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Robson again flourishes as County fight hard

Leicestershire were made to follow on at the Kia Oval but Angus Robson again played beautifully to give the team a fighting chance of saving the LV=CC game.

The 22-year-old followed up his 75 in Leicestershire's first innings of 271 with an equally assured 81, which came off 132 balls and included nine fours.

Robson took his LV=CC seasonal tally to 681 as County ended the day on 141-2 in their second innings, trailing by 110.

The opener provided much-needed composure in alliance with Matthew Boyce, who contributed 24, and Ned Eckersley, who hit an unbeaten 28 against a Surrey attack missing Jade Dernbach, who went off with a pulled hamstring.

Resuming the first innings on 125 for three, Leicestershire lost Dan Redfern to the third delivery of the day, lbw to Matthew Dunn for 25.

Nightwatchman Nathan Buck overcame being struck on the helmet by Dernbach by on-driving Dunn for two successive fours before top edging a pull over the slips for a third boundary in the over.

Josh Cobb was then hit on the helmet by Dunn, which prompted the Leicestershire captain to hook the 22-year-old fast bowler for six.

Buck’s action-packed innings was eventually ended when Chris Tremlett had him caught behind for 24.

Cobb departed to a sharp catch at slip off Gareth Batty for 17 and in the next over Rob Taylor was run out by a direct hit from Dunn after Niall O’Brien had pushed Tremlett to wide mid-on.

With Ben Raine pulling both Tremlett and Dernbach confidently for four and O’Brien at his best when cover driving Dernbach for two successive boundaries, Leicestershire went to lunch on 222 for seven.

Raine and O’Brien combined for a purposeful 59 in 21 overs before Raine was caught behind off Zafar Ansari for 27, to be followed by O’Brien, who was lbw for 33 prodding forward to Gareth Batty.

Leicestershire’s last wicket pair, Charlie Shreck and Jigar Naik, held up Surrey for ten entertaining overs, during which Shreck backed away to despatch Batty, Dunn and Dernbach through extra cover for four.

Dernbach limped off in the second over with the new ball, though not before Shreck had cut the 28-year-old fast bowler off his stumps to the rope at third man and backed away again to smear him through the off side.

With Tremlett picking up a third scalp by trapping Naik lbw, Shreck was left unbeaten on 28 and Surrey enforced the follow-on with Leicestershire 251 behind.

Robson and Boyce shared 67 for the first wicket and Boyce eventually came of his shell shortly after tea when he cut and then swept Batty for four, only to fall leg before, padding up to Ansari in the next over.

Robson brought up his seventh half-century of the season from 73 balls with a seventh boundary, a four through extra cover off Ansari, though not before twice dabbing Batty to the rope at deep backward point in as many deliveries.

There was a disappointing end to the day as Robson again fell within sight of a much-deserved maiden first-class century. The opener departed just before the close when Rory Burns snapped him up at short leg off the bowling of Batty to end a resolute second wicket stand of 74 in 23 overs.

Robson has made six scores between 75 and 96 this term, and a hundred is surely just around the corner. His two fine innings in this match have given Leicestershire hope of taking home a good points haul from the capital.

 
 

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