Surrey fightback after strong Somerset start - Kia Oval Skip to main content

After a strong morning session from the visitors, Surrey’s bowling unit regrouped after the lunch interval and launched a comeback, picking up nine wickets for 89 runs. The openers then continued the momentum, bringing down the deficit to 243 runs by the close.

The run out of Matt Renshaw for 87 – courtesy of Jordan Clark’s sharp fielding – in mid-afternoon sparked a Somerset collapse from 196 for one to an eventual 285 all out against champions Surrey at The Kia Oval.

Renshaw responded to Tom Lammonby’s call for a very sharp single, when he was on 99, after Clark initially fumbled at mid on. But Clark quickly pounced on the loose ball and, from behind the bowler’s stumps, scored a direct hit at the keeper’s end to beat Renshaw’s desperate dive for safety.

Until then, the first ball of the 45th over, the opening day of this Vitality County Championship division one contest was in control of Somerset as Lammonby and Renshaw built an impressive 178-run stand for the second wicket. Some of Lammonby’s strokeplay, in particular, was of high class and there were 10 fours in his 61-ball fifty before lunch, which Somerset took at 131 for one.

But Renshaw’s run out was the catalyst for a remarkable turnaround in fortunes as Somerset lost seven wickets for 20 runs in 13.1 overs. In the end, it took a pugnacious 50 from skipper Lewis Gregory, last out for 50 from 79 balls and supported by Shoaib Bashir’s 10 not out in a tenth wicket partnership of 49, to haul up Somerset to a respectable first innings total.

Surrey, who replied with 42 without loss in 15 overs before the close, are seeking a third successive championship title and deserve credit for seizing their opportunity with some excellent bowling, led by Gus Atkinson and Cam Steel.

The 23-year-old left-hander Lammonby did complete his seventh first-class hundred, two overs later, but then fell to his very next ball as Clark angled one into his pads from around the wicket. His 100 came off 133 balls, with 16 fours.

Atkinson, replacing a rested Tom Lawes for this match, struck almost immediately on his reintroduction into the attack to have Tom Banton brilliantly caught off an inside edge by keeper Ben Foakes for one.

That was 199 for four and three wickets fell at 211 as Lewis Goldsworthy (10) edged Steel’s leg spin to slip, James Rew (3) wafted at a wider ball from Atkinson to edge to Foakes, after twice being beaten earlier in the over by superb deliveries, and Kasey Aldridge could only fence at Atkinson’s next ball, fast and short at his body, to lob tamely into the gully area and depart for a golden duck.

Five runs later Craig Overton also went for nought, beaten in the air and bowled by a near-yorker length ball from Steel, and after tea was taken at 231 for eight Migael Pretorius edged a cut at Steel to Foakes to go for 10.

Gregory swung Steel for three legside sixes to earn Somerset a batting point, and he and Bashir did well until Gregory edged a loopy Steel leg break to slip. Steel finished with four for 50 and Atkinson three for 57.

The day began with Somerset, put in on an initially green-tinged pitch, losing Sean Dickson for 10 in the fourth over when he edged Clark and saw Dom Sibley react brilliantly to scoop up a fine reflex low catch at first slip after the ball had hit second slip Jamie Overton in the chest.

Dan Lawrence’s off spin was employed for seven overs pre-lunch, but Renshaw reached his own fifty by driving him over long-on for six in the last over before the interval and he and Lammonby continued to cruise along throughout the first hour of the afternoon session. Then, however, came the Renshaw run out.