Surrey v Kent, LV= County Championship Div Two, The Oval, 2nd day July 15, 2015

Kent capitulate for 99 after Sangakkara ton


Surrey 311 (Sangakkara 110) and 4 for 1 require a further 121 to beat Kent 336 and 99 (Batty 4-12, Curran 3-19)

Kumar Sangakkara made his 53rd first-class hundred © Getty Images

The 53rd first-class hundred of Kumar Sangakkara's glorious career and the continuation of 17-year-old Sam Curran's memorable debut helped to put Surrey in position to beat Kent. But Kent's headlong second innings collapse to 99 all out, with Gareth Batty's off spin bringing him 4 for 12 as they disintegrated in a rush of poor strokes, meant they were also the architects of their own downfall at the Kia Oval.

Surrey, who earlier replied with 311 to Kent's first innings 336, finished a dramatic day on 4 for 1 from two overs. Offspinner James Tredwell, bowling Zafar Ansari for nought with the last ball of the day, has at least given Kent some hope that they can prevent Surrey from scoring just 125 to complete a sixth Championship win of the season and move to within eight points of second division leaders Lancashire.

It had been Kent who seemed to be in the ascendancy early in the day when a highly-disciplined bowling performance by their four-pronged seam attack pegged Surrey back from their overnight 144 for 1. But Curran junior, who took 5 for 101 in Kent's first innings, then exploded from the blocks when Kent batted again to have Daniel Bell-Drummond leg-before for 5 with his sixth ball - after seeing him inside-edge the previous ball streakily past his stumps for four. Midway through his second over he had Adam Ball caught for nought, miscuing a pull to short midwicket, and his bustling, whippy-armed opening spell was remarkable for someone still so young.

Kent's second innings decline gathered yet more pace when Joe Denly became Curran's third victim, in his fifth over, athletically caught by the bowler falling to his right in his follow-through as Denly tried to flip the ball towards mid on. Sam Northeast's 33 steadied Kent a little, as Ben Harmison also dug in, but 54 for 3 was soon 56 for 5 as Ansari's left-arm spin snared Northeast, caught low at slip as he pushed forward, and Sam Billings, for 1, who chipped a catch tamely back to the bowler.

Batty got four of the last five wickets to fall, with Kent imploding from 86 for 5, first having Harmison caught behind for 24 trying to cut. Calum Haggett also snicked to the keeper, pushing out defensively, and Darren Stevens then hit Batty on to his boot to be stumped for 14 as the momentum of his shot took him out of his crease. The end of the innings came quickly, with Tredwell bowled by Tom Curran for 2 and Matt Coles, heaving at Batty, skying a simple catch to keeper Ben Foakes.

In Surrey's innings it was 21-year-old fast bowler Matt Hunn who shared the bowling honours with 39-year-old veteran Stevens as Kent fought back with the ball. Stevens took 4 for 76, picking up the 300th first-class wicket of his long career when he removed Arun Harinath in the opening over, and Hunn included Sangakkara's prized scalp in his 3 for 51.

Sangakkara's elegant innings of 110, made from 183 balls across four and a quarter hours, included a six and ten fours but even the great 37-year-old Sri Lankan had to work hard for his runs against Stevens, Hunn, Coles and Haggett.

Surrey lost Harinath for 76 to the fourth ball of the day, and the first ball that the left-hander faced, when Stevens nibbled one away from him and was rewarded by a snick to first slip. Stevens, in an initial eight-over spell from the Vauxhall End, struck again when he had Ansari caught by Coles in similar fashion at first slip for 10 to peg Surrey back to 171 for 3. Then Jason Roy, who had made only 17, got a beauty from Haggett which he touched through to Billings behind the stumps.

Dominic Sibley, joining Sangakkara at 204 for 4, was leg-before to Coles as he shaped to play to midwicket and, soon after lunch, Foakes was leg-before to Stevens for 5, aiming across the line. James Burke made just 6 before he was caught at the wicket off the persistent Stevens and Batty was Hunn's first victim when on 3 he thick-edged to Tredwell, who took a good sharp catch high to his right at second slip.

Sangakkara, running out of partners, reached his hundred by pulling Hunn for four, but he soon under-edged into his stumps attempting a similar stroke against the same bowler. That was 288 for 9 but Sam Curran's four fours earned Surrey a third batting bonus point before his older brother Tom, on 4, hit Hunn to Denly at backward point.