County Championship: Smith ton leads Surrey run-feast against Glamorgan

Hashim Amla
After Hashim Amla celebrated his 50, he was dropped three times by Glamorgan
Glamorgan 672-6 dec: C Cooke 205*, Lloyd 121, Carlson 69, J Cooke 68, Douthwaite 59; Virdi 3-140
Surrey 387-2: Smith 138, Pope 95*, Amla 87*, Patel 62; Byrom 2-52
Surrey (5 pts) trail Glamorgan (5 pts) by 285 runs

Jamie Smith hit a career-best 138, while Hashim Amla (87 not out) and Ollie Pope (95 not out) are in the runs as Surrey and Glamorgan moved towards a high-scoring draw at the Oval.

Surrey go into the final day on 387 for two, still 285 runs behind.

Occasional spinner Eddie Byrom took two wickets, but Glamorgan failed to hold crucial chances.

Over a thousand runs have been scored for only eight wickets over three days on a perfect batting surface.

Each of Surrey’s partnerships has been worth more than a hundred so far, but the visitors could have given themselves an outside chance of bowling Surrey out on the final day if they had held their catches.

Opener Smith led the way with a composed knock off 236 balls with some impressive on-drives among his 17 fours, sharing an opening stand of 140 with Ryan Patel (62).

Byrom claimed his first first-class wicket when Patel edged to slip, and eventually added his second when Smith was caught behind down the leg-side, having benefited from a life on 53.

Amla, the 38 year old South African, looked to be settling in for the duration, but was then dropped three times on 61, 79, and 87.

It was left to England Test man Pope to play a flawless innings with 12 boundaries, as he dominated a stand of 140 with Amla.

With all 12 batsmen to reach the crease having reached 35 or more – an obscure Championship record – it will take a remarkable turn of events to avoid a draw to finish the Division Two season.

Surrey centurion Jamie Smith said:

“That must be the least responsive surface for bowlers that I have ever played on, but of course it was definitely enjoyable to bat on and it was important to make it count.

“In April and May you have to play on plenty of pitches that do something, so to be able to bat for a long time today was great for me and you take it.

“We are definitely going to keep on batting for as long as possible [to get the draw].

“It will also be nice if Rikki Clarke, in his last match for the club before he retires, can get out there and have a decent bat.”

Glamorgan’s Eddie Byrom told BBC Sport Wales:

“I wouldn’t have had myself down as the day’s leading wicket-taker to be fair, and the two balls I got wickets with didn’t turn.

“I’ve been working a bit on my leg-spin and definitely it’s something I’ll look to get better at, it adds another string to the bow.

“There were a couple of dropped chances, one from me early on, so that hurt us because when the pitch isn’t offering much you have to take your chances, while equally Surrey played very well and piled on the runs.

“It was a tough day for the bowlers, but hopefully the pitch does break up a bit more and hopefully if the sun’s out it’ll be somewhat of a day-four pitch, not just a flat one.”

BBC News