Lewis denies Surrey as chances go begging

Gloucestershire 368 & 255-9 Surrey 598 (Match drawn)
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The Independent Online

It would be fair to say that Surrey were a spent force after coming up against Gloucestershire's version of the John Lewis partnership, or more correctly, partnerships.

It would be fair to say that Surrey were a spent force after coming up against Gloucestershire's version of the John Lewis partnership, or more correctly, partnerships.

When the 28-year-old strode out at the fall of the eighth wicket, Gloucestershire were still 39 runs away from making Surrey bat again, while for their part the home side had some 28 overs to polish things off.

In seasons past Surrey made a habit of winning matches like this. Not yesterday. A mixture of dropped catches, close calls, an injury to the strike bowler Martin Bicknell and the luck of Lewis conspired to rob them. The usually reliable slip Alistair Brown had an unwelcome hat-trick, dropping three catches. The first two were regulation and at least they only cost 24 runs, Matt Windows being missed before scoring and Chris Taylor on five. It was the third that hurt most.

Ian Fisher had put on a heroic stand of 42 with Lewis before he was brilliantly caught by the substitute Nadeem Shahid at cover point. That was Adam Hollioake's second wicket and he was really fired up.

But in his next over came that fateful miss, which would effectively have won the game for Surrey because Gloucestershire had just crept in front and the hosts would have had seven overs to knock off the target of five runs. Naturally, it was Lewis who was missed. In Brown's defence it looked a difficult chance, entailing an acrobatic dive to his right into the second slip area.

Despite a lot of oohs and aahs from Surrey fielders and fans as lbw appeals were turned down, or the ball was edged just clear of the slips, Lewis, who ended unbeaten on 34 - his highest score of the season - and last man Shabbir Ahmed scraped and scrambled enough runs to frustrate Surrey.

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