Dravid and Ealham strive in vain

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Surrey 417 and 17-0 dec Kent 115-2 dec and 255-8 Match drawn

By Kieran Daley at The Oval

15 May 2000

A century stand between Rahul Dravid and Mark Ealham failed to inspire Kent to victory as they had to settle for a draw against Surrey after the captains had negotiated a contest from a match that appeared to be going nowhere.

Kent, replying to Surrey's 417, declared their first innings closed 302 runs adrift at an overnight score of 115 for 2. Mark Butcher then struck two sixes, a four and a single off four lobbed-up deliveries from Robert Key before Surrey declared at 17 without loss to leave the visitors facing an agreed target of 320 from a minimum of 93 overs.

But despite a fifth-wicket stand of 102 between Dravid, (71) and all-rounder Ealham (83) plus 50 from Paul Nixon, Kent finished short at 255 for 8.

The captains, Adam Hollioake of Surrey and Matthew Fleming, made their agreement after the match had been meandering along following a first-day wash-out.

Ealham came in 27 minutes before lunch and from then until mid-afternoon he and Dravid tried to ensure the Kent innings did not just slide away. The Kent batsmen nursed their partnership into three figures with Ealham's bursts of aggression supporting the wristy elegance of his Indian partner.

The reintroduction of Martin Bicknell just before tea brought Surrey back into the game as Dravid tried to pull one but could only top-edge high to Hollioake at extra cover.

Ealham's innings then ended when the persevering Ian Salisbury bowled him to leave Kent six men down and 121 runs short with 22 overs remaining. Their challenge for more than just draw points realistically ended when Fleming looped Alex Tudor to mid-off.

Nixon then shepherded the Kent tail as an honourable draw was achieved after a proper day's cricket had been fashioned from an unpromising beginning.