Another fine bowling performance from Surrey has made a victory in spite of the delightful August weather eminently possible. The bowlers were backed up by a determined effort to see out the day and Surrey will begin tomorrow only 45 runs behind with 8 wickets still in hand.
After losing the toss and being asked to bowl Hamilton-Brown will have been very pleased with a scoreboard that read 83-5 by the time the lunch interval came around. Three more wickets for Tim Linley plus one apiece from de Bruyn and Stuart Meaker put us in the driving seat right from the word go.
They didn't let Leicestershire off the hook after the break either and it was only 70 runs from Rob Taylor which protected them from complete humiliation. Pragyan Ojha, who was signed only yesterday, made an impressive debut picking up 2-19 from just shy of 14 overs. An attacking spin option on a day one pitch is something we've been missing for a very long time and Ojha's return - not just wickets but restricting the scoring - shows how valuable that can be.
Hamilton-Brown might have had the weather forecast ringing in his ears as he came out attacking from the off. That was before he was caught behind off Nathan Buck for 17 from 19 balls. His opening partner, Davies, then put on 60 runs with Mark Ramprakash before the latter was out LBW to Shiv Thakor - his first ever Championship wicket. The unthinkable thought that Ramps might be playing his last few games for Surrey is moving ever more starkly into my mind, I hope I'm wrong.
Steven Davies went on to make his first Championship fifty since early June as an unbeaten 37 run partnership with Zander de Bruyn saw Surrey through to the close of play. A brighter day beckons tomorrow and Surrey will be looking to pile on the runs and hope to dodge the showers on day three to force a victory.
A win is an absolute must in this match and Surrey have got off to the best possible start - don't let up!
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