Cricket: Kent miss chance to take control at Surrey
PUBLISHED: 18:58 07 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:58 07 July 2019
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Surrey had the better of a truncated and attritional day's cricket at The Kia Oval, in which Kent failed to make the most of exaggerated movement before and after lunch.
Play started an hour late because of a wet outfield, following overnight and early morning rain, and if the Surrey batsmen did not know how difficult conditions would be their innocence was dispelled after just two deliveries.
Rory Burns was dropped off the first ball of the day, by Sean Dickson at first slip - the first of two he put down - off the bowling of Harry Podmore.
But Podmore did not have to wait long to make up for that as to his second delivery Mark Stoneman shouldered arms and was lbw.
Batting was to remain difficult for most of the day, even after lunch when the sun came out and the sluggish outfield quickened, there was still humidity in the Oval air.
Darren Stevens, in particular, was outstanding but, desperately unlucky, he failed to take a wicket.
Instead it was Grant Stewart, easily the most expensive of the Kent bowlers, who ultimately proved the most successful, taking 3-84 as Surrey closed on 244-6.
Dean Elgar batted heroically to survive the most difficult of the conditions but he was lucky to escape when, on eight, he looked to be lbw to Podmore only to look up and see the umpire signalling a no ball.
In the 14th over, after 53 minutes play, Burns drove a delivery from Stewart - who had replaced Stevens - through the covers for the first boundary of the morning. At lunch Surrey, with much playing and missing, had reached 35-1 from 18 overs, with Burns 18 and Elgar 13.
Surrey lost their second wicket at 73, in the 28th over, when Burns received a nasty delivery from Stewart which lifted and left him, and he edged it to the wicketkeeper. His 30 had occupied 80 balls.
Elgar, meanwhile, was graduating from survival mode to something more commanding and reached his half-century when he clipped Stevens through the leg side for two. But, without addition, he was dropped by Dickson off the same bowler.
Podmore and Stevens continued to bowl with three slips in place and with the score on 99, in the 38th over, Podmore pitched one up to Scott Borthwick, encouraging the drive. But the ball swung in between bat and pad and bowled him.
Surrey reached tea on 119-3, with Elgar 62 not out, but in the second over after the break he was lbw to Stewart.
Sam Curran decided to play a different way and his first two scoring shots were fours through the covers. Then he jumped down the wicket to lift Ollie Rayner for six over long-on.
Curran hit six fours and two sixes in a belligerent 43 before he skied a hook to midwicket. Then Jamie Smith was lbw to Stewart for 14, but the resolute Ben Foakes was unbeaten on 57 when bad light brought play to an end with 9.2 overs unbowled.