Cricket: Surrey feel the title tension
Yorkshire 250-9 dec Surrey 10-0
Thursday 03 September 1998
Presented with a pitch so green it was barely distinguishable from the rest of the square, and with heavy cloud cover, captain Adam Hollioake quite naturally asked Yorkshire to bat on winning the toss. But it soon became clear that the clatter of falling wickets was not going to be a feature as Yorkshire, adopting a policy of minimum risk, made patient progress.
It added up to a day to stretch Surrey's nerves as they strive to win the title 27 years after the Championship pennant last flew over The Oval. Leicestershire cut their lead to 15 points in the last round and failure to win here would leave Surrey vulnerable.
Restored virtually to full strength, Surrey faced a Yorkshire side lacking Darren Lehmann, who has returned to Australia to prepare for the Commonwealth Games, and Darren Gough, who has a hamstring strain. But they found themselves up against stubborn opponents unwilling to sell themselves cheaply.
None was more obstructive to their ambitions than Craig White, back in action for the first time in two months after suffering from a persistent back injury. White is not fit enough to bowl but, asked to open for the first time in a four-day match, proved he is quite comfortable with a bat. White completed his first half-century of the season with his seventh boundary, a handsome cut off Ben Hollioake that he immediately repeated. With skipper David Byas, who came in at four, White added 81 in 24 overs to establish a useful platform for his side at 150 for 3 before Hollioake gained his revenge as the batsman steered the ball to Ally Brown at slip.
Earlier, Mark Butcher had drawn first blood for Surrey when Michael Vaughan was leg before wicket, shuffling across one that came back. The England A captain was the only casualty before lunch but Martin Bicknell, who had bowled well without reward in the morning session, earned a belated success straight after the interval when Matthew Wood fell victim to a high slip catch held by Alec Stewart.
After White's dismissal, 20-year-old Gary Fellows, making his debut, became a second victim for Ben Hollioake when he was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Jonathan Batty before Byas and Bradley Parker put on 58 for the fifth wicket, the partnership ending when Parker was leg before offering no stroke to Adam Hollioake as Surrey claimed their second bonus point in the 87th over.
Byas reached 52 in three hours and 32 minutes before falling leg before to a Butcher inswinger as Surrey suddenly gained the upper hand, taking three wickets in 15 balls as Butcher bowled Gavin Hamilton and Richard Blakey chased a ball outside his off-stump.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal and Puma unveil world's first left-footed football
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
Raheem Sterling interview: No amount of money can convince Sterling to stay at Liverpool
Liverpool injury news: Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren expected to be ready for Arsenal clash
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...