More heavy rain at Guildford allowed only 27.4 overs to be bowled on day three between Surrey and Yorkshire, a further weather interruption which surely means this Specsavers County Championship Division One match will end in a draw.
The players left the field for bad light ten minutes before the scheduled lunch interval, and never returned as persistent rain set in. Play was officially called off for the day at 3.45pm. Yorkshire, who had taken just 22 minutes to finish off Surrey’s first innings for 313 after they had resumed on 290 for 8, have made 58 for 1 in reply.
Adam Lyth was the Yorkshire batsman to fall, brilliantly caught right-handed by Will Jacks in the gully as the left-handed opener push-drove at Rikki Clarke. The ball was travelling fast and Jacks, who stuck out his hand in a reflex action, looked genuinely surprised that it had stuck there.
Lyth’s fellow opener Will Fraine remains 17 not out from 72 balls, with Gary Ballance unbeaten on 6. Both Fraine and Lyth, who hit five fours and played a number of particularly striking cover and extra cover drives, fought hard against some testing new ball bowling from Morne Morkel and Matt Dunn.
Morkel had earlier been out to the fourth ball of the day, held by Lyth at second slip driving at Ben Coad, and Surrey would have missed out on a third batting bonus point if Jordan Clark had not been dropped by wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall off Steven Patterson on 9, when the total was 292.
Clark, in his first championship innings for Surrey following his winter move from Lancashire, went on to score 26 as he and last man Dunn saw the total past 300. It was a single from Dunn which clinched the third batting point but Clark contributed a number of eye-catching strokes – including a crunching straight driven four off Coad – before he skied an attempted big hit and was caught at mid wicket off Patterson.
That success gave Yorkshire captain Patterson final figures of 5 for 81, while Coad finished with 3 for 71. Yorkshire’s strike bowler, the former South Africa fast bowler Duanne Olivier, will not bowl again in the match because of the hip and groin problem which forced him to leave the field yesterday.
The final day, however, weather permitting, will now be mainly an exercise in gathering further bonus points for both sides. Monday’s first day wash-out had already made a draw the likeliest outcome, but today’s loss of 76 overs has made it virtually certain.
Surrey batsman Scott Borthwick said: “It’s frustrating because it feels that summer hasn’t really started properly yet because of the weather, but there’s a lot of cricket to be played still this season and we have still got the time left to challenge for the title again.”