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Day in the dirt for Surrey bowlers

Published: 8th July, 2019

Surrey fell behind at the halfway mark of this week’s Specsavers County Championship match with Kent at the Kia Oval.

Joe Denly and Daniel Bell-Drummond gave Kent the edge with a third wicket partnership of 110 in 34 overs before the end of the day came with the visitors on 285/4 and with a lead of 14.

Bell-Drummond, on 17, had his helmet broken by a nasty, rearing delivery from  Morkel, but went on to make 64.  Then Denly and Heino Kuhn, who made an aggressive 50 not out, added a brisk 72.  At the close Kent were 285-4, a lead of 14.

Denly followed his recent century against Notts at Tunbridge Wells with a battling innings of 88 in five hours, 19 minutes against Surrey before he fell to the first delivery with the new ball bowled by Morne Morkel.

Kent had made a difficult start to their innings when Sean Dickson, who was not playing a shot, was bowled for one by a big inswinger from Sam Curran.  But then Zak Crawley gave them momentum with a fluent 69 from 105 balls, with 13 fours.

In the morning Surrey had resumed on 244-6, with Ben Foakes (57) and Rikki Clarke (5)  the overnight batsmen.  Kent took the new ball eight balls later.  But when Clarke drove Matt Milnes for three fours in four deliveries the ball was changed.  It was just five balls old.

Then Foakes was bowled middle stump for 60, a beautiful delivery from Harry Podmore, Clarke was lbw for a lively 27 and finally Morkel was bowled shouldering arms.

Earlier in the day, Surrey had attempted to replace the ill Gareth Batty with fellow off-spinner Amar Virdi. Batty, who had taken no part in the match, had gone down with a “virulent virus” and Surrey obtained permission from Kent and consulted with the match’s Cricket Liaison Officer, Steve Davis.

They announced the replacement before the start of play but Davis contacted the England and Wales Cricket Board for a ruling and was told the switch could not be made.

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