Published: 14th May, 2014
Surrey have beaten Gloucestershire by four wickets on the final day at the Kia Oval to secure their first win of the season. Graeme Smith led the run chase with a captain’s innings of 103 and Steven Davies (61) and Rory Burns (45) made valuable contributions as Surrey reached their victory target of 267.
Surrey started the morning on their overnight 47-0 and Smith started in lovely fashion with a couple of handsome drives down the ground. The captain moved to his fifty from 49 deliveries with a single into the legside and he found the boundary again with a tremendous square cut to the cover point boundary.
Burns started solidly and found the boundary for the first time with a straight drive to the boundary rope in front of the OCS Stand. Smith then drove Graeme McCarter beautifully through the covers for four more and he began to really tick with consecutive boundaries off Matt Taylor.
Smith and Burns brought up the hundred partnership and the captain continued to dominate proceedings. He played powerfully either side of the wicket and in the process spread the field enabling singles to be picked up.
Smith moved into the 90’s and then brought up his first century for the county with a single down to third man – his hundred had arrived from 107 deliveries and had contained 16 crisply struck boundaries. Burns played a couple of lovely shots back past the bowler but Smith’s brilliant innings was brought to an end on 103 just before lunch when he got a bottom edge to Benny Howell and was caught behind.
Surrey went to the interval with the scoreboard reading 146-1 and after lunch Burns and Dominic Sibley got their heads down in the pursuit of the 267 victory target. But Sibley departed for 4 when he drove at Taylor and Alex Gidman took a smart catch at first slip.
Davies joined Burns and started with a couple of trademark drives to the cover boundary rope. Burns moved to 45 but he then looked to pull McCarter and the ball flew high in the air and Benny Howell took an excellent running catch to leave Surrey 172-3.
Davies continued to play solidly and Gary Wilson was watchful and found the boundary for the first time when he pulled McCarter through the legside to the deep backward square rope as Surrey moved past 200.
Wilson was then trapped LBW by Fuller on 16 to leave Surrey 204-4 still needing 63 runs for victory. Jason Roy joined Davies and both played extremely well under pressure as they moved the scoreboard in the right direction.
Together they guided Surrey to tea with 39 more needed and after the interval Davies moved to an excellent fifty from 69 balls with six handsome boundaries. They moved their partnership past fifty and look destined to see Surrey over the winning line.
But on 17 Roy was stumped off Howell after he over balanced pushing forward and Davies then departed for 61 when he was caught at cover looking to score the runs that would have taken Surrey to victory. That honour was left to Zafar Ansari who punched Howell through the covers to secure the points and a first Championship win of the summer for Surrey.
A tremendous game of cricket and Surrey deserved the victory having scored the largest total in the game to win the match. They will now turn their attentions to the start of the NatWest T20 Blast starting with Sussex at Hove on Friday night.