County Championship: Hampshire post huge total against Surrey

By Kalika MehtaBBC Sport at The Oval
Sean Ervine
Sean Ervine's last five Championship scores have been 103, 106, 80, 10 not out and 158 not out
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Kia Oval, day three
Surrey 329 & 23-0
Hampshire 582-9 dec: Ervine 158*, Alsop 117, McLaren 100; Footitt 6-161
Surrey (4 pts) trail Hampshire (7 pts) by 230 runs

Sean Ervine and Ryan McLaren hit centuries as Hampshire forged a huge lead against Surrey at The Oval.

Hampshire declared on 582-9 with Ervine 158 not out, giving the visitors a lead of 253, before Surrey survived the remaining nine overs to close 23-0.

Tom Alsop fell to the second ball of the day as he was caught behind off Mark Footitt (6-161) for 117.

Ervine and McLaren (100) then shared a 186-run sixth-wicket stand before the latter became Footitt's fifth scalp.

The hosts had enjoyed the perfect start to day three as Liam Dawson soon followed Alsop back to the pavilion after he was well caught by substitute fielder Jade Dernbach off the bowling of Footitt.

Ervine and McLaren both batted supremely in the sun, with McLaren in particular playing with intent as the pair raced each other to reach three figures first.

Ervine won the battle, getting to his hundred off 178 balls, to score his third Championship century in five innings.

Left-arm seamer Footitt had McLaren caught at mid-on for 100 and captain James Vince eventually called time on Hampshire's first innings after Ervine passed 150.

Surrey openers Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley saw out the remainder of the evening session and, with the away side battling to stay in Division One, early wickets on the final morning will give them hope of clinching a vital victory.

However, Surrey's extremely slim hopes of winning the title look to have come to an end with their chances of victory almost diminished.