Davies and de Bruyn set winning platform
Northamptonshire 194 and 103 for 4 v Surrey 269 and 410 for 6
Surrey remained on course to win their County Championship Division Two match at Northamptonshire going into the final day after centuries from Steven Davies and Zander de Bruyn.
Davies reached 156, his best score for Surrey, and also passed 1,000 first-class runs for the season in a 216-run stand for the fourth wicket with De Bruyn, who finished unbeaten on 108. The visitors set Northamptonshire a daunting 486 to win after declaring on 410 for 6, and the hosts ended day three on 103 for 4.
Surrey resumed this morning on 115 for three, with a healthy lead of 190, and looking to carry forward the momentum seized on day two. A flurry of boundaries in the early overs saw the visitors strengthen their grip on the match, with opener Davies reaching his ton with a single off the bowling of Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall just before lunch.
At the other end, De Bruyn also found quick runs easy to come by and the pair added 124 runs to their overnight total during the morning session. They continued well into the afternoon session, punishing the hosts, before their partnership was broken with the team score on 321.
Davies was finally out off the bowling of Chaminda Vaas, top-edging an attempted pull shot that went straight up and was gloved by wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien behind the stumps. Tom Maynard made 34 before he was run out following a direct throw at the stumps by Rob Newton from deep mid-wicket, before De Bruyn completed his hundred just before tea.
In the last over before tea, Jason Roy was caught behind on nine by O'Brien off the bowling of Hall, which prompted a Surrey declaration. With Stephen Peters still nursing a back injury, Newton and Kyle Coetzer opened the batting.
Although they started positively, Northamptonshire lost Newton in the fifth over for 14, guiding the ball to Mark Ramprakash at gully off the bowling of Tim Linley. The home side's realistic hopes of saving the game received further blows before the close as they lost Alex Wakely for 22, bowled by Pragyan Ojha, and David Sales for five, caught by Roy at short leg off the same bowler.
Coetzer's resistance ended in the penultimate over of the day, playing a poor cut shot to be caught by wicketkeeper Davies for 54 off the bowling of Stuart Meaker. Nightwatchman Lee Daggett (4no) and captain Hall (2no) will resume in the morning, facing an uphill battle to save the match.