WARWICKSHIRE V SURREY - Specsavers County Championship - 14 August 2016
Surrey 252 & 33-1. Warwickshire 247.

Eighteen-year-old seam-bowler Sam Curran took the starring role with five wickets as Warwickshire and Surrey delivered a superb day of Specsavers County Championship cricket at Edgbaston.

Curran, playing only his 13th first-class match, took five for 44, including a devastating burst of three for two in 18 balls, to leave the home side reeling at 101 for six in reply to Surrey's 252. But led by Keith Barker (62, 82 balls, ten fours) and Ian Bell (43, 130 balls, four fours), Warwickshire recovered to reach 247, a deficit of just five runs, before Surrey reached 33 for one second time round in 15 overs up to the close.

On an excellent pitch, offering reward for all types of bowler and demanding high batting skills, the contest has been utterly compelling and of an intensity, quality and drama redolent of Test cricket. A good-sized crowd was engrossed all day and ended it without a clue which way the game will swing next.

Warwickshire began their first innings at start of play and soon lost Varun Chopra, who edged Tom Curran to Jason Roy at second slip. Ian Westwood and Jonathan Trott added 40 from 15 overs before falling in the space of nine balls from Stuart Meaker. Trott, on 13, edged an attempted cut and wicketkeeper Steven Davies parried the ball to Kumar Sangakkara at slip. Westwood reached 45 (92 balls, nine fours), his championship-best this season, then edged to Roy.

From 91 for three at lunch, Warwickshire then had their middle-order ripped out by that high-class salvo from Sam Curran. Laurie Evans and Tim Ambrose were caught by Rory Burns in the gully, in the latter case quite brilliantly, and Rikki Clarke fell lbw to a swinging yorker.

That was 101 for six but Bell and Barker added 95 in 28 overs - the biggest partnership of the match so far. While Barker was aggressive, Bell was at his most resolute and it took a near-unplayable ball to remove him when Sam Curran got one to rear off a length and Dominic Sibley made no mistake in the slips.

When Sibley pounced again to end Barker's resistance, Curran had his five-for but Jeetan Patel (29, 30 balls) and Chris Wright (18 not out, 26 balls) ensured that 50 were added for the last two wickets to take their side almost to parity.

Patel then had Sibley well-caught by a diving Westwood at short leg in the penultimate over of the day.

Warwickshire all-rounder Keith Barker said: "The game is in the balance. We have managed to get ourselves back in the game. It would have been better if we had been able to go past them but it is going to be a big day for us tomorrow.

"There are runs to be scored there. You have just got to stay out there long enough for the bad balls to come. It may take a while but you have got to latch on to them if you get the chance.

"There is still a bit of movement in the pitch and we have just got to squeeze them tomorrow and put them under pressure. The pitch might deteriorate a little bit so that will give Jeets something to work with.

"It is effectively a one-innings game so if we can get some wickets tomorrow it will change the game massively."

Surrey assistant coach Stuart Barnes said: "It's been a pretty good day. We took ten wickets in around 78 overs and that was the goal at the start of the day.

"Sam really deserved his five wickets. He came off the back of a really good first spell and then came up with a great spell after lunch. We talked about using the surface because it's offering a little bit of nip and we were able to swing the ball all day, which helped.

"We weren't 100 per cent happy with the first session of the day. There were lots of good things going on in it but we didn't get it quite right. But after lunch we bowled lots of maidens and reinforced all the basics that we know we are good at.

"Now we have to bat well tomorrow. We are just one or two partnerships away from being able to set them a total that is going to be competitive. It's about batting a long time and putting some pressure on Warwickshire."


Ian Bell and Keith Barker engineered a fightback for Warwickshire after their team was rocked by a superb spell by 18-year-old Surrey seamer Sam Curran on the second afternoon of their Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston.

In reply to Surrey's 252 all out, Warwickshire went into tea on 172 for six with Bell (36, 119 balls) and Barker (46, 68) having added an unbroken 71.

They came together at 101 for six after Warwickshire began the afternoon decently placed at 91 for three but were left reeling by Curran's fiery burst. He had Laurie Evans and Tim Ambrose superbly caught by Rory Burns in the gully and then trapped Rikki Clarke lbw with a swinging yorker.

But Bell dropped anchor deep and was well-supported by Barker who played more forcefully, hitting eight fours, to pull their side towards parity in an engrossing match in front of a good-sized Edgbaston crowd.


Surrey made inroads into Warwickshire's first innings on the second morning of their Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston as the Bears reached 91 for three in reply to Surrey's 252.

Having been saved an awkward three overs batting last night by bad light, Warwickshire began their innings this morning and were put under immediate pressure by accurate opening spells from Tom and Sam Curran.

Tom was rewarded by the wicket of Varun Chopra who, on eight, edged to Jason Roy at second slip.

Ian Westwood and Jonathan Trott added 40 from 15 overs before both fell in the space of nine balls from Stuart Meaker.

Trott, on 13, edged an attempted cut and wicketkeeper Steven Davies parried the ball to Kumar Sangakkara at skip. Westwood, who had taken 25 balls to get off the mark, reached 45 (92 balls, nine fours) then edged to Roy in the cordon.