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Ollie Pope sends reminder that this Oval is his house

Surrey 292 for six (Pope 136, Clark 55, Patterson 4-52) vs Yorkshire

To have a good time the ninetieth birthday of Surrey legend Micky Stewart, the Kia Oval modified its identify to The Micky Stewart Oval for this penultimate fixture of the County Championship season towards Yorkshire. On Day one, nonetheless, Ollie Pope reminded everybody that this was his home.

In the intervening time no less than. Simply as cricketers move by means of the sport, so it’s they merely occupy the locations they name “residence” throughout their careers. However a blissful 136 from 131 deliveries, a tenth top notch century at this well-known floor (fifteenth total) has put Surrey that little bit nearer to including Championship title quantity 21 to the mantlepiece, as they ended Tuesday on 292 for six whereas 85 miles away second-place Hampshire had already been skittled for 57 by Kent. The challengers have been 108 behind after the primary innings of the match which means they’ll solely take 19 factors from this spherical. Surrey, in the meantime, nonetheless have the complete 24 up for grabs.

They are saying the worst factor you are able to do once you’re main is to look over your shoulder. However few begrudge those who do. And although Surrey got here in with an eight-point cushion , it was solely pure to solid just a few glances in the direction of the Ageas Bowl. Nevertheless, when Pope is in this type of temper, all eyes are on him. This was as sometimes him as you can get: on the entrance foot from ball one when he superior all the way down to Steven Patterson, late cuts on faucet, and impish invention to get him from 90 to 100 with a ramp off Jordan Thompson for six, then a reverse sweep off Dom Bess’ first supply for 4.

Among the many 18 boundaries was a palpable Large England Participant vitality from one who has grown into a world position as a No. 3, even when he knew he’d be returning right here at No. 4 given Hashim Amla has a far higher declare at first drop. He did not thoughts all that a lot.

A primary summer time underneath Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum has seen Pope assume higher accountability, and with that was a transparent want to not shirk responsibility as a returning England Check cricketer, particularly after notching a primary residence century this summer time. He was certainly one of three for Surrey, alongside Ben Foakes and summer time debutant Jamie Overton, who was again after recovering from a foot harm sustained on July 27 towards Warwickshire. Yorkshire, against this, had no actual perception they might have the ability to name upon Joe Root for the run-in.

It actually wasn’t all Pope, and the a part of Jordan Clark (55 not out) is actually not over. The 142 for the sixth wicket was six greater than the 5 stands earlier than it, and Clark, together with Overton (9*) are the final two Surrey might fairly anticipate to choose up no less than two of the three remaining batting bonus factors.

The scenario at lunch was much more even, each right here and additional down south. On the time, Surrey have been 82 for 3, bruising a bit from the departure of opener Ryan Patel, whose dismissal introduced in regards to the finish of the opening session. In the meantime, a confusingly under-strength Kent batting card was 35 for five, reaffirming to the division leaders that they have been finest served specializing in what was inside their management.

Patel’s 41 was diligent, impressively unperturbed by the lack of his captain Rory Burns for a 13-ball duck after which Amla (14) round half an hour earlier than the interval. Like these two, a twitch outdoors off stump led to a catch within the cordon. For Yorkshire and Ben Coad, who had his second, it tilted the stability again to equal after Jonny Tattersall had received the toss and chosen to bat first.

Maybe the one time the dial shifted unquestionably of their favour got here with Patterson’s two dismissals in three deliveries. The primary the extra necessary with the returning Foakes snared low by Tattersal after skewing an edge between bat and pad. The second was nonetheless of word given Cameron Metal’s diligent 48 within the first innings of final week’s draw at Wantage Highway, however an pointless fish outdoors off stump gave Tom Kohler-Cadmore a 3rd catch at first slip.

At 136 for five, there was a definite chance of issues going badly awry. However Pope and Clark’s stand was the type that each sped up the sport and reasserted a season’s value of dominance. Three figures between them got here up in simply 20.1 overs, at which level they appeared to make a acutely aware effort to choose up the remaining batting bonus factors on their very own.

Each uppercut Yorkshire debutant Ben Mike over the cordon for sixes, thus prolonging what has been an extended and costly watch for a Championship wicket. The 24-year-old’s final – Nottinghamshire’s Liam Patterson-White on June 14 for former membership Leicestershire – has subsequently been adopted by 336 runs in 50.2 overs.

On the different finish of the management spectrum was Patterson, who managed to lastly get Pope over-balancing onto the off aspect to take out his leg stump, transferring him to 487 profession dismissals. The gasps across the floor stated all of it, as did the congratulatory pats from Yorkshire fielders.

An innings that didn’t appear like ending did simply that, its value underlined by the very fact the opposite six of the seven batters up to now had solely managed 142 of the 278 between them. And maybe there’s a sense of remorse within the residence dressing room that 350 might have been ticked off earlier than day two if Pope had remained. However, Clark continued, enhancing the share of “the remainder”, transferring to a 18th rating above fifty earlier than unhealthy gentle at 4:46pm finally turned stumps.

By the point the umpires Alex Wharf and Russell Warren got here out for a cursory look 25 minutes later, Hampshire’s rating of 39 for 4, having dismissed Kent for 165, was greeted by a smattering of cheers. An addendum on the finish of this announcement introduced information of Hampshire dropping a fifth. The microphone was again in motion on to alert these nonetheless remaining of wickets six, seven, eight, 9 and 10 earlier than affirmation play was formally deserted. Even with their gamers within the altering room, Surrey have been marching on to glory.

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an affiliate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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