DAY FOUR - CLOSE OF PLAY

MATCH ABANDONED

MIDDLESEX 247 a/o & 214/7

SURREY 280 a/o

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Armed police were called and the ground evacuated after a potentially lethal crossbow bolt landed close to the players during Surrey’s County Championship match against Middlesex at the Kia Oval.

Police believe the 12-inch long metal-tipped bolt travelled around 800 metres before coming to ground about ten yards from the pitch.

Officers and an armed response team from the Metropolitan Police arrived within 15 minutes and a full search of the ground was carried out by police and around 30 security staff after spectators were told to evacuate outdoor seating areas and move inside.

The game was abandoned at 5.05pm by which time the 1,000 crowd had been told they could leave.

Surrey chief executive Richard Gould said: “It is the sort of thing that could easily have been fired some distance from outside the ground if it came from a crossbow. It could very easily have killed someone. It had a pointed end and stuck in the turf when it crossed the outfield and landed, although we are not ballistics experts.”

Police were concentrating their search on where the bolt could have been launched around an area to the north-east of the Oval, close to the gas-holders.

The incident happened at 4.20pm when umpires Michael Gough and Paul Baldwin were alerted by the players who were immediately taken off the field.

Gould added: “We do not know if it was fired deliberately or if it just landed on our green space. It’s a lightweight projectile but one which looked as if it could have travelled 800 metres. We acted on the basis that we had to make safety the main precaution as we had no other evidence.

“It is pure speculation where it came from because it is a very dense area around the ground. We are investigating reports that there was a noise on the roof of the OCS Stand but we haven’t been able to get up there to see whether it was the projectile ricocheting off the roof or a separate projectile.

“We may never find out if it was a deliberate act, but in these heightened times these sorts of acts are wholly irresponsible.

“People should not feel threatened in this way. If it is more than mischief-making then we need to find the perpetrators. We will review our security arrangements but threats can be so wide-ranging.

“There is probably no way of securing against this type of incident if it was fired from outside. We always try and provide the safest type of environment but it can be very difficult to stop this kind of act.”

Surrey captain Gareth Batty was fielding about 25 yards from where the arrow landed.

He said: “It was a pretty tasty arrow with a proper metal end. I did archery as a kid and that was not a normal archery arrow. The umpires dealt with it very well. There were no questions asked – we went off very quickly.

“Someone saw it in flight, there was a noise when it landed but it happened so quick. It is a deadly weapon for sure, if it had hit someone it would have caused some serious damage. It just shows the world we live in.

“You have to be diligent, it would be stupid not to be but if you’re constantly worrying about what is going to happen that is not a great place to be. If it is a crossbow rather than a longbow it is probably someone messing around and not understanding the implications of firing something into the air.

“Let’s hope it’s a couple of people who will feel pretty ashamed in the morning when they realise what happened.”

The game was abandoned as a draw with Middlesex reaching 214 for 7 in their second innings, a lead of 181 runs.

Sam Curran had earlier taken three wickets in ten balls and Middlesex slumped to 94 for 6, a lead of just 61 runs, shortly after lunch.

But John Simpson added 64 in 16 overs with Ollie Rayner (30) and 56 with Nick Compton (28 not out) when the incident occured. Simpson finished 88 not out from 150 balls with 13 fours.

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DAY FOUR - TEA

MIDDLESEX 247 a/o & 195/7

SURREY 280 a/o

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

John Simpson hit an unbeaten 74 to hold up Surrey’s push for victory over Middlesex on the final day of their Specsavers Championship match at the Kia Oval.

Middlesex were 94 for 6, a lead of just 61, when Toby Roland-Jones was caught and bowled by Rikki Clarke shortly after lunch.

But Simpson joined forces with Ollie Rayner to put on 64 in 16 overs before Rayner (30) made his first misjudgement and was leg before to Stuart Meaker.

Nick Compton, unable to resume his innings at the start of the day because of back spasms, came in with a runner but dug in to help Simpson take Middlesex to 195 for 7, a lead of 162 with 39 overs remaining.

Simpson brought up his 50 with an extra-cover boundary off Sam Curran, whose three wickets in ten balls earlier in the day has raised Surrey’s hopes of forcing a win. At tea Simpson had faced 133 balls and hit 11 fours while Compton was unbeaten on 23 despite being struck by a bouncer from Stuart Meaker which forced him to seek treatment.

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DAY FOUR - LUNCH

MIDDLESEX 247 a/o & 86/5

SURREY 280 a/o

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Sam Curran took three wickets in ten balls to give Surrey a platform to push for victory on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Middlesex at the Kia Oval.

The champions were reduced to 86 for 5 at lunch, a lead of just 53, with opener Nick Compton unable to resume his innings today because of back spasms.

Curran struck twice in his fourth over of the day although there was controversy surrounding his first wicket when Sam Robson (21) was given out caught behind off a ball which appeared to pitch in the bowlers' footholds and take off. Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes took the catch above his head.

There was no doubt about Curran's second victim four balls later as Adam Voges edged his outswinger to slip and in his next over Steve Eskinazi (6) was lbw working to leg.

Ryan Patel then picked up his maiden first-class wicket when Paul Stirling (12) lost his midde stump trying to swat a full-length ball through the leg side. Middlesex were 60 for 4, effectively 27 for 4, but skipper James Franklin and John Simpson seemed to have steadied the ship until Rikki Clarke went round the wicket to have Franklin (15) caught behind down the leg side off the penultimate ball before lunch.

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DAY THREE - CLOSE OF PLAY

MIDDLESEX 247 a/o & 15/0

SURREY 280 a/o

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

There was frustration for Surrey and Middlesex after the third day's play in their Specsavers County Championship match at the Kia Oval was washed out.

Umpires Paul Baldwin and Michael Gough had hoped to get underway at 11.20am but shortly before the start rain swept in.

An early lunch was taken but with no sign of a break in the weather play was called off at 2.30pm.

The forecast for tomorrow's final day is better and Middlesex will resume on 15-0 in their second innings, still trailing by 18 runs.

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DAY THREE - LUNCH

MIDDLESEX 247 a/o & 15/0

SURREY 280 a/o

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

No play was possible before lunch on day three of Surrey's Specsavers County Championship match against Middlesex at the Kia Oval.

Umpires Paul Baldwin and Michael Gough had hoped to start at 11.20, but just before they came out the rain returned. The players took an early lunch at 12.30 but the forecast suggests it could be a while before play might start.
Middlesex are 15-0 in their second innings, having conceded a first innings lead of 33.

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DAY TWO - CLOSE OF PLAY

MIDDLESEX 247 a/o & 15/0

SURREY 280 a/o

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Jason Roy and Ben Foakes both scored superb 70s to earn Surrey a slim first-innings lead in a hard-fought London derby at the Kia Oval. By stumps Middlesex, at 15 without loss in their second innings after Surrey had replied with 280 to their first day’s 247, were just 18 runs adrift.

Roy hit 79 from 91 balls, including three sixes off Ollie Rayner’s off-spin, and Foakes 73 from 122 balls in a fifth wicket stand of 125 from 28 overs that threatened to give Surrey complete command as they counter-attacked from 106 for 4.

But, with Surrey’s total on 231 for 4, Roy attempted to hit Adam Voges’s occasional left-arm spin over long on and skewed a catch to mid off. Then, when Foakes fell leg-before to left-arm seamer James Franklin four overs later – the 75th of the innings – Surrey’s lower order was exposed to the second new ball.
Tim Murtagh almost immediately had Sam Curran caught at second slip for 4 and soon claimed Ollie Pope lbw for a useful 25. Toby Roland-Jones also picked up two wickets with the second new ball, removing Rikki Clarke to a catch at extra cover for 1 and clean bowling last man Amar Virdi for 1 to finish with 4 for 66.

Earlier Surrey nightwatchman Stuart Meaker, with a 109-ball 42, had led the second day resistance in a Specsavers County Championship match both sides need to win if they are to pull away from the Division One relegation zone.
Meaker’s eventual dismissal, caught at the wicket nibbling at Steven Finn in the fourth over after lunch and the 43rd of the innings, led to the Roy and Foakes counter-attack as Middlesex’s bowlers suddenly found it difficult to keep the pressure on the two batsmen. Roy also struck six fours, besides his sixes – two of which were from successive balls from Rayner – while Foakes hit 12 fours in his excellent knock.

With just a single to his name in Surrey’s overnight 26 for 2, Meaker – who hit six fours – had initially been the unexpected senior partner in a stand of 63 for the third wicket with Scott Borthwick, who laboured through 78 balls for his 24 before flashing at Finn and nicking to keeper John Simpson.
The last nine scheduled overs of the day were lost to bad light.

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DAY TWO - TEA

MIDDLESEX 247 a/o

SURREY 244/5

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Jason Roy’s brilliant 79 gained Surrey control of the London derby against Middlesex at the Kia Oval after nightwatchman Stuart Meaker had led the earlier second day resistance in the Specsavers County Championship match.

Ben Foakes, with 69 not out, also batted superbly as he and Roy added 125 in 28 overs for the fifth wicket to take Surrey to 244 for 5 by tea in reply to Middlesex’s 247.

Roy launched off spinner Ollie Rayner for three sixes as well as including six fours in a 91-ball effort which dominated a partnership with Foakes which looked as if it could be match-defining. Roy finally fell to Adam Voges’s occasional slow left arm spin, slicing a lofted drive to mid off, but by then Surrey were well on top.

Coming together at 106 for 4, when Meaker fell to Steven Finn in the fourth over after lunch and the 43rd of the innings, Roy and Foakes counter-attacked with skill and verve as Middlesex’s bowlers suddenly found it difficult to keep the pressure on the batsmen.

Meaker, who had a single to his name in Surrey’s overnight 26 for 2, resisted for 109 balls in all, hitting six fours, before edging Finn behind. He had earlier been the unexpected senior partner in a stand of 63 for the third wicket with Scott Borthwick, who laboured through 78 balls for his 24 before flashing at Finn and nicking to keeper John Simpson.

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DAY TWO - LUNCH

MIDDLESEX 247

SURREY 95/3

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Nightwatchman Stuart Meaker led Surrey’s resistance with a battling 40 not out on the second morning of the Specsavers County Championship against Middlesex at the Kia Oval.

Meaker, with just a single to his name in Surrey’s overnight 26 for 2, added 63 for the third wicket with Scott Borthwick as Surrey reached 95 for 3 by lunch in reply to Middlesex’s first innings 247.

Borthwick, technically the senior partner, could make only a laborious 24 before flashing at a ball from Steven Finn ten minutes before the interval and edging to John Simpson behind the stumps. Jason Roy, off the mark with a rasping square cut for four off Finn, was on 6 not out at lunch.

Meaker, who played some pedigree strokes as well as defending stoutly, has a championship highest score of 72, made against Essex at Colchester in 2009, and a first-class career-best of 94, but his batting performance here was still a big bonus for Surrey, who know they surely must earn themselves a first innings lead on a wearing pitch if they are to win a London derby important to both sides.

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DAY ONE - CLOSE OF PLAY

MIDDLESEX 247 a/o

SURREY 26/2

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Stuart Meaker spearheaded an impressive performance by the Surrey attack as Middlesex were bowled out for 247 on the first day of their Specsavers Championship match at the Kia Oval.

Meaker, generating good pace in three spells from the Vauxhall End, took 3 for 55 including top scorer Sam Robson for 57.

Robson’s dismissal sparked a mid-innings collapse which saw Middlesex slump from 131 for 2 to 163 for 7. John Simpson (40) and Ollie Rayner (38) led a recovery and then in nine overs before stumps Toby Roland-Jones improved the champions mood when he removed both openers.

Ryan Patel, who is making his Championship debut, flicked to leg gully and Rory Burns fenced fatally outside off stump as Surrey closed on 26 for 2, 221 behind.

Both sides need a victory to pull clear of the relegation battle in Division One. Surrey, fielding a team with four teenagers, will feel they had the better of things, although a dry, worn pitch already taking spin could be tough to bat last on.

But they will fancy their chances if their batsmen can build on the foundations laid by a disciplined attack, with Meaker well supported by Rikki Clarke and their two off-spinners Gareth Batty and Amar Verdi, who both picked up two wickets.

Meaker made the breakthrough before lunch when he squared up Nick Compton (20), who edged to second slip. Verdi had Steve Eskinazi lbw padding up to his 14th ball but either side of the break Robson and Adam Voges added 63 without too many problems.

Robson passed 50 for the fifth time in the Championship this season, hitting eight fours, but there was little he could do to keep out a ball from Meaker which swung in then straightened to take out his off stump. Meaker then bowled Paul Stirling, who offered no shot, and although Simpson kept out the hat-trick ball Surrey were on a roll.

Clarke returned to the attack to trap Voges (40) with a delivery of fullish length before James Franklin nibbled at an out-swinger in Clarke’s next over.

Middlesex were struggling on 163 for 7 but Simpson and Rayner added 47 in enterprising fashion either side of tea before Simpson was deceived by Batty’s arm ball. A similar delivery saw off Roland-Jones (5) while Rayner was leg before sweeping when Verdi tossed one up.

Steven Finn struck four boundaries and Middlesex were in sight of a second batting point when last man Tim Murtagh (5) drove Sam Curran’s slower ball to extra cover.

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DAY ONE - TEA

MIDDLESEX 163/7

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Stuart Meaker took two wickets in two balls as Surrey took control on Day One of their Specsavers Championship match with Middlesex at the Kia Oval.

In an aggressive, high-quality spell from the Vauxhall End Meaker bowled Sam Robson for 57 with a ball which swung in and straightened before nipping one back to defeat Paul Stirling, who was playing no shot.

Rikki Clarke then picked up wickets in successive overs. Adam Voges (40) was leg before to a ball that was full and straight before James Franklin (7) edged an out-swinger to first slip.

And just before tea, Gareth Batty trapped Toby Roland-Jones (5) in front as Middlesex lost 5 for 32 in 20 overs.

With Ryan Patel offering good support at the Pavilion End – the debutant’s 11 overs have cost just 22 runs – Middlesex reached 163 for 7 at tea.

Earlier, Meaker had made the breakthrough after Middlesex won the toss when he squared up Nick Compton (20). Off-spinner Amar Verdi, who got the ball to turn sharply from the Vauxhall End, had Steve Eskinazi (13) leg-before padding up.

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DAY ONE - LUNCH

MIDDLESEX 76/2

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Sam Robson batted through the morning session for an unbeaten 36 as Middlesex were made to work hard for their runs on the first day of their Championship derby against Surrey at the Oval.

Surrey bowled with good discipline on a dry, used pitch and there was enough turn to interest both Gareth Batty, who came on after an hour’s play, and Amar Virdi, who picked up Steve Ezkinazi for 13 when he was leg before to a delivery that turned just enough out of the rough.

Middlesex, who won the toss, made steady progress until Robson and opening partner Nick Compton were parted in Stuart Meaker’s second over from the Vauxhall End when Compton was squared up and edged to Scott Borthwick at slip for 20.

Robson held firm, though, and has so far hit five boundaries, the pick of them a glorious cover drive in Sam Curran’s new-ball spell, as Middlesex reached 76 for 2 at lunch.

Surrey gave Championship debuts to Ryan Patel and Ollie Pope while Toby Roland-Jones, left out by England for the Headingley Test, returned to the champions’ attack.