Mark Stoneman’s 71 against Warwickshire was his highest score of the Championship season so far
County Championship Division One, Kia Oval, London (day two):
Surrey 194: Lester 4-41, Miles 3-58 & 141-3: Stoneman 71, Burns 34; Patel 2-25
Warwickshire 230: Rhodes 51, Yates 48; S Curran 3-50, Clark 3-62, Morkel 3-72
Surrey (3 pts) lead Warwickshire (4 pts) by 105 runs

England opener Mark Stoneman led the way with 71 at The Oval as Surrey fought back after surrendering a first-innings lead to Warwickshire.

From 89-1 overnight, the Bears survived the loss of four wickets in the morning session to reach 230, bolstered chiefly by 48 from young left-hander Rob Yates.

Stoneman’s 71 then came off 85 balls as winless Surrey reached stumps on 141-3.

But Bears captain Jeetan Patel has already taken two wickets and Surrey’s overnight lead of 105 is still slender.

Sam Curran, Jordan Clark, his first Championship scalps for Surrey, and the menacing Morne Morkel each took three wickets as Warwickshire found the going, with the ball swinging and seaming under The Oval’s floodlights throughout the first two sessions.

Only 19-year-old Yates resisted the Surrey pace attack for long, until he was caught behind off Curran without adding to his score – just two short of his maiden fifty this time after making 49 against Yorkshire last week.

Tim Ambrose fell for 18, leg-before to a round-the-wicket yorker from Curran, and Clark had Oliver Hannon-Dalby taken at second slip before Morkel finished off the innings when Patel skied to wide long-off.

Surrey openers Stoneman and captain Rory Burns then made a positive response to the criticism of head coach Michael Di Venuto as, following Will Rhodes’ aggressive lead against Morkel the previous day, they laid into Warwickshire’s makeshift, injury-hit seam attack, putting on 77 in just under 14 overs.

After his career-best 4-41 on day one, on-loan Lancashire left-armer Toby Lister went for 25 off his first three overs before veteran off-spinner Patel brought himself on to make the breakthrough.

On 34, Burns was leg before, going back to a quicker arm ball – and Scott Borthwick had made only 11 when he edged Patel to Rhodes at slip.

But it was in-form paceman Oliver Hannon-Dalby who got the prize wicket when he had Stoneman caught behind not long before a premature close, which knocked 12 overs off the day.

Surrey all-rounder Jordan Clark told BBC Radio London:

“We played well as a team, especially after the first day did not go the way we would have wanted. To bowl them out for 230 was a really good effort.

“Then Mark Stoneman and Rory Burns got us off to a great start in our second innings and kept the momentum going for us.

“It was special for me to get my first Championship wicket for Surrey here at The Oval, which was always my favourite ground when I came to play here with Lancashire.

“It was a case of being disciplined with our line and lengths, to bowl as a unit and not go chasing for wickets. I wanted to take a bit of responsibility in the fourth seamer role, and Rikki Clarke – although only getting one wicket – more than played his part by going for just 33 runs from his 19 overs.”

Bears captain Jeetan Patel told BBC WM:

“The late wicket of Mark Stoneman was huge for us, and what happens first thing is now massive. We’ve got a real sniff if we take early wickets.

“It’s funny. When the sun came out at the start of their innings the conditions changed so much but then it clouded over again and we got that Stoneman wicket.

“They came out and bowled like the real Surrey, which we expected, but it was tough because they have a fine attack.

“The conditions throughout the first two sessions were in favour of the bowlers.”

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