West Indies pacer Kemar Roach takes three as Surrey close in on 2023 County Championship title

West Indies pacer Kemar Roach took a 3-wicket haul on Day One of the County Championship match against Hampshire to help move his side within two points of the title.

Needing just five points from their fixture against Hampshire to retain the title, Surrey gained three bowling points by dismissing the hosts for a below par total of 219 runs at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. They closed Day One on 47-2.

Early morning rain delayed the start of proceedings by an hour but the visitors would not be denied. Roach set the tone early on, dismissing opener Toby Albert for 11 runs when he jabbed unconvincingly at a delivery and sent it into the waiting hands of Jamie Overton at second slip. In the Barbadian’s following over, he got Nick Gubbins to chop on when he went too hard at a tempter outside off stump.

Those dismissals left the door open for allrounder Tom Lawes to claim successive five wicket hauls in the Championship when he finished the innings with figures of 5-27, including the key wicket of England International James Vince.

Coming on as third change, Lawes ran through the middle order, sending Vince (14), Liam Dawson (13) and Ben Brown (78) to Jamie Overton at second slip while last week’s match winning centurion Tom Prest nicked the pacer through to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes for 11 runs.

Roach returned later in the day to send lower order batsman Ian Holland back to the pavilion via a catch for Foakes for 11 runs, to finish on figures of 3-41. Lawes trapped tailender Mohammed Abbas in front for a four ball duck to secure his five wicket haul.

Surrey recovered from an auspicious start of 1-1 and then 18-2 to end the day’s action on 47-2 with England Internationals Dominic Sibley (0) and Rory Burns (7) the ones to be dismissed. Sai Sudharsan and Ryan Patel are currently at the crease looking to get their side the batting points needed to win the title.

Summarised Scores: Hampshire Cricket Club 219 all out in 65.5 overs (Ben Brown 78; Tom Lawes 5-27, Kemar Roach 3-41). Surrey Cricket Club 47-2 in 19 overs (Sai Sudharsan 20, Ryan Patel 14; Mohammed Abbas 2-20). Hampshire lead by 172 runs.

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