After the disappointment of losing a full day to the rain yesterday, a full quota was bowled today, and with another full day in prospect tomorrow the game is genuinely in the balance.
That is thanks to some excellent bowling late in the day from Tim Linley (who had earlier taken a career best 6-81) and Matt Dunn (who was called in to replace Dernbach who is joining up with the England test side - well done Jade!). Both bowlers took two wickets apiece in the final 12 overs of play including first innings centurion Chesney Hughes. Where the games against Glamorgan and Essex needed something extraordinary to happen on the final day there is a real chance of a result tomorrow, Redfern and Durston have a real fight on their hands tomorrow morning to keep Derbyshire in the mix.
Surrey were bowled out for what seemed a slightly disappointing 358 at the time, but there is clearly still something in the pitch. Hamilton-Brown, Davies, de Bruyn and Maynard all made fifties in very good time but none passed 80. The final five wickets collapsed in a heap for just 25 runs, including Chris Jordan for a six ball duck, he really has had a wretched game and his participation in the Twenty20s will now probably rely in injuries to others. Still, getting to within 42 of Derbyshire's 400-9 declared (and doing so in only 70 overs) meant we were still well in the game.
With Derbyshire 35-4 at the close of play, just 77 runs ahead Surrey are looking good. However with the two batsmen at the crease, Smith and Sutton still to come Derbyshire could quite conceivably add 150 to their score, chasing 220 in 50 or so overs on a helpful pitch will not be easy. The bowlers (and it will almost certainly require more than just Linley and Dunn) need to be right on the money tomorrow morning, Jewell and de Bruyn will have work to do and Batty might be called upon to tie up an end. Credit must go to the team who batted and bowled aggressively today to put themselves in with a shout. We've created an opening this evening, they must make sure they exploit it.