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Final Day Chase Set Up In Worcs

Published: 12th September, 2018

Surrey were left a 272 target as they bid to secure the Specsavers County Championship title after an inspired spell by Morne Morkel on day three of their clash with Worcestershire at New Road.

Morkel picked up five wickets for five runs in 38 balls as Worcestershire collapsed from 154-2 to 203 all out in their second innings when a much larger chase had looked to be looming for the visitors.

The result is also of paramount significance to Worcestershire in their battle to remain in the top flight after an impressive win over Yorkshire has been followed by successive setbacks against Lancashire and Hampshire.

For much of the day, Worcestershire had appeared to be dictating proceedings.

They collected the last four Surrey first innings wickets for 55 runs to earn a lead of  68 and then another polished innings from Tom Fell pressed home the advantage.

But not for the first time this season, Morkel demonstrated his value to Surrey – and he remains such a potent force with the ball – as Worcestershire capsized.

When Surrey resumed this morning, Josh Tongue made the first breakthrough when Morkel (16) shouldered arms and was bowled.

Ben Foakes (13) – batting down the order because of illness – edged Dillon Pennington to Fell in the gulley region.

Burns’ fine knock ended on 122 when he went for a pull against Ed Barnard and miscued to Parnell at mid on. His 206 ball knock contained 18 fours.

The innings ended when Jade Dernbach (6) holed out to Tongue at long off against Pennington.

Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell and Fell put on 65 in relatively untroubled fashion before the former on 15 nicked Rikki Clarke to second slip.

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Another one angling in from Rikki Clarke and it’s a great grab from Burns in the slips. 👐 pic.twitter.com/7Wdv1dRk2S

— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) September 12, 2018

Debutant Ollie Westbury (15) tried to work spinner Amar Virdi on the leg side and was lbw but Worcestershire still looked on course to set a target well in excess of 300 as keeper Alex Milton joined Fell for a stand of 63.

Cue the introduction of Morkel and Milton (24) edged a ball of extra bounce and was caught behind and then, to the final ball before tea, Fell was squared up and bowled.

His impressive 89 from 134 balls with 13 fours was a season’s best contribution and followed on from his first innings 69 – but Worcestershire failed to capitalise as Morkel and Virdi cleaned up the rest of the innings.

Ross Whiteley and Wayne Parnell were bowled and Barnard, lbw, fell in quick succession to Morkel while Virdi accounted for Joe Clarke – batting down the order because of a back injury – and Pennington.

A total of eight wickets fell for 49 runs in the space of 19 overs.

Surrey were left with 20 overs batting before the close and Burns and Mark Stoneman brought up the 50 in comfortable fashion in 12 overs.

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