Matt Lamb’s second first-class century underpinned Warwickshire’s response against Surrey but late wickets from Jordan Clark will have Surrey still believing up at Edgbaston.
Reigning champions Warwickshire closed a weather-truncated third day on 293/7 in reply to Surrey’s 428/8. The visitors are well-placed for a solid first innings lead but, with only one day left, the most likely result appears to be a draw unless Surrey can wrap up the Bears’ innings very quickly.
At 41/4 early on the third morning, Warwickshire were in deep trouble but Lamb (106, 138 balls) and Sam Hain (78, 228) added 157 to stall the visitors’ charge. The fifth-wicket pair saw off a menacing burst from Kemar Roach (3/ 82) then put the batsman-friendly pitch back into perspective. Hain’s broad bat blunted the bowling while Lamb was more aggressive, most of all with delightful straight and on-driving. The 25-year-old moved fluently to 50 in 68 balls and 100 in 121 before falling to a brilliant catch in the deep by Will Jacks.
The opening salvoes of the day came from Surrey. Warwickshire’s overnight 16/2 soon became 16/3 when Danny Briggs edged the ninth ball of the day, from Roach, to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes. A high-class duel between Roach and Rob Yates then saw the latter move elegantly to 32 (59 balls) before he was uprooted lbw by a near-unplayable in-ducker from the Barbadian.
The champions were wobbling but Lamb and Hain matched sound temperament with technique to add 157 in 42 overs. As the bowlers began to run out of ideas with the old ball, it took a brilliant piece of fielding to force the breakthrough. Lamb mistimed a pull at Reece Topley and Jacks dived low at deep square leg to pull off a spectacular one-handed catch.
At 198/5, further quick wickets would have put Warwickshire under pressure but Dan Mousley knuckled down alongside Hain. The sixth-wicket pair added 65 in 36 overs before Hain shouldered arms at Jordan Clark and was aghast to see the ball hit the stumps.
It was a curious conclusion to such a watchful innings but credit to the bowler for still plugging away tirelessly at sunset and the impressive Clark then also removed Mousley (43, 128 balls), smartly caught by Ollie Pope in the cordon.
Play resumes tomorrow at 11am. You can follow all the action, check the scorecard and see in-game highlights on the Warwickshire Match Centre.