County Championship: Surrey bat out final day for draw against Sussex

Last updated: 27th April 2013  

Monty Panesar Sussex v Surrey Oval County Championship

Monty Panesar: Sussex spinner picked up one wicket on final day

Vikram Solanki Surrey v Somerset Oval County Championship

Vikram Solanki: Surrey batsman's 83 helped side to safety

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Surrey's County Championship fixture with Sussex ended in stalemate after light showers and contrasting knocks from Graeme Smith, Vikram Solanki and Gary Wilson thwarted hopes of a Sussex win.

Surrey had reached 308-5 - an overall lead in the match of 133 - when the sides shook hands on a draw at 5pm, with Surrey claiming eight points to the nine of Sussex.

Having scored two and three in his first two knocks as Surrey captain Smith, the South Africa skipper, made amends with a fluent 54-ball half-century that included five fours.

He and first-innings centurion Wilson added 107 for the second wicket in 26 overs, and in the process of cutting the match deficit to 59, further frustrated a Sussex attack straining to force a fourth-day win.

Smith looked totally untroubled until Monty Panesar found purchase from the bowlers' footmarks to remove the tall left-hander for 67. Leaning back to cut, Smith was undone and cramped by the turn and bounce and only succeeded in chopping the ball onto his off stump to make it 116-2.

Wilson and Solanki added an attractive 66 inside 20 overs for the third wicket that all but had Sussex skipper Ed Joyce conceding defeat in his pursuit of victory.

Magoffin injured

Hampered by the loss of pace bowler Steve Magoffin through injury, Joyce spread his field to all parts and introduced part-time spin at both ends in the shape of Luke Wells and Chris Nash. The ploy led to a surprise breakthrough for Nash, who dived to his right to claim a sharp return catch from a firm drive by Wilson (60).

At 182-3, Surrey were only seven runs ahead with seven wickets in hand, but any lingering hopes of a Sussex win were well and truly snuffed out by fourth-wicket partners Solanki and Zander de Bruyn.

Solanki, the former Worcestershire batsman, marked his 299th first-class match with a flowing 99-ball 50 with six boundaries, the last of which, a graceful late cut to wide third man off James Anyon, took him to his second half-century of the game.

The 68-run stand came to a surprise end after 26 overs when De Bruyn (26) swished across the line against off-spinner Wells to go leg before, and there was an even bigger shock when Solanki followed seven runs later.

With his score on 83, Solanki pulled a Wells long-hop straight into the hands of Chris Jordan at deep midwicket to go after 164 minutes at the crease and with his side only 82 ahead.

Steven Davies played three eye-catching drives in his cameo innings that took Surrey's lead to 97 at tea, but rain arrived during the interval leading to the loss of six overs and with them any hope of a positive result.

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