Josh Blake played a patient and mature innings for Surrey Second XI to see them through to a commanding total at the end of Day one against Durham in Guildford.
The visitors from the North-East won the toss and chose to bowl first on a wicket that looked as if it had a decent covering of grass. They bowled tightly in the morning, seamer Matt Salisbury removing both openers Steel and Smith cheaply.
Reifer then fell for 11 before a rebuild by Justin Broad and Tom Lawes added stability to the home side’s first dig with the bat. A partnership of 87 was ended when Lawes was bowled by Killeen but that only served to bring Blake to the wicket. 183 balls and 216 minutes later the wicketkeeper-batter was still there, unbeaten on 80* after receiving useful support from the lower order; 31 to Dyer and 15 for Barwell helping to take Surrey’s score past the 300 mark.
Blake hit 11 fours on both sides of the wicket but was particularly severe on anything on his pads through the mid-wicket region. Blake needs 20 more runs in the morning to see him through to three figures and will have the support of number 10 David O’Sullivan who will be hoping to hang around long enough for his teammate to get there. It could be a restless night for both.
Surrey will resume on 314/9 at 11am on Friday morning.
Updates on the match will provided on Surrey CCC social media channels, a live score will be available to follow on the NV Play platform and full reports of each day’s play will be posted on kiaoval.com every evening.