Dan Lawrence and Cameron Steel ignite Surrey push for victory against Somerset

By Sports Desk April 14, 2024

Dan Lawrence and Cameron Steel ignited Surrey’s push for a first Vitality County Championship win of the season as Somerset were left in a spin at the Kia Oval.

With Surrey already in the ascendancy after posting 428 for a first-innings lead of 143, Lawrence was surprisingly entrusted with the new ball alongside Jordan Clark and snared both Somerset openers.

Lawrence had his third wicket with his ever-improving off-spin after drawing the edge of James Rew as Somerset ended day three on 204 for six, just 61 runs ahead in this Division One clash.

Steel dismissed Tom Lammonby for 51 and Tom Banton for 11 with his leg-breaks while Gus Atkinson bounced out Lewis Goldsworthy, who made a polished 58 before getting a tickle on an ill-judged pull.

Somerset captain Lewis Gregory (23 not out) and Kasey Aldridge (20no), who earlier finished with five for 64, helped to steady the visitors but Surrey will be pressing for a win on the final day.

England opener Ben Duckett registered his first half-century of the campaign but his dismissal sparked a top-order collapse from Nottinghamshire against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge.

After the Pears were all out for 355 for a 44-run deficit, Duckett made a typically breezy 63 but was the first of three batters to fall in a single over off overseas signing Nathan Smith (four for 29).

The New Zealand seamer also dismissed first-innings centurion Joe Clarke and Matthew Montgomery as the hosts stumbled from 125 for one to 125 for four before limping to 151 for seven and a lead of just 195.

Alex Lees’ century was backed up by weighty contributions from Ollie Robinson, Graham Clark and Ben Raine but Durham still had to follow-on against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Lees went past 10,000 first-class runs in his 145 and Robinson’s 60, Clark’s 76 and Raine’s 93 pushed Durham to 517 but they needed 549 after Warwickshire had compiled a colossal 698 for three declared.

After asking Durham bat again, the visitors lost Lees and captain Scott Borthwick in quick order and went to stumps on 12 for two, still 169 runs short of making Warwickshire bat for a second time.

Jordan Cox thumped six sixes in his unbeaten hundred to fire Essex to 257 for four and a lead of 374 against his former club Kent at Chelmsford.

Matt Critchley took five for 105 as Kent slipped from 251 for one following centuries from Ben Compton (165) and Daniel Bell-Drummond (135) to 413 all out and give Essex a 117-run lead at halfway.

Cox’s dashing 116 not out off just 89 balls leaves Essex in a position to declare overnight as they push for a second win of the season.

Keaton Jennings made 172 while George Bell was run out for 99 and denied a maiden first-class ton as Lancashire posted 484 in response to Hampshire’s 367 at the Utilita Bowl.

Will Williams had both Hampshire openers caught behind second time around as the hosts closed on 39 for two.

In Division Two, England batters Joe Root (51) and Harry Brook (68) made fluent fifties for Yorkshire, who need six wickets to defeat Gloucestershire at Bristol.

The efforts of Root and Brook allied to 113 from Adam Lyth lifted Yorkshire to 434 for six declared, leaving a victory target of 498 but Gloucestershire slumped to 97 for four.

John Simpson’s 205 not out and Danny Lamb’s 134 underpinned Sussex’s 694 for nine declared against Leicestershire, who closed on 86 for one and need 270 to make their opponents bat again at Grace Road.

Derbyshire closed on 40 for one after being set 401 to win by Glamorgan, who had Chris Cooke’s unbeaten 126 to thank for ushering them to 361 for seven declared at Cardiff.

Nathan Fernandes became Middlesex’s youngest debut centurion in first-class cricket since 1862 as the 19-year-old made 103, while Max Holden’s 211 not out and Leus du Plooy’s unbeaten 196 saw Middlesex reach 553 for two replying to Northamptonshire’s 552 for six declared in a run-fest at Wantage Road.

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