Friday 20th April - MONDAY 23RD APRIL
SURREY V HAMPSHIRE
Surrey won by 139 runs at the Kia Oval
Surrey XI: Burns (c), Stoneman, Borthwick, Elgar, Foakes, Pope, S. Curran, Clarke, Dernbach, Dunn, Virdi.
Former West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards gave Hampshire the perfect start to the game by snapping up two wickets in his new ball burst.
He dismissed both Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick in a fiery spell of 5-1-9-2 from the Vauxhall End after Surrey had won the toss but slipped to 23 for 2.
A third wicket stand of 87 in 33 overs between Rory Burns (46) and Dean Elgar (44) provided a solid base for Surrey, which also featured Ben Foakes and Ollie Pope.
However, from tea, Dawson’s left-arm spin combined with Edwards’ pace to remove the lower order.
A nip-backer from South African seamer Kyle Abbott with the very first ball after tea, beat Pope on the back foot and pinned him leg-before for 34.
Pope and Foakes had added 73 in 23 overs for the fifth wicket but then Curran miscued Dawson and lofted a simple catch to Wood, departing for 5.
Foakes, who had played impressively for his two-hour 46, hitting six fours from 73 balls, was then beaten by Dawson’s arm ball and leg-before as he pushed out from the crease.
Clarke, hit a fine paddle-sweep for four off Dawson but then aimed another big hit and skied to Wood at long on to go for 5.
Edwards, recalled to the attack, yorked Jade Dernbach for a duck and Matt Dunn propped forward to Dawson and edged to slip to be last man out.
By stumps on Day One, Hampshire were a wobbly 52 for 3 in reply with Rikki Clarke having Lewis McManus lbw for 22 and Jimmy Adams caught behind for 17 before Sam Curran won an lbw appeal against nightwatchman Chris Wood to end a glorious day that saw 3,000 Members and fans come to the Kia Oval.
Rikki Clarke started Day 3 as he finished on Day 2, taking the wicket of Vince without allowing the opposition to add to their overnight total. Amla (55), was soon to follow, despite his previous stint at Surrey giving him experience batting at the Kia Oval. Between them, Curran and Clarke shared eight wickets on the second day, with Dunn and Dernbach claiming the other two wickets. Hampshire were kept to just 157 runs and Surrey began their second innings.
Surrey lost two early wickets, both to Abbott, and it was Scott Borthwick batting at three who was able to give Surrey some stability on Day 2 before he fell to lbw to give Abbott his third.
Ollie Pope, unaware of the summer that lay ahead of him, strolled to the wicket to partner fellow wicket-keeper Ben Foakes. Resuming on 30, in Surrey’s overnight 217 for 4, Pope batted both with controlled aggression and real flair.
Some of Pope’s offside strokes in particular were high class, and he brought up his hundred with a cover drive for four off Chris Wood’s left-arm seamers. In all, there were 18 fours and a six in his impressive four-hour, 191-ball effort and the declaration came when he was ninth out, skying Liam Dawson’s left-arm spin to short fine leg.
Ben Foakes was also in eye-catching form, taking his overnight 50 to an assured 81 from 161 balls in a fifth wicket stand of 131 with Pope before edging behind a good one from Fidel Edwards, who was armed with the second new ball.
Thereafter, Pope was joined in small but useful partnerships by Curran, Rikki Clarke, Dernbach and Matt Dunn as he pushed Surrey’s overall lead well beyond 400.
Hampshire’s openers Jimmy Adams and Lewis McManus got through 15 overs to tea – though not without alarms against the new ball – but after the interval both almost immediately fell within the space of six balls to leave the visitors 29 for 2.
Clarke’s fourth ball was slapped low to cover by Adams, who departed for 21 clearly furious with himself for his error, and then Dunn – also with his fourth ball – produced a superb delivery which clipped the top of McManus’s off stump to bowl him for 4.
Vince, who had been beaten by his first ball from Clarke, soon settled down in partnership with Amla and, for an hour, it seemed as if the international pair might take full advantage of batting conditions that were significantly more comfortable than on the first two days of the match.
But then came Virdi’s intervention in what was only his fourth first-class appearance and it proved to be a decisive shift of momentum in Surrey’s favour.
A century by Sam Northeast meant it took Surrey until 4.46pm to wrap things up, however, with Hampshire finally bowled out for 332 – after resuming their second innings on 116 for 4 – as Northeast led Hampshire’s resistance with an assured near six-hour 129.
Northeast was joined in a spirited ninth wicket partnership of 68 by Brad Wheal, with the fast bowler holding on stubbornly for 49 balls across 90 minutes before Jade Dernbach skidded one into the tailender’s pads with the fifth ball after tea to dismiss him for 10. It was the 17th lbw of the game.
Then, No 11 Fidel Edwards also hung around determinedly, resisting for 41 minutes for his 5 not out. There were 23.3 overs left when Northeast was last out, edging seamer Matt Dunn to see Ben Foakes, the Surrey wicketkeeper, dive to take a brilliant right-handed catch an inch from the turf.
Virdi made the initial breakthrough on the final morning, having Rilee Rossouw leg-before for 29 as he aimed a sweep following a 66-run stand for the fifth wicket with Northeast.
Thirteen runs later, at 163, Hampshire lost their sixth wicket when Liam Dawson chopped on against fast bowler Jade Dernbach to go for 3 and, as lunch neared, Kyle Abbott’s brisk innings of 29 ended when he clipped Virdi to Rory Burns at short mid-on.
Abbott, who had got off the mark with a fortunate inside-edged four against Dernbach, then clubbed Virdi for six and had helped to add 43 with Northeast when he became Virdi’s fourth victim of the innings.
Chris Wood battled to 26 before Sam Curran, with the second new ball, pinned him leg-before forty minutes after lunch but the unlikely Northeast-Wheal alliance then made sure the match went into its final session.
The opening game of the season was just a hint at what was to come from Surrey’s youngsters - Virdi, Pope and Sam Curran.
All three are graduates of the Surrey Academy and, indeed, there were seven players who have come through that system in the Surrey XI for this game.
Surrey’s winning start to their championship season was all the more eye-catching given that former South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel Tom Curran, Jason Roy, Stuart Meaker, Conor McKerr and Batty were all unavailable for the match either because of injury or IPL commitments.
The Surrey all-rounder celebrates his first wicket of the summer, as he traps Hampshire opener Lewis McManus (22) lbw in the 13th over.
Watch the highlights of every day of Surrey v Hampshire below.