Another full day's play, another dispiriting batting performance by a large proportion of the Surrey contingent. Nottinghamshire ended the day 24 for 1, a lead of 91 runs with two days remaining.
Surrey started the day well as Jade Dernbach took just three balls to remove Harry Gurney without adding to the overnight score. 274 all out. It was a massive relief that the Notts tail was not allowed to add to the already excessive accumulation from last night. The total wasn't out of sight but it nonetheless required some sensible batting from Surrey to remain competitive.
By and large, that didn't happen. Rory Burns got another good delivery early in his innings and was caught behind for four. He was joined just a few balls later as Luke Fletcher beat Jason Roy's unfortunately tentative forward defensive to clean bowl him. Surrey were 9-2 and already deep in trouble. Vikram Solanki completely misjudging a Fletcher delivery that kept a touch low didn't help matters as he fell leg before to leave his side 27-3.
The procession continued through the morning session and Zander de Bruyn was the next man out. With his score on nine he played at a Paul Franks delivery he probably could have left but presented the edge and was caught at second slip. 47-4 became 49-5 on the stroke of lunch as Steven Davies aimed an injudicious fling at a wide delivery going wider only to also be caught at slip.
With the side still 225 runs behind and half the batsman accounted for it will not have been an easy lunch. After the break Arun Harinath extended his long vigil, but not by long enough. He threw his bat at a decent delivery to give Ajmal Shahzad his first wicket. It was a waste as his 24 runs had taken him 104 deliveries and roughly two and a half hours to compile. Not to mention that Surrey were still 50+ runs shy of the follow on target. Gary Wilson and Gareth Batty gave a much better account of themselves as they put on a determined 81 run partnership to first see Surrey past the follow on and then towards a semblance of respectability. Their innings were ended just four overs apart as first Wilson was caught behind off Samit Patel for 49 and then Batty was stumped off the same bowler for 41.
With the score on 152 and only the bowlers to come we could have been forgiven for giving up hope. However a tail end that had batted so insipidly against Durham instead managed to cobble together 46 very useful runs today. By the time Jade Dernbach was caught by Franks off the bowling of Shahzad to end the Surrey innings the deficit had been reduced to 66. With the bounce varying on the odd delivery perhaps having to bat last was also worth 20 or 30 extra runs for Notts. Surrey were very definitely second best. It surely cannot be a coincidence that since Graeme Smith's departure the "soft" dismissals have made something of a comeback. The Notts bowling today was certainly disciplined, but a few of the batsmen will know they got themselves out.
The Nottinghamshire second innings began as the first had done...slowly. Just 19 runs came off the first ten overs and when Meaker was introduced into the attack in the 11th he made the breakthrough, bowling Alex Hales for 17. It was a welcome wicket and we're likely to need Meaker to have a significant say tomorrow to have any chance in this game. However with the lead already approaching 100 and Notts' best batsmen still yet to come, Surrey may need to rely on some Saturday rain to rescue them.