs near to the close.

Clarke (33) was undone by a Ross Whiteley lifter which he nicked to the keeper and Tom Curran (0) fell at first slip off Tongue. But Burns completed his ton – from 165 balls with 16 fours – with a single off Mitchell.

Ben Foakes was unable to bat today because of illness but is expected to be fit enough to participate tomorrow.

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