Surrey 253-8 Nottinghamshire: Hodgson leads fightback as Surrey battle for top-flight status

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A maiden first-class half-century from Lee Hodgson led a Surrey fightback on the first day of their County Championship First Division match with title contenders Nottinghamshire. The county are rooted to the bottom of the division and must beat Notts if they are to have any chance of staying up.

It was the perfect start for Hodgson in his first championship appearance. He was the last man out yesterday when he edged Mark Ealham to slip after top-scoring with 63 from 131 balls in a total of 253 for eight.

That was after the Nottinghamshire attack, led by Andre Adams (three for 35), had looked in a strong position as they snapped up the first five wickets with just 125 runs on the board.

Having won the toss and opted to bat, Surrey were soon regretting the decision as they lost Chris Murtagh in the second over of the day for a duck. Looking to drive Darren Pattinson through the covers off only his fourth ball, he edged to Graeme Swann at first slip.

Fellow opener Scott Newman, though, was quickly into his stride and went past 1,000 runs for the season when he struck three successive boundaries off Charlie Shreck.

Shreck, however, struck in the seventh over with the vital wicket of Mark Ramprakash, who walked having scored just four runs after edging to Chris Read behind the stumps. Newman continued to dominate and went on to complete his 50 coming off only 49 balls. He shared a third-wicket stand of 65 with Jonathan Batty before the hostile Adams had Newman (61) caught behind just before lunch.

During the afternoon session, Surrey made slow progress with Usman Afzaal and Matthew Spriegel scoring just 21 runs from the same amount of overs after they lost Batty early on for 34.

The returning Swann then snapped up the fifth wicket by having Spriegel caught at slip for 11. Meanwhile, Afzaal continued laboriously, although he did quicken up after tea with a couple of superb cover drives.

But it was a cover drive that brought about his downfall in the 70th over when he edged to first slip for 36, Adams picking up his third wicket.

A quickfire 16 from Stuart Meaker pushed Surrey towards their first batting point before he became the seventh wicket to fall with the score on 198, trapped leg before wicket to Samit Patel.

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