Maynard ton spares Surrey's blushes
Surrey 117 and 306 for 6 (f/o) v Middlesex 308
Tom Maynard's 67-ball hundred spared Surrey's blushes at Guildford, where Middlesex took 14 wickets in two sessions of an enthralling Championship match only to then feel the full might of the young Welshman's bat.
The visitors appeared in command after dismissing Surrey for 117 to enforce the follow-on by mid-afternoon, with the hosts well short of their target of 308. Yet by stumps Maynard had reached an unbeaten 105, helping Surrey through to 306 for 6 and a useful 115-run lead going into the final day.
The first two sessions had belonged to Middlesex, who made an impressive start through West Indies paceman Cory Collymore. The right-armer initiated Surrey's first-innings collapse by having Arun Harinath, making his first championship appearance since last August, caught at third slip for 1.
Rory Hamilton-Brown propped forward to go leg-before to the same bowler, then Steven Crook plucked the middle stump of Mark Ramprakash to make it 48 for 3. Zander de Bruyn drove a knee-high return catch to Tim Murtagh and, on the stroke of lunch, Maynard's first innings ended in a third-ball duck when Murtagh uprooted his off stump.
Surrey's position worsened rapidly after the interval as they lost their last five wickets for 10 runs in the space of only 42 deliveries. Murtagh finished with 5 for 30 to take his first-class tally to 50 wickets for the season, while Collymore chipped in with 4 for 28.
Surrey's total of 117 was their lowest first-innings score since limping to 102 at Leicester in 2001, and their worst first-innings effort at Woodbridge Road since posting 106 against Hampshire in 1958. Although Murtagh needed treatment for cramp and Collymore was carrying an ankle niggle, Middlesex enforced the follow-on by 2.30pm with a first-innings lead of 191 in the bank.
Steve Finn finally got amongst the wickets when Harinath's airy drive was well gathered by Jamie Dalrymple at second slip, only for Hamilton-Brown and Ramprakash - playing contrasting roles - to add 74 for the second wicket. Ramprakash erred on the side of caution, while Hamilton-Brown went for his shots to reach a 47-ball 50 before Murtagh broke the stand by snaring Ramprakash leg before for 21.
With the last ball before tea, Finn squared up Hamilton-Brown (62) with a leg-cutter that flew to third slip and six overs after the break Steve Davies followed one from Murtagh to edge to John Simpson. Maynard marched in and, with nothing to lose, launched a savage counter-assault with shots to all parts. He raced to a 35-ball 50 with nine fours.
In tandem with De Bruyn, Maynard added 100 in 12.2 overs to erase the first-innings deficit and ensure Surrey had to bat again. For his part, De Bruyn posted 50 from 64 balls with eight boundaries.
It took an incredible one-handed diving catch way to his left at short cover by Chris Rogers to end the partnership for 170 in 132 balls and send De Bruyn packing for 82 as Surrey blasted 209 runs in 32 overs after tea.