Cockbain earns Gloucs battling draw
Gloucestershire 112 (Dunn 4-37) and 506 for 6 (Cockbain 151*, Klinger 120) drew with Surrey 626 for 6 dec. (Burns 199, Solanki 143, Roy 121*)
Ian Cockbain batted through the last day and made his first-class best score to lead Gloucestershire to a hugely improbable draw against Surrey.
Cockbain, the 27-year-old Liverpudlian, dug in for 15 minutes short of nine hours for 151 not out, only the third century of his career, to deny Surrey a win they would have expected to complete with five wickets needed on the final day for victory.
Tom Smith, technically a nightwatchman though he was promoted only two places to No. 7, also improved his career best with 80 and Will Gidman was unbeaten on 46 as Gloucestershire lost only one wicket on the final day of the to finish 506 for 6.
Michael Klinger had shown the way on Wednesday with 120 and Cockbain resumed in the morning on 48. He faced 35 balls, including playing out four maiden overs, before finally adding two singles to take him to a 189-ball half-century.
Smith, by that point, had hit five boundaries in the morning's play and quickly added another to move into the forties. Having reached 48, he too played out 16 successive dot balls before reaching 50 with a two off Chris Tremlett.
Cockbain pressed on to 83 and Smith 61 as they saw their side to lunch at 368 for 5, still 146 runs behind but in a far more encouraging position.
Cockbain reached his century with a two off Jade Dernbach in the sixth over after lunch and the total advanced to 400 two overs later with a single from the same batsman.
Both batsmen then settled for steady progress towards tea, with the only boundaries coming when Surrey captain Gary Wilson turned to the occasional medium pace of Jason Roy in the hope of inducing an error.
Smith's excellent innings was finally ended just before tea, Matt Dunn doing the damage with the new ball as Rory Burns took the catch at third slip. He had faced 221 balls and hit 11 fours. That put a stop to a magnificent and dogged partnership of 177 and it was 439 for 6 at tea, Cockbain 126 not out and Will Gidman off the mark with a four.
Another 75 were still needed to overcome the deficit but Cockbain pressed on and Gidman added fresh impetus. He struck another five fours and reached 28 with a run-a-ball strike rate before settling into a more patient approach against spinners Gareth Batty and Zafar Ansari.
Cockbain barely played a shot in anger at the other end, determined to see his vigil through, and was rewarded when a single off Batty took him to 150 from 419 balls.
The handshake came with Gloucestershire remarkably still eight runs in arrears - but they will care not a jot after a hard-earned five points having turned around a match they began by being bowled out for just 112.