Rain ensures Oval stalemate

Surrey denied opportunity to press for victory

Last updated: 19th April 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Rain ensures Oval stalemate

Flintoff: took a wicket and made 23 on return to action

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LV County Championship - Division One
The Brit Oval
Surrey 537-5 dec (U Afzaal 134 no, M A Butcher 120, M R Ramprakash 118, A D Brown 74 no) v Lancashire 241-6 (P J Horton 59)
Surrey (11pts) drew with Lancashire (6pts)

Rain prevented any play on the final day at the Oval, leaving Surrey with 11 points from the draw against Lancashire.

The weather had interrupted the action at some point during each of the first three days and none at all was possible on the final day with Lancashire poised to resume on 241-6 in their first innings, in reply to Surrey's 537-5 declared.

Day Three

Surrey were scuppered by the weather in their bid to dismiss Lancashire twice in the space of two days for victory.

Resuming on 63-1, the visitors reached 241-6 before they were offered the refuge of the dressing room on a miserable day in the capital.

Lancashire lost Paul Horton for 59 when the opener gloved Jimmy Ormond behind, while nightwatchman Gary Keedy (29) and Mal Loye (3) also fell before lunch.

Aussie duo Stuart Law (38) and Brad Hodge dug in after the interval, adding 92 for the fifth wicket before the former drove Pedro Collins uppishly to mid off where Mark Ramprakash took a good catch to his left.

That brought Andrew Flintoff to the crease and the England man hit Chris Jordan for three consecutive fours in a run-a-ball 23.

But he attempted to work a Saqlain Mushtaq doosra through the leg side and edged a simple catch to Mark Butcher at slip to leave the visitors needing another 147 just to avoid the follow-on.

Day Two

Three batsmen completed centuries as Surrey piled on the agony for Lancashire at the Oval.

Mark Ramprakash reached three figures on day one and his fellow former England batsmen Mark Butcher and Usman Afzaal followed suit, as the hosts piled on 537-5 before declaring.

Butcher should have gone on 89 after spiralling a short ball from Oliver Newby into the London sky, only for Glenn Chapple to get into a dreadful mess before spilling the chance.

Chapple eventually made amends with his first ball of the day, having Butcher caugh behind for 120.

Even after Butcher's departure following his 38th First Class century, Surrey continued to pile on the runs as Afzaal, on debut, and Alistair Brown shared an unbeaten 160-run stand for the sixth wicket.

His lengthy spell in the field meant Andrew Flintoff was asked to send down 28 overs in total on his return to bowling action, the England all-rounder taking 1-72.

Required to bat 15 overs before the close, Lancashire lost Iain Sutcliffe to a fine catch at third slip from Brown after the opener was turned around by a delivery from Pedro Collins.

Day One

Mark Ramprakash slipped straight back into the groove at the Oval on the opening day of the season as Surrey built a position of strength against Lancashire.

Ramprakash, together with former England team-mate Mark Butcher, ensured the hosts came out best on a day curtailed by bad light, cracking his 98th first-class hundred in the penultimate over of the day.

The veteran duo came together following the dismissal of openers Scott Newman and Jonathan Batty, putting on an unbeaten stand of 186 for the third wicket before stumps were drawn.

However, the visitors will rue dropping last year's highest run-scorer on nought when gloveman Luke Sutton spilled a regulation take off the bowling of Oliver Newby, while Andrew Flintoff should have run out his former England colleague on 24 when a shy at the stumps went astray.

Flintoff, whose initial burst of 5-3-9-1 included the dismissal of left-hander Scott Newman for a solid 34, was halfway through his 11th over when play was brought to a premature end.

It was a pleasing return to action for the 30-year-old, who is making his first appearance in a four-day game since August, since when he has undergone a fourth ankle operation.

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