Mark Footitt’s first five-wicket haul for Surrey put them in pole position for victory at the end of day three against Lancashire in the Specsavers County Championship Division One.
Sam Curran made a career-best 96 for the hosts at The Oval to give them a 193-run first innings lead before Footitt ripped through Lancashire to leave them 203-8 at stumps.
After Arron Lilley’s five-wicket haul, Luke Procter and Alviro Petersen made half-centuries for Lancs’ but they will resume just ten runs ahead with two wickets in hand.
Surrey start well despite early drop
Resuming 354-6 on day three, Rob Jones made an early mistake for the visitors, shelling a catch offered by Tom Curran at second slip early on Thursday morning.
Alongside Tom was brother Sam and the pair piled on 33 in the first seven overs of the day, with Sam Curran reaching his half-century half an hour into the day’s play from just 75 balls.
Older brother Tom faced 20 balls without scoring on the evening of day two but made 25 on Thursday morning before he was Lilley’s first wicket of the day. Jones snaffled the elder of the Curran brothers at deep square leg, bringing an end to a 70-run seventh wicket partnership, with Gareth Batty joining Sam at the crease.
The 39-year-old made his first-class debut ten months before the younger of the Curran’s was even born and moved to 7,000 first class runs shortly after arriving at the crease.
He supported Curran brilliantly as he hung around for just under an hour, scoring just 16 as the 18-year-old raced towards his century.
But he was unable to reach his maiden first-class century as he was caught and bowled by Lilley for 96 and Batty fell to Simon Kerrigan shortly after when he was trapped in front.
Footitt was the last man out after a delay for light and rain, bringing up Lilley’s five-wicket haul as he was bowled to leave Lilley with 5-130 and Surrey 480 all out.
That gave them 193-run first innings lead and Lancashire started positively as the opening pair of Procter and Haseeb Hameed went at over four runs an over.
Lancs off to a flyer before Meaker strikes
It was Footitt who made the early breakthrough as he found the edge of Hameed, who departed for 17.
Despite their early loss, Lancashire continued to pile on the runs as Liam Livingstone joined Procter and the pair shared a stand of 40 in 10 overs until Stuart Meaker’s bouncer was too good for Livingstone who gloved to Steven Davies for 13.
Procter reached his half-century shortly before the rain arrived again to stop Surrey’s momentum and after the delay the opener and Petersen set about their business once more.
They were to bat for over an hour after an early tea was taken, but that man Footitt got the crucial breakthrough after Procter had been dropped by Davies off Tom Curran on 65.
Surrey skittle Lancs in final session
In what was becoming rather typical of the match, Petersen reached a brisk 57-ball fifty with a four, but was dismissed just nine balls later as he dollied one up to cover.
Surrey piled on the pressure as Steven Croft went for a duck to Footitt and the left-armer had his fourth when Procter was trapped in front for 76 from 153 balls, meaning Surrey had claimed three wickets for just 11 runs.
That left Lancashire 178-5 and things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Batty struck twice in an over as Jones was given out LBW for 10 and Jordan Clark bowled for one.
Lancashire were yet to lead at this point and when the scores were level, Footitt grabbed his fifth when Lilley was caught at slip for three before finishing the day with figures of 5-49 from 16 overs.
Surrey had taken six wickets for just 82 runs in the session before Kyle Jarvis (7*) and Nathan Buck (5*) saw Lancs’ to stumps, leaving Lancashire effectively 10-8 going into the final day in which will certainly yield success for Surrey.