Hampshire denied by Burns in Oval draw

'Demon bowler' Ian Holland Picture: Neil Marshall'Demon bowler' Ian Holland Picture: Neil Marshall
'Demon bowler' Ian Holland Picture: Neil Marshall
Hampshire were denied victory at the Oval as Surrey's Rory Burns produced one of championship cricket's great endurance performances.

First the left-hander batted for three minutes over 10 hours as he carried his bat for a career-best 219 in a Surrey first-innings total of 483.

Then, after the hosts missed out on the follow-on, he came straight out again and batted for another 153 minutes to score 68.

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By the time he was third out, at 126, Surrey were safe, with a draw inevitable.

And even then it took a freak dismissal to get rid of Burns.

The delivery from Sean Ervine rebounded off wicketkeeper Lewis McManus’ pads and onto the stumps.

For their part, Hampshire were terrific in this game.

They found ways to take wickets on a pitch which, if anything, was a little too good.

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The surface started flat and slow and refused to change its personality when a little schizophrenia would have been welcome.

But Hampshire were the more deserving team.

First, they made the fifth-highest score in the county’s history.

And then they had the determination and variety in their attack to take wickets and, but for Burns, would surely have prevailed.

Surrey resumed on the fourth day on 410 for seven, needing another 89 runs to avoid the follow-on.

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That looked well within reach as Burns and Tom Curran continued their unperturbed partnership.

Curran reached his fifty off 94 balls, with seven fours.

In the process, he reached 1,000 first-class runs before he was bowled by Ian Holland for 53.

Holland was Hampshire’s demon bowler of the day.

In his next over he bowled Amar Virdi, and just as Surrey looked likely to reach their target of 499, he dismissed last man Mark Footitt.

Surprisingly, the visitors didn’t use Holland in Surrey’s second innings until 30 overs had passed.

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Then he came on and took two wickets in three balls, having Mark Stoneman lbw and then bowling Scott Borthwick for a duck.

But Hampshire never looked like taking the remaining seven wickets on this track, well though they continued to bowl.