County Championship: Surrey bat out final day to draw with Hampshire

By Kalika MehtaBBC Sport at The Oval
Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara has scored 991 Championship runs for Surrey this season
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Kia Oval, day four
Surrey 329 & 248-3: Sangakkara 84*, Harinath 57
Hampshire 582-9 dec: Ervine 158*, Alsop 117, McLaren 100; Footitt 6-161
Surrey (9 pts) drew with Hampshire (12 pts)

Surrey's slim chances of winning the Division One title ended as they drew with relegation-threatened Hampshire.

The hosts, who resumed on 23-0 at The Oval needing 230 runs to avoid an innings defeat, lost Rory Burns for 18.

Kumar Sangakkara (84 not out) shared a century third-wicket stand with Arun Harinath (57) before the latter was caught behind off Sean Ervine.

A rain shower saw the players taken off at 16:00 BST, with Surrey on 248-3 and play was called off.

Surrey are now 27 points behind leaders Middlesex with just one match remaining, while Hampshire are six points from safety, but Lancashire and Durham above them have a game in hand.

If Durham and Lancashire pick up a significant haul of points next week, the battle for the final relegation spot could be between Hampshire and Warwickshire, who are separated by eight points with one match left each.

With Hampshire seeking 10 wickets on the final day, Brad Wheal followed up Liam Dawson's early dismissal of Burns by removing Dominic Sibley for 44, caught behind.

However, on a flat pitch Sangakkara remained untroubled, reaching his seventh Championship half-century of the season having hit eight boundaries.

Steven Davies' 57-run unbroken fourth-wicket partnership with the former Sri Lanka batsman saw Surrey creep towards taking the lead in the final session of play before the rain intervened.

Surrey skipper Gareth Batty told BBC Radio London:

"There will be people that will say that after the first four sessions of the game the pitch died and there wasn't a lot (in it) for anybody.

"Fair comment, but you've still got to ride out those pressure situations.

"Hampshire put us on the back foot by going so far ahead, and making it so we were the only team that could be on the wrong end of the result.

"The character shown was great. On the whole, walking away with a draw is not a particularly bad result."

Hampshire captain James Vince told BBC Radio Solent:

"We set the game up nicely for today and the bowlers stuck to it really well and were unlucky not to have a few more wickets.

"On a wicket where it was spinning out of the rough, they have left-handers, if we'd been able to get one or two more in that middle session, I'd have backed us to go on and win it.

"We'll have to see how next week unfolds and then make a plan going into the Durham game (in the final week).

"We're very much still alive, I think."