County Championship: Surrey edge to narrow win over Kent

Jason Roy
Jason Roy has scored 371 Championship runs at an average of 53 this season
LV= County Championship Division Two, Beckenham (day four)
Kent 282 & 204: Denly 66, Ansari 4-58
Surrey 292 & 196-7: Roy 60 not out, Stevens 3-29
Surrey won by three wickets
Kent 5 pts, Surrey 21 pts
Match scorecard

Surrey beat Kent by three wickets to go second in the Division Two table.

The visitors began day four on 44-1, chasing a target of 195 to win their Championship fixture at Beckenham.

Darren Stevens (3-29) inflicted some early damage to the Surrey top order, while Matt Coles claimed the prized wicket of Kumar Sangakkara for eight.

But Steven Davies (35) and Jason Roy's unbeaten 60 arrested the slide and, despite a couple of late dismissals, Surrey edged home by three wickets.

Surrey trail Division Two leaders Lancashire - who completed an innings win over Derbyshire on Wednesday - by 32 points, having played a game less.

They went into the final day as strong favourites, but some accurate Kent bowling in the morning session meant they had to battle hard to maintain their unbeaten Championship start in 2015.

Matt Coles
Kent's Matt Coles (l) celebrates the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara that left Surrey 75-4

Kent's veteran all-rounder Stevens, who had dismissed Zafar Ansari on the third evening, bowled Rory Burns for 37 before nightwatchman Matt Dunn (13) and Sangakkara fell in the space of four balls to leave Surrey 75-4.

Sangakkara was trapped lbw by a full ball from Coles, meaning the Sri Lanka international had failed to make it into double figures for the first time in nine Championship innings this season.

Dominic Sibley edged Ivan Thomas to slip, bringing Roy to the crease alongside Davies.

The pair put on a crucial 54 runs for the sixth wicket before Davies was dismissed by spinner Adam Riley, Coles taking a smart catch at slip.

With 18 left to win, Gary Wilson was caught behind off Coles to leave Kent needing three wickets for victory, but Roy stood firm to reach his half-century off 41 balls and hit the winning runs with a boundary through the leg side.

Jason Roy and Gareth Batty
Surrey captain Gareth Batty hugs Jason Roy after the latter hit the winning runs

Kent's Sam Northeast: "I don't think we scored enough runs in both our first and second innings. We were in position to do so, and in the first innings in particular we had a good chance to stamp our authority on the game when Rob Key and myself were together and putting on over a hundred.

"But we lost wickets in clusters in both the first and second innings and that cost us dearly. Another 50 or 60 runs was all that was needed, overall, but we didn't get them."

Surrey captain Gareth Batty told BBC London 94.9: "The game ebbed and flowed throughout. Zafar Ansari bowled a great spell [on day three] and everybody else chipped in on the back of that, to get a target that was very gettable.

"Ideally, we'd have liked to have done it with a couple of wickets less down, but for Jason Roy to play in the manner that he did at the end was magnificent."

BBC Radio Kent's Matt Cole: "Surrey were always favourites to wrap up victory on the final day, but Kent pushed them all the way. In the end, the calm head and glorious cover drives of Jason Roy took Surrey to victory.

"He survived a nervous start to finish on 60 not out. Credit, too, to Kent's Matt Coles who toiled away and was worth more than the two wickets he ended up with.

"The turning point was Kent's collapse on day three, but even so this was a great contest on a competitive wicket at Beckenham."

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