BY MARCUS HOOK
Seamers Jordan Clark and Kemar Roach both recorded career bests during Surrey’s destruction of Hampshire, which now gives the Oval outfit an overdue foothold in Group Two of this season’s County Championship.
Their victory by an innings and 289 runs was one of the biggest in Surrey’s history and their most emphatic since 2006.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl at the Oval, the hosts blew Hampshire away for 92 – with Clark taking 6-21 – and had already established a first innings lead by tea.
Hampshire were then kept in the field for nine and a half hours as Surrey racked up 560-7 declared before being polished off for 179 at the second time of asking, with Roach taking 8-40.
Jordan Clark said his 6-21 came on a day he and his Surrey team-mates will savour.
“It was the start we had been looking for throughout the season so far,” said the 30-year-old Cumbrian. “Days don’t come like that all the time, so you’ve got to grab it and enjoy it when it comes.
“I was delighted to contribute and a career best is always great. It was just nice to put the team in a good position. Obviously, the batters dug in and backed it up.
“We spoke about trying to grind as hard as we can (with the bat). It’s not been easy sailing for us at times this season, but the batters showed that grit and that grind, which then put us in a great position.”
Clark added “It was the sort of pitch where, if you put the ball in the right area, you got rewarded.”
Five of his six victims on day one were either caught behind or at first slip, by Rikki Clarke.
“We take Ben Foakes for granted a little bit,” said Clark. “It’s only when you play with him you know how good he is. There’s a lot of catches he takes that others wouldn’t make. It’s just a pleasure having him behind the stumps and Rikki’s hands are like buckets.”
Surrey have announced the signing of batsman Ben Geddes. The 19-year-old, who first represented the club at U9 level, has signed an initial two-year contract.
A former pupil at St John’s School, Leatherhead, Geddes is a powerful right-handed top and middle order batsman.
After leading Surrey’s U17s to the national title in 2019, he played grade cricket for the University of New South Wales in 2019-20.
Already first-team captain for Ashtead CC in the Surrey Championship, Geddes also featured regularly in Surrey’s pre-season preparations for the 2021 season and has so far played three matches for the club’s second team this season, scoring 243 runs in five red-ball innings.
On signing his first professional contract, Geddes said: “I’m absolutely buzzing. I remember coming to games at The Kia Oval and watching as a young kid. I started playing for Surrey at age nine so to sign my first professional contract at 19 is really a dream come true. I can’t wait to get stuck in this summer.”
Surrey’s director of cricket, Alec Stewart said: “One of the nicer parts of this job is awarding young players who have come through our own system their very first professional contracts.
“Ben has earned his contract with the potential and progress he has shown which has been further developed while training with the squad and playing in the 2nd team. I’m looking forward to seeing him perform over the coming years.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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