County hold on thanks to Pardoe

WORCESTERSHIRE’S ninth-wicket pair of Matt Pardoe and Richard Jones survived 45 balls to prevent Surrey from pulling off what would have been a remarkable victory at New Road.

The visitors came close to triumphing after following on for only the second time since 1868 in the LV= County Championship Division One clash.

Surrey had trailed by 172 runs on first innings and lost four wickets overcoming that deficit in their second innings.

But centuries from skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown and Tom Maynard, plus some inspired bowling by paceman George Edwards on his championship debut revived their fortunes.

Worcestershire were eventually left to chase a target of 260 in 52 overs and closed on 150-8 with Edwards taking 4-44.

Home openers Michael Klinger and Daryl Mitchell, inset, made a solid start but the visitors took control with three wickets for no runs in the space of 11 balls.

Edwards, given his opportunity with Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker on England Lions duty, started the slide by having Klinger (15) caught at gully and four balls later trapped Vikram Solanki leg before wicket before he had got off the mark. It became 29-3 in the next over when Mitchell (six) fell lbw to Jon Lewis.

Former Worcestershire spinner Gareth Batty added to the hosts’ woes when Moeen Ali (five) chopped the ball onto his stumps and the off-spinner also bowled James Cameron (28).

Edwards returned to pick up two wickets in an over for the second time when wicketkeeper Ben Scott (0) and Aneesh Kapil (2) both fell attempting expansive shots.

Pardoe and David Lucas (19) survived 11 overs before Jon Lewis had the latter caught down the legside by wicketkeeper Steven Davies, another ex-Worcestershire player. But that was Surrey’s last success as Pardoe (38 not out) and Jones held out.

Surrey had begun the final day on 216-4 — a lead of only 44. But Hamilton-Brown and Maynard, who had both made ducks in the first innings, set up a challenging declaration with a record-breaking partnership.

Their stand of 225 in 44 overs was a Surrey fifth-wicket record against Worcestershire, beating the previous best of 193 by Monte Lynch and Trevor Jesty at The Oval in 1986.

Worcestershire were unable to stem the flow of runs and were handicapped by the absence of leading wicket-taker Alan Richardson with a shoulder injury.

Maynard reached his fourth first-class century off 102 balls with 14 fours and a six and he went on to reach a career-best 143, surpassing his 141 against Middlesex last season.

Hamilton-Brown’s ton contained 12 fours from 144 deliveries and was the sixth of his career. He was eventually dismissed for 115 and then Zander de Bruyn hit 34.

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