Oval clash fizzles out into draw

There was no farewell flourish from Kevin Pietersen in what was expected to be his final LV=County Championship appearance for Surrey as their clash with second division leaders Lancashire fizzled out into a draw.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 4th June 2015, 10:22 am

Pietersen, who was out for two in the first innings, did not even get to the crease after Lancashire’s last four wickets had produced 321 runs to leave Surrey only 19 ahead on first innings with 71 overs remaining.

Instead he could only sit and watch Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari share an unbroken opening partnership of 186. Burns hit 110 and Ansari 66 before the teams shook hands on a result that maintains Lancashire’s 31-point lead.

Any chance Surrey had of narrowing the gap had been snuffed out in the morning when Lancashire’s last three batsmen added 87 in 23 overs against some ragged bowling.

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Tom Bailey and Kyle Jarvis, who had already put on 30 when Lancashire began the final day on 342 for eight, took their ninth wicket stand to 65 before Bailey was stumped off Gareth Batty for 34.

Then Jarvis and Simon Kerrigan plundered another 52 for the last wicket, picking up a fifth batting point along the way.

Jarvis had made 47 when he was caught behind off Stuart Meaker, while Kerrigan had struck an unbeaten 34 off 25 balls, including two straight sixes off Ansari, as Lancs closed on 429.

It had been a tremendous Lancashire recovery from 108 for six, led by James Faulkner and Jordan Clark with a seventh wicket partnership of 183, but it was little more than batting practice for Burns and Ansari after that.

Burns scored twice as quickly as his partner, reaching his fourth championship 50 of the season off 75 balls, including eight fours, and his first century off 166 balls with another six fours.

Ansari, who has been taking wickets with his left-arm spin but struggling for runs, needed 145 balls to get to his first championship 50 this year with his fifth four.

As for Pietersen, he may have played his last championship match but he will play for Surrey in the NatWest t20 Blast against Sussex at Arundel a week on Sunday before leaving for a six-week stint with St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League.

Lancashire return to T20 Blast action tomorrow against Yorkshire at Headingley.

Lancs head into the Roses clash having lost two of their previous three games in the tournament.