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Surrey v Middlesex: Little between London rivals

PUBLISHED: 18:18 29 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:18 29 August 2017

Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones celebrates taking a wicket (pic John Walton/PA)

Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones celebrates taking a wicket (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Jason Roy and Ben Foakes both scored superb 70s to earn Surrey a slim first-innings lead in a hard-fought London derby at the Kia Oval.

By stumps, Middlesex, at 15 without loss in their second innings after Surrey had replied with 280 to their first day’s 247, were just 18 runs adrift.

Roy hit 79 from 91 balls, including three sixes off Ollie Rayner’s off-spin, and Foakes 73 from 122 balls in a fifth-wicket stand of 125 from 28 overs that threatened to give Surrey complete command as they counter-attacked from 106-4.

But, with Surrey’s total on 231-4, Roy attempted to hit Adam Voges’s occasional left-arm spin over long on and skewed a catch to mid-off.

Then, when Foakes fell leg-before to left-arm seamer James Franklin four overs later – the 75th of the innings – Surrey’s lower order was exposed to the second new ball.

Tim Murtagh almost immediately had Sam Curran caught at second slip for four and soon claimed Ollie Pope lbw for a useful 25.

Toby Roland-Jones also picked up two wickets with the second new ball, removing Rikki Clarke to a catch at extra cover for one and clean bowling last man Amar Virdi for one to finish with 4-66.

Earlier Surrey nightwatchman Stuart Meaker, with a 109-ball 42, had led the second day resistance in a Specsavers County Championship match both sides need to win if they are to pull away from the Division One relegation zone.

Meaker’s eventual dismissal, caught at the wicket nibbling at Steven Finn in the fourth over after lunch and the 43rd of the innings, led to the Roy and Foakes counter-attack as Middlesex’s bowlers suddenly found it difficult to keep the pressure on the two batsmen.

Roy also struck six fours, besides his sixes – two of which were from successive balls from Rayner – while Foakes hit 12 fours in his excellent knock.

With just a single to his name in Surrey’s overnight 26-2, Meaker – who hit six fours – had initially been the unexpected senior partner in a stand of 63 for the third wicket with Scott Borthwick, who laboured through 78 balls for his 24 before flashing at Finn and nicking to keeper John Simpson.

The last nine scheduled overs of the day were lost to bad light.

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