Davies ton keeps Surrey on top
Leicestershire 167 and 66 for 2 v Surrey 343
Steve Davies hit his first century of the season to keep Surrey in control on the second day of the Division Two clash against bottom-of-the-table Leicestershire at Grace Road. The 25-year-old wicketkeeper scored 121 out of Surrey's first-innings total of 343, which gave them a lead of 176 runs.
Davies then took two catches as Leicestershire struggled to 66 for 2 by the close to trail by 110.
It added up to another tough day for Leicestershire, whose only consolation was the performances of youngsters Shiv Thakor and Rob Taylor who took three wickets each to prevent Surrey building up an unassailable lead. Teenager Thakor took 3 for 57 while 21-year-old Taylor followed up his impressive knock of 70 in Leicestershire's first innings by claiming 3 for 53 on his Championship debut.
But it was the batting of Davies which enabled Surrey to keep a firm grip on the game. They began the day on 122 for 2 but lost an early wicket when Zander De Bruyn chopped the ball back into his stumps to give left-arm seamer Taylor his maiden Championship wicket.
It did not take him long to add to that with Tom Maynard driving an easy catch to cover with the total at 182. Taylor's lively seven-over spell brought him figures of two for 23. Jason Roy quickly showed his attacking intentions with a straight six off left-arm spinner Claude Henderson and gave Davies good support as the left-hander closed in on his century.
He had a few nervy moments in the 90s but finally made it, having faced 196 balls and hit 15 boundaries. But he was out soon after lunch, caught at point off Henderson. His departure ended a fifth-wicket stand of 84 and when Roy holed out to long-on off Henderson six overs later for 46, Leicestershire looked to be back in the game.
A brisk 40 from Gareth Batty however, ensured Surrey picked up a third batting point but with Thakor trapping Stuart Meaker and Tim Linley lbw with successive deliveries and Batty caught behind off Taylor, the visitors' total of 343 was less than seemed likely at one stage.
But despite two interruptions for bad light, Surrey made early inroads into Leicestershire's second innings. Matt Boyce gloved a catch to Davies off Linley and Greg Smith provided the wicketkeeper with another catch with a thin edge off Batty shortly before the close. It could have been worse for Leicestershire when Jefferson was caught at second slip off Chris Jordan only for a no-ball to be called.