An unbeaten 83 from Zafar Ansari has lead Surrey to a draw on Day 4 of the LVCC Division One match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Play didn’t start until 11.45 due to a rain shower, and after surviving 18 overs last night, Burns and Ansari started slowly, but comfortably going past their 2nd 50 partnership in just 4 innings. Burns was looking the better of the two, finding the boundary on a few occasions with some beautiful drives. However, 20 minutes before the break, Warwickshire made the breakthrough when Burns looked to defend a Rankin ball, but it went into the ground and back onto the stumps. Unlucky for Burns, falling 8 short of 3 consecutive half centuries, but showing increased promise at the top of the order.
Rankin was making batting look difficult, bowling short to Harinath and Ansari, and had them in trouble a couple of times before lunch, in which the pair safely negotiated to go in on 83-1.
Straight after the break though, Surrey lost Harinath without scoring. A blow for Surrey as Harinath has a reputation to dig in, and personally he will be disappointed that he couldn’t make a contribution. After a couple of short rain breaks, de Bruyn was the next man to go when he played an inexcusable shot. Jeetan Patel lobbed up a full toss, in which he swept straight down the throat of deep midwicket. Not what was required in the situation, as de Bruyn continues his poor form this season.
Roy joined Ansari, and batting was looking increasingly difficult as runs were hard to come by, and the hosts put down a variety of chances around the bat off the bowling of Jeetan Patel. Ansari picked up his first Championship half century for Surrey when he flicked Clarke down to fine leg for four. It had come off 170 balls, and had been a fine effort. He went past his previous best First Class score of 59 before the tea break, in which they went in on 140-3, still with a minimum of 28 overs remaining in the day.
Batting began to look slightly easier after the break, as the Warwickshire bowlers worked hard without success, as Roy was playing as he never had before, with his strike rate down at 20 throughout the early part of his innings. He and Ansari were taking Surrey towards the draw, and took their side into the final hour, in which they had to stave off the second new ball.
At 25 past 5, the players shook hands, with Surrey on 202-3, and the batsman had done their job. Not many Surrey fans would have thought we would have got through today, but we did and it was a fantastic effort, in particular from Zaf. He finished unbeaten on 83, off a massive 257 balls, which shows that he has grit and determination in abundance. And a quick word for Roy, who played out of his comfort zone today, and supported Zafar brilliantly, ending on 42* of 101.
After being out of the game after the second day, a draw is all we could have hoped for, and it was a fine effort from the batsman. It may just be an extra 3 points with the draw, but they could all be important come the end of the season, and today will also give our side some much needed confidence. The batting has been poor of late, and some players are still nowhere near their best form, but it’s good to see youngsters such as Burns, Ansari and Roy impressing, all of which have big futures at the club.
So still only the one win this season, but we have moved above Lancashire into 6th place in the table, which would give our players a big psychological boost. We now travel to Trent Bridge for the floodlit CB40 clash against Notts Outlaws on Wednesday, before the massive LVCC game against Durham at the Emirates ICG next Tuesday.