Tom Curran’s five-wicket-haul in his first Specsavers County Championship match of the season helped steamroll Nottinghamshire as Surrey took full control at The Oval.
Curran finished with figures of five for 28 as the visitors were bowled out for 101 with Tom Moores putting up the only resistance with a gritty 29. He was one of just three batsmen to make it into double figures, and the only man to score more than 12 in Nottinghamshire’s first innings.
With Surrey all out for 375, Nottinghamshire quickly slumped to 20 for three in the seventh over. Curran had Ben Slater – making his debut after a move from Derbyshire – caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes after Rikki Clarke’s juggle and Kraigg Brathwaite pinned in front with his 14th delivery of the day.
Samit Patel, the stand-in captain, was lbw to Morne Morkel to leave the visitors three down, and it was five with just 39 on the board when Jake Libby edged Curran to the cordon and Billy Root nicked to Foakes.
Moores was pragmatic and flexible in his batting: he frequently walked down the pitch at Clarke to combat the swinging ball and remove lbw from the equation. He has done well in white-ball cricket – and T20 in particular – since his debut and the freedom of movement around the crease he has developed proved useful here.
The 21-year-old hit powerfully through cover to score the bulk of his runs but it proved his downfall when he edged behind a wild swish against Conor McKerr to leave Nottinghamshire eight wickets down.
They lasted just six more balls as Curran had Luke Fletcher caught behind and demolished Harry Gurney’s stumps two balls later to end the innings. In between times, McKerr had Riki Wessels snaffled at point and Luke Wood edged behind Morkel – Foakes ended up with five catches in all.
Nottinghamshire, unsurprisingly, were made to follow-on with the deficit 274 and began far better than they had three hours previous. Brathwaite was hit on the helmet by a sharp Morkel bouncer but both he and Slater looked good as they put on an opening stand of 41.
Slater, though, fell for 21, edging a wild swish to Clarke at second
slip, taking a good catch above his head. Brathwaite and Jake Libby went about getting through 26 overs together unscathed but after adding 37 runs in front of a dwindling crowd, Libby was trapped lbw by Amar Virdi.
The visitors closed 191 runs behind on 83 for two when bad light stopped play seven overs from time at 7:03pm. It was a good final session for Nottinghamshire but they still have plenty of work to do if they are to save this match.
Earlier, Mark Stoneman had needed just five balls to reach his maiden first-class hundred of the season, cutting a short and wide delivery from Gurney to a cheer from the Surrey faithful. He had become the 179th batsman to end a first-class day unbeaten on 99 on Wednesday, with only 11 of those failing to make three figures the next morning.
Stoneman was, as he had been when compiling the first 99 runs, watchful and assured. He added 45 to his overnight score in nearly 25 overs but with Curran batting well at the other end, the runs were flowing freely enough. An on-driven four from Stoneman against Gurney was easily the shot of the day.
He eventually fell on 144 – the same he amassed in last year’s Royal London One-Day Cup final against the same opposition – feathering a cut behind. By that time, the score was 340; Curran had made 43 as he added 84 with Stoneman.
Virdi’s late hitting appeased the crowd as he edged a pair of
boundaries past the slips and plonked Patel into the Pavilion. He was bowled attempting the same shot next ball for a career-best 19.
Ollie Pope will also take part in the final two days of this match
having replaced Will Jacks at tea, with regulations stating that an
England player can replace a “nominated” player should they no longer be required for England.