Adventurous Surrey denied by Moeen Ali
Surrey 493 and 239 for 8 dec drew with Worcestershire 465 and 170 for 8
Surrey's hopes of recording only their second championship victory in three seasons were thwarted by Worcestershire's Moeen Ali at Whitgift School. The hosts looked good as they reduced Worcestershire to 168 for 8 - as they pursued a victory target of 268 runs in a minimum of 51 overs.
However, Moeen added an unbeaten 70 to his first innings century to salvage a draw in a tense finish. It was a bold challenge by Rory Hamilton-Brown, considering that they had lost their first two matches, and it almost paid off after Andre Nel's second ball bounced and left Phil Jaques to have the Australian opener caught at second slip by the Surrey captain himself for the first pair of his career.
Jade Dernbach bowled Daryl Mitchell soon afterwards and Surrey's hopes were high when former England offspinner Gareth Batty broke a third-wicket stand of 54 between Moeen and Vikram Solanki and went on to remove Alexei Kervezee and Ben Smith in quick succession.
Batty, who has returned to Surrey after eight seasons with Worcestershire, pinned Solanki and Smith lbw and bowled Kervezee as he tried to sweep. He should also have had Moeen caught at silly mid-off for 16 but the chance went down and Surrey paid a heavy price.
Moeen found some support from Ben Scott until he was lbw to Chris Schofield and although Richard Jones and Jack Shantry fell cheaply to Usman Afzaal and Schofield respectively Alan Richardson survived the final over from Dernbach. Moeen had defied Surrey for 50 overs in scoring his 70 off 147 balls with 10 fours and a six when they shook hands on a draw with Worcestershire 170 for 8.
Surrey had started the day 85 runs ahead with eight wickets in hand and looked like running into trouble when Afzaal was run out by Shantry's direct hit from backward point, then Hamilton-Brown was stumped heaving at Moeen..
Not for the first time, they were held together by Mark Ramprakash who passed 1,000 Championship runs in his eighth match on the school ground and was on course for his 110th first-class century when he slashed uncharacteristically at Imran Arif and was caught behind. He had scored 82 off 170 balls, including 11 fours and a six.
Batty perished in the next over but Steven Davies added an unbeaten 69 off 88 balls with six fours and a six to his first innings century and enabled Hamilton-Brown to make his declaration at 239 for 8.