Banerjee sends Surrey to 77-run defeat
Gloucestershire 229 and 248 beat Surrey 178 and 222 by 77 runs
Surrey collapsed to their third County Championship defeat in four games against Gloucestershire at The Oval today. Stuart Meaker returned the best figures by a Surrey seamer at The Oval for four years and leave his side chasing 300 for victory, but they fell 77 runs short to lose inside three days.
Gloucestershire were only 190 ahead when they resumed on 139 for 7 but Surrey's hopes of finishing them off quickly were dashed by New Zealand allrounder James Franklin. He shared stands of 42 with Vikram Banerjee and 70 with Gemaal Hussain before he ran out of partners eight runs short of his 11th first-class century. He had faced 133 balls and hit a six and nine fours.
Banerjee hung around for 16 overs before he was caught at backward square leg off a short ball from Jade Dernbach and Hussain had been there 20 overs when he was leg before to Meaker.
That made Meaker the first Surrey seamer to take five wickets in an innings in a championship match at The Oval since Mohammad Akram took 6 for 34, when Gloucestershire were beaten by an innings four years ago. It was a different story this time. Surrey got off to a bad start when Gareth Batty was caught behind off Steve Kirby and their hopes of winning virtually disappeared when Mark Ramprakash went the same way against Franklin.
Arun Harinath was caught at short leg off Banerjee, the left-arm spinner, Rory Hamilton-Brown chipped Jon Lewis to short midwicket and Usman Afzaal was bowled trying to hit Banerjee over midwicket.
Chris Schofield, caught behind off Hussain, and Meaker, caught at slip off Banerjee, followed in quick succession and Surrey had slumped to 109 for 7 before Steven Davies began to hit out in desperation. He made 54 off 35 balls with two sixes and eight fours but then hoisted Banerjee to long on where Franklin took the catch.
The game was as good over but it looked as though Surrey might be granted a stay of execution when Iftikhar Anjum was badly dropped twice in the same over from Banerjee. He and Chris Tremlett put on 49 and the last three wickets had added 113 by the time Banerjee had Iftikhar caught at slip to finish with 5 for 74.