Ollie Pope hit a career-best 274 and Hashim Amla 163 as Surrey’s run-drunk LV= Insurance County Championship division two match against Glamorgan at the Kia Oval ended in its expected high-scoring draw.
Surrey finished on 722 for 4 declared, their highest first-class total against Glamorgan, who themselves made 672 for 6 declared in their own first innings, and a number of batting records were set as a total of 1,394 runs scored and only a mere ten wickets lost over the four days, none of them to seam.
There was also a farewell cameo of 12 not out from Surrey’s veteran all-rounder Rikki Clarke, 40 next week, who was given a lovely guard of honour by Glamorgan’s applauding team when he walked out to bat.
On an ultra-placid pitch offering neither pace, bounce, seam movement nor any appreciable spin, Pope and Amla took their third wicket partnership to 362 – Surrey’s highest for that wicket against Glamorgan in first-class cricket – before the great South African was caught off Kiran Carlson having completed the 55th red-ball hundred of his career.
Amla had resumed on 87, in Surrey’s overnight 387 for 2, and after batting through the day’s first session the Test-class pair even had the county’s third wicket record stand of 413 in their sights as the total moved relentlessly past 600.
That was not to be, leaving Darren Bicknell and David Ward’s record from 1990 intact, but Pope was soon past his previous career-best of 251 while Ben Foakes replaced Amla at the crease and settled in for a lengthy stay at the crease in his first senior innings since late May, following a serious hamstring injury.
For wicketkeeper-batsman Foakes, indeed, it was an important knock of 53 not out ahead of what he hopes is selection for this winter’s Ashes tour of Australia, if it is given the go-ahead in the coming weeks.
Glamorgan employed 11 bowlers in all, with Carlson – today called up as bowler number 10 by skipper Chris Cooke – impressing with his off breaks and deserving the scalp of Amla, who faced 306 balls and struck 14 fours in a near seven-hour stay.
Cooke himself took off his keeper’s gear to take the third new ball with Carlson, with opening bowler Michael Hogan putting on the pads and gauntlets. Cooke had never before bowled in first-class cricket.
Pope’s innings, meanwhile, became the highest individual first-class score for Surrey against Glamorgan when he eclipsed Andy Sandham’s 248 not out in 1928, and very soon he also went past Durham batsman David Bedingham’s 257 to post the highest championship score of this season.
On the stroke of tea, though, he skipped out to try to hit Hamish Rutherford’s occasional left-arm spin out of the ground and was bowled to give the New Zealand batsman a distinguished maiden first-class wicket.
Pope, who as a result of this innings again averages above 100 in first-class matches at the Oval, batted for six hours and 11 minutes, facing 345 balls and hitting a six and 35 fours.
Earlier, Pope – who began the day on 95 – went to his 12th first-class ton with a five, courtesy of four overthrows as he called Amla for a sharp single, and he waltzed past 150 by taking three successive fours off Andrew Salter, the last of the sequence a perfectly-executed reverse sweep against the suffering off spinner, who finished with the chastening figures of 0 for 180 but certainly did not bowl badly in such pitiless conditions.
Pope later drove Callum Taylor’s off spin over long off for six and one of a steady stream of fours came courtesy of an extraordinary reverse paddle against Joe Cooke’s medium pace.
Despite Pope’s strokeplay, it took Surrey almost two overs longer than the 177 in which Glamorgan built their own huge total although, on an otherwise meaningless day in terms of the result, they at least had the satisfaction of getting 50 runs past it before hands were shaken in the late afternoon sunshine, as Clarke led all the players off to more applause from around the ground.