Fit-again Edwards out to break Surrey resolve

Fidel Edwards is out for further wickets against Surrey Pic: Neil MarshallFidel Edwards is out for further wickets against Surrey Pic: Neil Marshall
Fidel Edwards is out for further wickets against Surrey Pic: Neil Marshall
FIDEL EDWARDS is aiming to push home Hampshire's advantage in day four of their County Championship division one clash with Surrey.

The West Indian fast-bowler is out for early wickets with the home side pursuing an epic target of 499 to avoid the follow-on at the Oval.

Rory Burns stood alone for Surrey as their acting captain scored an outstanding unbeaten 174 in a Surrey total of 410 for seven on day three.

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Edwards spoke of the challenge Hampshire face to pick up those last wickets in conditions favouring batsmen.

But the 35-year-old is confident a succession of injury worries are now behind him as his side press on with the task ahead.

Edwards said: ‘The pitch is flat and slow as well.

It’s really hard on the fast bowlers – hard on the spinners as well.

‘Hopefully if we can get some early wickets it will put us in a strong position.

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‘It’s going to be another tough day because I don’t think the wicket is going to change overnight.

‘But we will push in the morning. It’s going to be tough to get the batsmen out, though.

‘I feel I’m back healthy and fit after my injury and now I just want to carry on. I’m just trying to get back into it after a long time out. The more I bowl the better it gets.

‘Having had a broken leg, it’s not an easy thing to come back from but I’ve worked hard for this. Now I just want some better wickets.’

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Burns was dropped twice, on 98 and 154, but otherwise never looked in trouble against Hampshire’s spirited attack that toiled away on the hottest day of the match.

Surrey resumed on 113 for one in reply to Hampshire’s huge 648 and were glued together all day by the determined Burns.

In the fourth over of the morning Mason Crane straightened one nicely and night-watchman Conor McKerr, on the back foot, was lbw for one.

But it was when Surrey lost Scott Borthwick, for a meagre three, their supporters realised they had a battle on their hands.

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It was 137 for three when Borthwick got a very thin edge to one from Kyle Abbott and was caught behind.

Jason Roy had scored 27 when he was lbw to one that moved back into him from Gareth Berg, who had replaced Abbott at the Pavilion End.

Burns survived his first chance when he was dropped at first slip by Sean Irvine off Edwards.

Sibley then shouldered arms to a ball that nipped back and had him lbw for 57. He had batted for 134 deliveries and hit eight fours; 297 for five.

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A fiery spell from Edwards after tea rocked Surrey, though. He claimed the wickets of Ben Foakes and Sam Curran before giving Tom Curran a torrid time. Surrey held on, however, without further mishap.