SURREY V HAMPSHIRE - Specsavers County Championship - 8 September 2016
Surrey 329 & 23-0. Hampshire 582-9d.

Hampshire improved their chances of avoiding relegation from Division One of the Specsavers County Championship after a dominant third-day performance put them in a position to press for victory against Surrey at The Kia Oval.

Sean Ervine made an unbeaten 158 and Ryan McLaren 100 to add to Tom Alsop's 117 as they piled up 582 for 9, Hampshire's highest total against Surrey at The Oval, to establish a first-innings lead of 253.

Surrey's openers Dom Sibley and Rory Burns survived nine overs before stumps to take their side to 23 for 0, still trailing by 230.

Hampshire's eventual position of superiority looked unlikely in the first hour when left-armer Mark Footitt found some away swing to have Alsop caught behind off the second ball of the day after Alsop failed to add to his overnight 117 before Liam Dawson (8) clipped to short mid-wicket.

But the day was transformed by a stand of 186 in 44 overs between Ervine, who scored his third century in his last five completed Championship innings, and all-rounder McLaren, whose 100 was his first century for Hampshire and the sixth of his career.

Their partnership was also a sixth-wicket record against Surrey for the county, beating the 184 by Mark Nicholas and Adrian Aymes at Southampton in 1994.

With few balls deviating off the straight on a flat pitch, McLaren was the more aggressive of the two and reached three figures with a drive down the ground off Footitt which brought him his 18th boundary. He was dismissed two balls later after chipping a catch to wide mid-on but it didn't signal the end of hard labour for Surrey's tiring attack.

Lewis McManus made 39 out of a stand of 65 in 22 overs with Ervine and after he was caught behind off Gareth Batty, to give the off-spinner a wicket in his 31st over, Gareth Berg and Gareth Andrew sped Hampshire towards their declaration with some powerful hitting.

Berg made 42 off 28 balls, striking Batty for three successive sixes, and Andrew spoilt Footitt's figures by taking him for 21 in an over, including two sixes, on his way to 25 off 14 deliveries. Footitt finished with 6 for 161, having taken eight wickets in his previous Championship game against Lancashire.

Ervine offered just one chance when Ben Foakes missed a stumping when he was on 147 as he reached 1,000 Championship runs for the season. The 33-year-old left-hander batted for a minute shy of seven hours, faced 286 balls and hit 16 fours and two sixes. It was the first time since 1992 that three Hampshire batsman have scored hundreds in the same Championship innings and the first occasion in this fixture.

Mark Footitt (Surrey bowler, took 6 for 161): "We are a bit disappointed because that was nowhere near our best bowling performance. We haven't bowled well for two days and if we want to become one of the best attacks in the country we have to be a lot more consistent.

"We put some pressure on Hampshire early on with those two early wickets but Ryan McLaren came in and he and Sean Ervine batted really well. On a personal note to take six wickets is good but I'd have preferred it to be 6 for 61 not 6 for 161 but taking wickets is what I get paid for.

"There is a little bit of turn in the wicket but hopefully we can bat well tomorrow and get a draw out of the game."

Sean Ervine (scored 158 not out): "I'm just trying to ride the wave at the moment. I spoke to (Sussex batting coach) Murray Goodwin back in pre-season about playing the ball a bit later and that has definitely worked for me.

"I'm over the moon to get to 1,000 runs in a season for the first time for Hampshire, that was a big thing for me especially after missing a few games this season because of injury and I have come close a few times before. I thought Surrey bowled well. Tom Curran was excellent and Mark Footitt got his rewards so it was never easy. Ryan McLaren batted superbly and I was chuffed he got over the line to make his hundred.

"We need to take ten wickets tomorrow and it is possible. We saw from Liam Dawson's over that there is some rough for him and they have got quite a few left-handers."


Left-handers Sean Ervine and Ryan McLaren both made hundreds as Hampshire moved into a strong position against Surrey at The Oval.

Ervine was unbeaten on 120 at tea, having batted throughout the third day, while McLaren was out for 100 two balls after making his first century for the county.

At tea Hampshire were 452 for 6, leading by 123.

On a pitch which had flattened out Ervine reached his third century in his last five Championship innings shortly before McLaren got to the landmark with as straight drive off Mark Footitt for his 18th boundary. Two balls later, however, McLaren chipped a catch to wide mid-on to give left-armer Footitt his fifth wicket of the innings.

The sixth wicket stand of 186 in 43.3 overs was a new Hampshire record against Surrey, beating the 184 by Mark Nicholas and Adrian Aymes at Southampton in 1994.

Otherwise it was hard work for a tiring Surrey attack as Ervine, who has so far faced 226 balls and hit 12 fours and two sixes, was joined by Lewis McManus who was 25 not out at the break.

Footitt had removed Tom Alsop (117) with the second ball of the day and Liam Dawson (8) to a catch at mid-wicket during the first hour before Hampshire took control.


Hampshire's sixth-wicket pair Sean Ervine and Ryan McLaren batted positively against the second new ball to put their team in a good position on the third day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Surrey at The Oval.

Left-armer Mark Footitt made two breakthroughs in the first half hour but from 229 for 5, Ervine and McLaren took the score to 323 for 5 at lunch as both reached unbeaten half-centuries. They trail Surrey by six runs.

Footitt struck with the second ball of the day when Tom Alsop followed an away-swinger to the keeper and departed without addition to his overnight 117.

Liam Dawson (8) was superbly caught by substitute fielder Jade Dernbach, diving to his left at short mid-wicket, to give Footitt his fourth wicket of the innings before Ervine and McLaren wrested back the initiative.

McLaren hit three fours off Sam Curran when he took the second new ball in the 84th over before Ervine upper-cut the same bowler to the backward point fence to reach his half-century.

McLaren followed him to fifty, from just 65 balls with 10 fours, when he clipped a half-volley from Dernbach to the mid-wicket fence and was on 59 at the break with Ervine on 65 from 120 balls, with five fours and a six.