Surrey v Kent, The Oval, 2nd day July 11, 2011

Blake rises above poor batting

Surrey 387 and 138 for 7 v Kent 250

Even Mark Ramprakash struggled to bring a semblance of common sense batting to County Championship proceedings at The Oval, where another 15 wickets fell on a helter-skelter second day.

Having dismissed Kent for 250 to gain a first-innings advantage of 137, Surrey then stumbled to 138 for 7 by the mid-point of a second division match played more like a Twenty20 bash than a conventional Championship tussle.

Despite reasonable batting conditions and the fact Kent are without three frontline bowlers, the wicket count continued to blossom as Surrey lost their first four leg before to ill-disciplined shots.

Openers Rory Hamilton-Brown and Jason Roy both fell to on-loan Hampshire seamer David Balcombe, who later returned to have Tom Maynard caught behind.

First innings century-maker Zander de Bruyn played around a rare straight one from Robbie Joseph, while Ramprakash perished for 20 after an uncharacteristic rush of blood and an attempted legside flick against left-armer Ashley Shaw.

Surrey's demise continued late in the day when occasional leg-spinner Joe Denly snared Steven Davies (39) and Gareth Batty without scoring as Kent restricted the home lead to 275.

Having resumed at the start of the day on a perilous overnight position of 26 for 2 - still 361 in arrears - Kent appeared hell-bent on following on.

They lost four wickets for 35 runs in the morning session as Sam Northeast played outside the line of a Stuart Meaker off-cutter that brushed off stump then, in Meaker's next over, Martin van Jaarsveld edged low to first slip to go without scoring.

Visiting captain Rob Key walked across his stumps working to leg against Tim Linley to go leg before then Darren Stevens padded up to the same bowler to make it 87 for 6 . Seventh-wicket partners Alex Blake and Geraint Jones both enjoyed good fortune and Blake would have gone for a duck had Hamilton-Brown held on to a sharp low chance at slip.

As it was, the pair flourished to set a new seventh-wicket record stand against Surrey, beating the 132 posted by George Collins and Jack Hubble at The Mote in Maidstone in 1926 by six runs.

They took Kent to the brink of avoiding the follow-on before Jones, on 61 from 100 balls, aimed a reverse sweep against off-spinner Batty only to balloon a bat-pad catch to Roy at short leg.

Ten runs on, Wahab Riaz mowed a good length ball from Batty to cow corner but picked out Ramprakash, bringing in Balcombe who forced through the covers for four to ensure Surrey would bat third.

Two balls later Balcombe lost his off stump to a Chris Tremlett yorker and only four short of his second championship century, Blake then tossed his own wicket away. Turning for two against the deep cover fielder Roy, he was sent back by last man Shaw to be run out at the non-striker's end.