Surrey v Warwickshire: Trott century as Bears fight back to avoid three-day defeat
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, The Kia Oval (day three):|
|Surrey 454: Stoneman 165; Wright 5-113|
|Warwickshire 91: Footitt 6-14 & 322-7: Trott 141 not out, Bell 64, Barker 57|
|Surrey 7 pts, Warwickshire 1 pt|
|Warwickshire trail by 41 runs|
Former England batsman Jonathan Trott spared Warwickshire's blushes as his excellent unbeaten 141 helped the Bears fight back at The Oval to take their game with Surrey into a fourth day.
Bowled out for 91 the previous day, the Bears resumed on 29-0, still needing a further 334 to make Surrey bat again.
But Trott batted most of the day, sharing century stands with Ian Bell (64) and Keith Barker (57).
That helped the visitors to close on 322-7, trailing by only 41 runs.
Although Trott and Jeetan Patel have so far put on 17 runs for the eighth wicket, the prospect of an innings defeat still looms.
After the Mark Footitt-inspired carnage of the previous day, the Bears' woes heightened when they quickly lost William Porterfield, pinned by Sam Curran from the 11th ball of the day.
Opening partner Alex Mellor went just three overs later, well taken at slip by Kumar Sangakkara poking at a delivery from Jade Dernbach he should have left alone.
But Bell and Trott used all their experience to keep Surrey's seam attack at bay, Bears skipper Bell reaching his half-century in the last over before lunch - his first 50 in 14 innings in first-class cricket since 3 July last year, when he made 66, also against Surrey, in the Bears' 10-wicket win at Guildford.
Having played solidly in his 103-run stand with Trott, Bell departed in mid-afternoon to a stunning catch at second slip from Scott Borthwick, two-handed diving high to his right, to give Footitt his seventh wicket of the match.
Sam Hain, Tim Ambrose and Surrey old boy Rikki Clarke all followed cheaply before Trott found another reliable partner in Barker, once he had survived being dropped by Rory Burns at slip on 13.
After Barker was eventually trapped leg before by a clever bit of spin bowling by home skipper Gareth Batty, Surrey scented a three-day innings win, but Patel and Trott at least averted that threat - and Surrey did not feel justified in claiming the extra half hour to get the job done.
Surrey coach Michael Di Venuto told BBC London:
"We expected Warwickshire to come back hard. It was pretty unique conditions yesterday and a pretty special spell from Mark Footitt to knock them over for 91.
"They're a quality side and we saw that today from Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell. But I'm really pleased with the way the boys stuck at the job.
"Tom Curran bowled an excellent spell in the afternoon and, by the end, Gareth Batty was turning the ball out of the rough and causing problems."
Warwickshire centurion Jonathan Trott told BBC WM:
"I'm pleased with how I have started the season but it was hard work out there so it was nice to get a score on the board.
"Mark Footitt bowled a really good spell on the second day and their seamers kept coming at us. Gareth Batty got some turn out of the rough towards the end there, but it was all about trying to set the game up for the fourth day if I could.
"I'm just a bit disappointed that I couldn't get a score on the second day but we've battled hard and hopefully I can carry that on."