Hampshire in trouble as Surrey seize control

Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla
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A composed innings of 74 by Scott Borthwick and Ben Foakes’ unbeaten half-century helped put Surrey in a strong position after two days of their Specsavers Championship game against Hampshire at the Kia Oval.

They ensured the good work done by Sam Curran and Rikki Clarke, who shared eight wickets, was not wasted as Surrey reached 217 for four - a lead of 281.

Curran and Clarke got the ball to swing lavishly at times, each taking four for 39 as Hampshire were bowled out for 147 in reply to Surrey’s first innings 211.

Kyle Abbott gave Hampshire renewed hope with two new-ball wickets, but oddly the ball stopped swinging when clouds replaced the warm sunshine.

Borthwick took full advantage, adding 46 with Dean Elgar, before forging what could be a match-winning stand of 87 in 28 overs with Foakes.

Borthwick struck eight fours and pulled Abbott for six only to fall to Brad Wheal shortly afterwards, having faced 133 balls.

Foakes ensured no further alarms for Surrey and will continue on Sunday 50 not out.

Hampshire had resumed on 52 for three but were soon in trouble when Clarke’s late inswing pinned James Vince (6) with the second ball of the day.

Thereafter, only Hashim Amla produced any prolonged resistance before he was last out for 55 as Hampshire surrendered their final three wickets in the space of eight balls.

More late swing accounted for Amla as Clarke picked up his fourth wicket, while Curran was as impressive in two high-class spells from the Vauxhall End.

He took his second wicket when Sam Northeast (6) was superbly held by the diving Foakes before taking two more in five balls in his second over after lunch to hasten Hampshire’s decline.

Only Amla showed the necessary application in tricky conditions, hitting seven boundaries, and his stand of 31 with Abbott for the eighth wicket was the only time when Hampshire’s batsmen were on top.

Going in again with a lead of 64, Surrey lost Rory Burns to an athletic catch by wicketkeeper Lewis McManus, while Stoneman (24) was bowled through the gate driving expansively when he looked set.

But Borthwick and Dean Elgar (20) steadied Surrey with a stand of 45 when the persevering Chris Wood shaped one into Elgar’s pads as he played to leg.

After tea, Borthwick blossomed to reach his half-century off 94 balls with six fours.

He accumulated impressively on both sides of the wicket until Wheal struck, but Foakes batted with increasing fluency, reaching his half-century just before stumps when he drove Fidel Edwards for his fourth boundary.

So far, he has added 44 with Ollie Pope (30 not out) for the fifth wicket.

Bruce Talbot