London: An inspired Surrey confirmed the fears of Yorkshire on Thursday as five Surrey batsmen passed 50 on an awkward pitch to leave the reigning champions staring certain defeat on the second day of their four-day match.
Surrey's Alec Stewart (96) top-scored a total of 510 - a record for his team in Yorkshire - as the reigning champions closed the day at Headingley two wickets down for no runs in its second innings after already conceding a 370-run lead. The result left Surrey manager Keith Medlycott complimenting his players on two days of 'fantastic cricket' after humbling Yorkshire as its main rivals for this year's County Championship title. "We have put in another fantastic team performance - that is the key," beamed Medlycott. "We are obviously in control of this match, but it has been far from easy. We have had to work hard and have played positively to stay in charge all the way through so far. "I have seen quality cricket from all our players," he said. "At the moment we have just played two days of fantastic cricket. With the exception of two dropped catches we have been at 100 percent of our game - and that is fantastic." Meanwhile half-centuries from experienced campaigners Jamie Cox and Peter Bowler helped Somerset to a first-innings lead on the second day of its Division One game against Sussex at Hove. Cox gave Somerset's reply to Sussex's 337 all out a positive start with 65 before Bowler, who eventually fell six runs short of his century, took up the reins. The visitors reached stumps with a lead of 43 with two first-innings wickets still to fall. At the Rose Bowl a defiant knock of 80 by John Crawley was the only bright spot for Hampshire as Leicestershire took control on the second day of its County Championship clash. Crawley, who last week compiled an unforgettable 272 on his county debut, batted for nearly four hours but had little help from his team-mates on a difficult day for Hampshire in front of its home crowd. Hampshire started well, dismissing Leicestershire for 428, but Darren Maddy took four for 30 as Hampshire closed way behind the visitors on 245 for eight. The home side's innings had started in positive fashion but both openers were back in the pavilion by the end of the 13th over.
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