Surrey’s quest thwarted as they come up two wickets short despite five for Clark
Northamptonshire 171 and 322 for 8 (Keogh 99, Procter 57, Gay 50, Clark 5-76) beat Surrey 252 and 238 (Jacks 50, Virdi 47, Atkinson 41*, Kerrigan 4-36) by two wickets
The pair were parted when Surrey took the new ball however, and it was left to all-rounder Tom Taylor and debutant James Sales to hold their nerve and see Northamptonshire to the brink of victory. Taylor fell with two runs required before Sales hit the winning boundary.
Northamptonshire had needed another 214 at start of play while Surrey needed to take eight more wickets on a pitch that was becoming more docile.
Surrey’s seamers kept things tight early on, although it was a delivery from Clark which pitched outside leg stump which accounted for Emilio Gay who was unfortunate to be adjudged lbw for 50.
Keogh though continued to play confidently both in attack and defense, driving and cutting with exemplary timing.
He shared an 83-run stand with Procter who played the junior partner role at first but began to free his arms against the spinners, sweeping Amar Virdi over square leg and dispatching Cameron Steel through midwicket for another boundary.
Clark struck soon after lunch when Keogh clipped Clark straight to deep square leg to leave Northamptonshire on 205 for 4 with 115 still required.
Scoring started to dry up with Steel creating problems with flight and turn. Rossington though looked to be aggressive, using his feet to drive Steel through mid-on for four before swotting him over midwicket for six.
Procter capitalized on the new ball by punching Topley through cover for four before upper cutting him for another boundary to move to a gutsy half-century from 152 balls. After a stand of 66 though, Procter and Rossington both fell to Topley and Clark respectively with the score on 271, with still 48 required with four wickets in hand.
Straight after tea Topley had Saif Zaib caught behind but Taylor and Sales absorbed the pressure and started to tick off the runs required. Sales swayed out of the way of a short ball from Clark which flew away for four leg byes before Taylor swotted Topley through midwicket for four and struck Clark for a huge six in the same direction to bring the target down into single figures.