A look at everything that happened on the first day of play between Surrey and Leicestershire at The Kia Oval in the LV= County Championship.
Sam Evans scored a gritty maiden first-class hundred for Leicestershire to blunt Surrey’s attack on the first day of the LV= Insurance County Championship match at the Kia Oval.
Evans made an unbeaten 100 from 227 balls, with 12 fours, and was joined late in the day by Lewis Hill – on 20 not out – in an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 39.
Bad light and rain interruptions meant only 76.2 overs were bowled, but openers Evans and Hassan Azad initially put on 130 and Leicestershire eventually reached 215 for 3 by stumps at 7.20pm, with Colin Ackermann leg-before for 15 to Jordan Clark as a further 24.2 overs were bowled from 5.30pm.
Evans’ previous highest red-ball score for Leicestershire was 85 against Durham in last year’s Bob Willis Trophy, although he did make a first-class hundred for Loughborough University against Northants in 2017.
Azad made 55, caught low down at long leg by Matt Dunn as he pulled at a short ball from Jamie Overton, and Leicestershire also unluckily lost fellow left-hander Harry Dearden for 14 when he flicked at a legside ball from Clark and edged through to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
Both teams were beaten in the opening round of championship Group 2 games last week but Leicestershire, thrashed by Hampshire, will be delighted to have bounced back with a solid display with the bat.
After winning the toss, Leicestershire were 75 without loss at lunch as Azad and Evans got their heads down against some accurate new ball bowling from Dunn and West Indies paceman Kemar Roach, making his Surrey debut as an overseas player, plus seven overs of off spin from Amar Virdi which cost just 12 runs.
An on-off afternoon, featuring two delays for bad light and rain, saw the Leicestershire pair bring up the 100 in the 38th over and Evans, on 42, survive a hard low chance to Rory Burns at first slip when he edged a drive at Dunn – the ball flying away for four.
Azad, having been the slower starter, struck seven fours and completed his fifty just before Evans, who himself reached the landmark with a square driven boundary off Roach.
Evans then plundered three fours in an over from Dunn, punching him through point off the back foot before clipping a half-volley off his pads through mid-wicket and a full toss to the deep square leg ropes.
The weather interruptions meant Surrey’s first success did not come until 4.15pm, after tea, when Azad’s 124-ball stay was ended by Overton.
Jordan Clark picked up the 100th first-class wicket in his career today.
Surrey XI: Burns, Stoneman, Amla, Pope, Foakes, Smith, Clark, Overton, Roach, Dunn, Virdi
Leicestershire XI: Azad, Evans, Dearden, Ackermann, Hill, Swindells, Mike, Parkinson, Wright, Griffiths, Klein
ELSEWHERE IN GROUP 2
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