Surrey Spin Twins set up Thrilling Final Day against Sussex

Daniel Moriaty took his third consecutive five for to turn the tide on Sussex as spin bowling took 13 wickets on day three of the Bob Willis Trophy.

In the space of 90 minutes Surrey spinners Moriarty and Amar Virdi completed a remarkable turnaround to put the hosts within touching distance of their first Bob Willis Trophy victory.

Playing in just his second first class game, Moriarty has now taken 17 wickets.

Post match Moriarty said: “Sussex bowled really well and to see Hash [Hashim Amla] grind it out with Foaksey [Ben Foakes] l, and then for [Will] Jacks and Jamie Overton put on a really good partnership – that swung it back in our favour.

“The wicket is broken up a little more than. We’ve learned from the first innings and luckily reaped the result.”

The slow left armer was given the opportunity to open the bowling for Surrey. He explained: “That expectation is a privilege, and it’s nice to feel that pressure and be responsible for bowling a team out.

“There’s still a lot of cricket to be played and we need to be really ruthless to get over the line. 

Just 18 seam deliveries were bowled during the Surrey innings, and 24 out of the 29 wickets have fallen to spin at the Kia Oval so far.

Surrey resumed play in a spot of bother following a brilliant five over period of play from after play was suspended due to bad light.

A 25 minute halt in play brought Sussex three wickets for one run, as 19-year-old off spinner Jack Carson had Burns leg-before with the first ball after the break.

The next over 18-year-old paceman Henry Crocombe sent Jamie Smith and nightwatchman Adam Finch back for ducks.

Ben Foakes dugout Crocombe’s hat trick ball and was still at the crease with Hashim Amla at the start of the third day, with Surrey 171-4 in reply to Sussex’s 415.

Since leaving the England bubble Foakes has excelled for Surrey, with scores of 118, 57, 44 and 60 not out for the Three Feathers. He once again looked settled, building a 43 run partnership with Amla before the South African star was dismissed on 26.

However, a moment of magic from Sussex debutant James Coles produced a Vettori-esque effort to dismiss the inform wicketkeeper for 39 off 137 balls.

The hosts continued on in pursuit of Sussex’s mammoth total, as Jacks and debutant Jamie Overton built a sixth wicket partnership of 112. Both comfortably brought up fifties but Overton fell shortly after bringing up his personal landmark for 55.

Hints of Surrey’s excellence came after Overton’s dismissal, as Sussex spinner Carson took his maiden five wicket haul.

The off spinner wrapped up the Surrey tail with ease leaving Jacks stranded on 84 not out.

With seven wickets falling to spin in the Surrey innings, Rory Burns brought his spinners on as soon as possible. The results did not disappoint as the Oval was filled with the screams of Foakes appeals.

A sharp stumping off left arm spinner Moriarty got rid of Aaron Thomasson for nine, before Amla set the tone with a stunning diving catch Ben Stokes would be jealous of to get rid of Haines for eight.

Spin continued to stun Sussex as none of the Sussex top six lasted more than 15 balls.

Moriarty brought up his third consecutive five-for in red ball cricket with the dismissal of George Garton.

At the Pavillion End, Amar Virdi took three with ease. First Delray Rawlins was caught on nine before the skipper Ben Brown and Coles were both dismissed cheaply. 

Thanks to Stuart Meaker and Jack Carson, Sussex were able to push themselves towards a defensible total, preventing the Surrey players from losing their voices.

Meaker struck four boundaries, including a stylish reverse sweep, against his former county to move the lead above 100. 

The innings total moved above 100 just before the close of play meaning Sussex will resume on the final morning on 109-9.

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