Surrey fight back after following on against Middlesex


Middlesex 395
Surrey 242 & 98-0 (f/o): Burns 57*; Stirling 0-3, Voges 0-4
Close, day three: Surrey trail Middlesex by 55 runs

Ollie Rayner took 6-79 as Middlesex forced Surrey to follow on at The Oval – but the hosts put up strong resistance second time round.

Having been bowled out for 242 by their London rivals, leaving them 153 adrift, Surrey reached 98-0 by stumps on day three.

Rory Burns, who needed treatment on 30 when he was struck on the hand by a nasty lifter from James Harris, was 57 not out and Arun Harinath unbeaten on 37.

The two left-handers survived the new ball and then fought well against Rayner as he probed away into the rough on and outside their off stumps from around the wicket.

Rayner – who took 15 wickets in the match when Middlesex last played a Championship game at the Oval back in 2013 – picked up three more on Tuesday, removing Gareth Batty (38), Mat Pillans (20) and last man Ravi Rampaul (0).

Having resumed on a sickly 134-6, Surrey recovered slightly thanks to Ben Foakes (59 not out) and decent input from the lower order.

Batty joined Foakes in a stand of 62 for the eighth wicket and made a spirited two-hour contribution from 100 balls before being lbw to Rayner as he tried to pull a ball which skidded on.

Pillans hit out before skying Rayner to Harris at deep mid-wicket and Surrey were left three runs short of saving the follow on when Rampaul, batting with a runner because of a hamstring injury, was leg-before to Rayner.

Burns and Harinath, though, have given their team fresh hope of salvaging a draw in a game that looked to be slipping away from them.