Rayner runs rings round Surrey again

Ollie Rayner bowling for Middlesex in the County Championship.

Middlesex 395: Gubbins 91; Curran 4-113
Surrey 134-6: Roy 47; Rayner 3-44, Malan 1-2
Close, day two: Surrey trail Middlesex by 261 runs

Ollie Rayner took three more wickets against his favourite opponents as Middlesex’s spinners put them in control against Surrey at The Oval.

With 29 victims, Rayner has taken more wickets against Surrey than any other opponent and he enjoyed himself again on the ground where he took 15 wickets in 2013.

The off-spinner picked up openers Rory Burns and Arun Harinath in four balls and then claimed the key wicket of Kumar Sangakkara before tea.

Surrey were 134-6 at stumps after leg-spinner Dawid Malan removed Jason Roy (47) with his second ball and Toby Roland-Jones returned to pin James Burke late in the second day for one.

Earlier, Roland-Jones (44 not out) and Tim Murtagh (24) had added to Surrey’s frustration by sharing a last-wicket stand of 68 which took Middlesex to 395 all out.

Having resumed on 298-7, Middlesex survived 10 overs before losing James Harris (9), while Gareth Batty turned one past James Franklin’s defences after the New Zealander had made 32.

Roland-Jones struck three sixes in his terrific knock, including a slog-sweep off Batty into the new Peter May Stand which brought up the 50 partnership.

In reply, Harinath and Burns took Surrey to 40-0 when the latter was caught off a leading edge for 19.

Harinath, pinned by a Rayner arm ball, followed four deliveries later and the spinner also claimed the crucial wicket of Sangakkara, whose previous eight Championship innings have brought him 531 runs, Murtagh holding an excellent low catch at cover.

Murtagh kept the momentum going Middlesex’s way when he picked up Steven Davies (10), while Malan gave Rayner a breather and had Roy – the only real resistance – caught by Sam Robson at short leg.

Roland-Jones then picked up belated reward for two fine spells from the Vauxhall End when Burke was leg before, with Surrey still needing another 112 to avoid the follow-on.