Somerset and Surrey draw on eventful fourth day
Somerset and Surrey had to settle for a draw on day four of this LV= Insurance County Championship match at the Kia Oval.
On an eventful final day, Ravi Ashwin claimed six for 27 as Somerset were all out for 69 in their second innings on a pitch offering plenty of help to the slow bowlers.
It left Surrey needing 259 to win in 57 overs and Jack Leach followed up his six for 43 in Surrey’s first innings with another wicket but the hosts had reached 106 for four when the teams shook hands at 5pm with Jamie Smith 46 not out.
A day during which all but seven overs were bowled by the spinners started with Leach sealing his best figures against Surrey when he picked up last man Amar Virdi. Roelof van der Merwe had Moriarty lbw with the third ball of the day to finish with four for 54 as Surrey were bowled out for 240 and conceded a first innings deficit of 189.
Somerset did not enforce the follow on and Ashwin, who took just one wicket in 43 overs in the first innings, took the new ball at the pavilion end. Although the pitch was slow, the ball turned sharply out of the footholds and Somerset’s batsmen found it hard going.
Ashwin took his first wicket in his fourth over when Steven Davies was drawn forward and edged behind. Tom Lammonby fell to a sweep, James Hildreth was pinned on his stumps when Ashwin went round the wicket, George Bartlett was bowled offering no shot and van der Merwe fell leg before just before lunch, which Somerset reached on 60 for seven.
Ashwin took his sixth wicket when he beat Ben Green’s defensive push. He was given good support by Moriarty, who ended Devon Conway’s determined resistance with a ball that spun sharply past his defensive push and knocked back off stump.
Surrey’s hopes of an unlikely victory chase effectively ended by the 13th over when they lost their third wicket. Leach had Mark Stoneman held at short leg and van der Merwe picked up Rory Burns and Ryan Patel before ending a stand of 66 for the fourth wicket when he pinned Hashim Amla to finish with match figures of seven for 115.
Somerset take 14 points from the match and Surrey claim 11.
At the end of the match, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “The intention when we finished them off this morning was to bat for the rest of the day, but we didn’t bat particularly well and put ourselves under pressure when we didn’t need to.
“Credit to the Surrey spinners, they had a world-class bowler in Ashwin, who created some theatre and bowled some magic balls but we should have done better. The pitch did deteriorate, but it was by no means a minefield and I thought Hashim Amla and Jamie Smith batted really well there.
“We came into this game to make sure we were in Division One when the Championship resumes, it’s a huge relief and we’re looking forward to the challenge. It gives us an opportunity to win two trophies in red-ball cricket and that’s really exciting.”
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