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Shreck and Naik bat well but County lose

Charlie Shreck recorded a maiden first-class 50 but Zafar Ansari and Gareth Batty spun Surrey to a ten-wicket LV=CC victory at the Kia Oval.

Veteran off-spinner Batty and young slow left-armer Ansari, who took a career-best five for 93, shared the spoils as Leicestershire slipped from 213 for five to 225 for nine.

With Shreck smashing 56 off 69 balls and Jigar Naik punching predominantly through the off-side to finish with a gutsy unbeaten 37, Leicestershire had a last-wicket stand of 94 to post a creditable 319 at the second time of asking.

But Surrey still made it home with a session to spare with Rory Burns making 40 not out at nearly a run a ball and Ansari hitting the winning runs off Naik through mid-wicket for four.

Shreck, speaking about being 49 not out at lunch, said: “I was actually quite nervous over lunch, which felt a bit strange. It’s normally fear of being hurt when I’m batting!

"I had a nice time. It was a lovely wicket to bat on and if I ever get the chance to bat out here again I’d take it.”

Resuming their second innings on 141 for two and needing another 110 runs to make Surrey bat again, Leicestershire lost Ned Eckersley to the fifth ball of the day when Matthew Dunn, who also struck in the first over on day three, produced a yorker to bowl the number three batsman for 30.

Nathan Buck, Leicestershire’s nightwatchman, got off the mark with an edge to third man off the bowling of Chris Tremlett, but followed it up by cutting the England fast bowler for another boundary two balls later.

Dan Redfern shaved the deficit to 66 by despatching Dunn through the off side for three fours in an over, prompting Surrey to employ spin at both ends just half an hour into proceedings.

The evergreen Batty, whose four for 83 took him to 23 championship wickets at an average of 19.78 this season, continued Leicestershire’s slide, accounting for Buck and Redfern in the space of four deliveries.

Buck, shaping to sweep, went leg before for 27. Two overs later, Redfern was lbw pushing forward for 22. Josh Cobb and Niall O’Brien stood firm for ten overs, but Batty sparked a further collapse by bowling Cobb for eight.

Five balls later, O’Brien was pinned lbw by Ansari, who struck again when Rob Taylor was bowled giving the 22-year-old the charge. Ben Raine, caught at slip for 10, received a brute of a delivery from Ansari that turned and lifted out of the rough outside the left-hander’s off stump.

But a spirited tenth wicket stand of 94 in 24 overs between Shreck and Naik delayed lunch by 48 minutes before a decision was taken to suspend hostilities. Surrey missed out on an innings victory when Shreck was dropped, on one, at long-on off Batty, after which the hosts appeared to run out of ideas.

Shreck brought up his 51-ball fifty in the first over after lunch but Ansari eventually finished the innings by trapping Shreck leg-before for 56. Surrey claimed 23 points with the win, to Leicestershire’s four.

The team’s next game in the LV=CC comes against Kent at Grace Road, starting on Monday, July 7 (11am).

 
 

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