County Championship round-up: Graeme Smith's maiden century guides Surrey to victory
Wednesday 14 May 2014
Batsman of the Day
Graeme Smith hit his maiden century for Surrey, who won their first Championship match since 31 August 2013. The former captain of South Africa, who missed much of the first of his contracted two seasons with the county through injury, shook the monkey off his back in his 13th innings with a century made in his customary style, underpinned by power and aggression. It came off just 107 balls with 16 fours and dominated an opening stand of 145 with Rory Burns which ended when he was caught behind attempting to pull a ball from Matt Taylor.
Steven Davies's switch from wicketkeeper to specialist batsman paid an early dividend when his half-century helped keep the momentum going as Surrey successfully chased 267 to win and ensured that Chris Tremlett's six-wicket haul in Gloucestershire's 230 all out did not go to waste.
Bowler of the Day
Two more wickets for Steven Finn maintained his position as the country's leading wicket-taker so far but he was overshadowed by the Ireland international Tim Murtagh as Middlesex beat Lancashire at Lord's to claim their third win of the season and stay among the leading group in the First Division table.
Murtagh, the 32-year-old right-arm swing bowler finished with 6 for 60 as Lancashire were dismissed for 223 after threatening to battle their way to a draw while Ashwell Prince and Jos Buttler were together. However, they lost their way after Buttler completed his second fifty of the match only to edge a ball from Murtagh to first slip without addition.
Murtagh then made a further critical incision when he dismissed Tom Smith for a duck before claiming Prince as his fifth wicket, caught behind for 86. Murtagh added Kyle Hogg to his list of victims, at which point there were still 27 overs left in the day. In the event, Chris Rogers and Sam Robson needed only 23 balls to knock off the 31 runs needed to win.
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