County Championship: Yorkshire rescued by rain in draw at Surrey

Morne Morkel.
Morne Morkel took three wickets in his opening two overs on Thursday morning
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Woodbridge Road, Guildford (day four):
Surrey 313: Foakes 62, Stoneman 61, Smith 56; Patterson 5-81
Yorkshire 148: Thompson 34; Morkel 4-43, Clarke 3-35 & 30-0
Surrey (11 pts) drew with Yorkshire (8 pts)

Reigning champions Surrey are still seeking a first win of the season after rain denied them an unlikely victory on the final day against Yorkshire.

Resuming on 58-1 in reply to Surrey's 313, Yorkshire slumped to 93-7 during a disastrous morning session.

After a lengthy rain delay, they were dismissed for 148 as Morne Morkel (4-43) and Rikki Clarke (3-35) shone.

Surrey enforced the follow-on but, with bad light intervening, the sides shook hands on a draw just after 17:00 BST.

At one stage, before Somerset's stunning win over Kent, this looked like the only County Championship match capable of producing a decisive result after the downpours that have plagued this week's games.

A draw had seemed inevitable at the start of the final day at Guildford but former South Africa paceman Morkel took three wickets in his opening two overs, including that of Gary Ballance with Thursday's first ball.

Surrey debutant Jordan Clark then removed Jonny Tattersall and Dom Bess in successive balls - his first Championship wickets for the title-holders - to leave Yorkshire fearing the unthinkable.

But, after an abridged morning session that saw them lose six wickets for 35 runs in 57 balls, Yorkshire were rescued by a lunchtime rain delay that lasted more than two hours.

After finally being bowled out and asked to bat again, Adam Lyth and Will Fraine survived the 13.3 overs of Yorkshire's second innings to reach 30-0 before the sides agreed on a draw.

After a fourth draw in six games, Surrey will bid for a first Championship win of the summer in 10 days' time when they host Warwickshire, who are also Yorkshire's next visitors on Monday, at York.

Surrey stand-in captain Ben Foakes told BBC Radio London:

"It's obviously been a tricky week with so much rain around, but we played well and got ourselves into a position where we could even look to push to win in the final session. But it would have been a long shot. And the weather had the final say.

"At the start this morning, we actually thought there would be more rain around, so we were only thinking about trying to get as many bowling bonus points as we could. But the way we bowled, we ended up thinking beyond that.

"We now have a week off from the Championship and it will be good for everyone to have a bit of a rest and then start again. With one or two wins, we can build some momentum and get on a roll."

Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale:

"It's been frustrating this week. Preparations have been tough. We haven't had nets in the morning, and there's no Indoor Centre on an out ground. It has not been ideal.

"Surrey batted well to get themselves in that position. We weren't quite switched on. If you're not switched on against good sides like Surrey, they can do some damage to you.

"There was a tricky little period at the end there. We were right on the back foot and batting to save the game. It's a lesson to us all. But we got a draw out of the game. It hasn't burst the bubble."

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