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In Focus: Burns Is The Backbone

Published: 12th September, 2018

Rory Burns hit 122 of Surrey’s first innings 258 at Worcestershire this week to keep his side in touching distance of the hosts.

A skipper’s knock and his fourth Specsavers County Championship century of the season led his side through the second day as Surrey eventually surrendered a 68 run deficit.

The 206 ball innings meant the 28-year-old extended his lead at the top of the run scoring charts in Division One and he remains the only man in the division to have gone beyond four figures.

In his first year as captain, Burns has 1175 runs from just 18 innings at an incredible average of 69.11.

The left-hander has enjoyed facing Worcestershire this season, racking up his highest total of 193 in the May draw between the sides at the Kia Oval.

With his side at 4/2 in response to 336 in this New Road match, Burns became the anchor of the innings before he was the penultimate wicket to fall with the score at 262/9.

Firstly, he watched Ollie Pope regain control for Surrey with a number of crunched fours around the ground. They shared an excellent stand of 97 before Pope was dismissed for a speedy 48.

Shortly afterwards though, Burns was successful in getting to 50 – passing the half-century mark for the ninth time in the Division One campaign.

He had hit seven fours by that point with a particular focus on the leg side drive which has become a staple of his long spell of consistent form that has taken him to five consecutive years of 1000+ first-class runs.

Another fruitful partnership formed with Rikki Clarke – in at six because of an illness to Ben Foakes – as Surrey battled towards being within 100 of Worcestershire’s well fought first innings total.

The special moment came from the 165th ball of a chanceless innings with a single off the bowling of part timer Darryl Mitchell.

That brought the second day’s play to a close and he returned on the third morning alongside Morne Morkel with Surrey on 213/6.

As the partners looked to be running out, the captain threw caution to the wind to clock up his 18 boundaries before sending Barnard high into the sky and seeing the ball swallowed excellently by Wayne Parnell.

Although Surrey were 68 behind after the first innings, there was enough in the match for the bowlers to come out with the bit between their teeth and set up a tense final chase.

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