Surrey tighten their grip but Tom, Lewis and Kasey give Somerset hope


Surrey tightened their grip on this match on the third day of this Vitality County Championship Division One match at the Kia Oval, but there were positive signs for the visitors.

Five wickets for Kasey Aldridge plus half-centuries from Lewis Goldsworthy and Tom Lammonby gave Somerset hope, but the hosts are best placed as we go into the final day of the fixture.

Goldsworthy made 58 and Lammonby 51 to add to his first day century, but at stumps Somerset were only 61 runs ahead at 204 for six in their second innings, with Dan Lawrence picking up three for 45. Surrey had earlier reached 428 in their first innings, after resuming already 73 runs to the good at 358 for six.

It was the spin of Lawrence and Cameron Steel which did the initial damage for Surrey, with Lawrence having Sean Dickson well-held behind his pads by keeper Ben Foakes for 0 with just his second ball after being given the new ball alongside Jordan Clark in a three-over pre-lunch mini-session.

Lawrence’s off spin also accounted for Matt Renshaw, leg-before for 16 as he aimed a sweep from well across in front of his stumps. After a 58-run third wicket stand between Lammonby and Goldsworthy, the leg breaks of Steel provided further breakthroughs for Surrey in a lengthy spell by the 28-year-old from the Pavilion End either side of tea.

First he had Lammonby leg-before as he propped forward defensively and then Tom Banton, on 11, top-edged a cut to lob up a comfortable catch to Lawrence at backward point. Steel took two for 53 from his 21 overs.

It was Lawrence again who claimed Somerset’s fifth wicket, turning one to take the edge of James Rew’s bat to have the young left-hander superbly-held at boot level by Jamie Overton at slip for 22.

Goldsworthy’s 131-ball resistance was finally ended by Gus Atkinson’s pace and a thin edge through to Foakes.

At stumps, however, Aldridge had moved on to 20 and Somerset captain Lewis Gregory was also still there on 23 not out. The seventh wicket pair have put on a creditable 42 so far, although Surrey remain favourites to wrap up victory.

Surrey had earlier taken 24.2 overs to add a further 70 runs to their overnight score, with the whole-hearted Aldridge picking up three of the last four remaining wickets to finish with deserved figures of five for 64.

Clark was strangled down the legside on 13, in the day’s sixth over, and Steel – who resumed on 35 – was brilliantly held by a leaping Lammonby at gully as he cut hard at Aldridge.

Overton and Atkinson added 40 for the ninth wicket before Atkinson (15) was caught off Migael Pretorius aiming something violent and Overton’s useful 35 came to an end when he under-edged a pull into his own stumps.

At the close of play, Kasey Aldridge said: “No one is a harsher critic than me. I felt that my bowling wasn’t up to scratch last season. I had the opportunity to train outdoors in the winter and I also worked a lot with Jason Kerr, so for it to come off today is great.

“You have to keep hitting the deck hard with the Kookaburra because it gets softer quicker than the Dukes and you have to try to make something happen.

“I definitely think we can still save the game. I love batting with Lewis Gregory and we’ll put up a fight tomorrow and see where it gets us.”