Ganguly faced just three ball during his brief stay at the wicket and Northants stared defeat going into the final day with only four wickets in hand and 356 runs still to be made.
The former Team India captain, however, gave a better performance with the ball as he took the wicket of one of Surrey's century maker Jonathan Batty (133) in his 10 overs, which also included two maidens.
His figures read 10-2-29-1 Earlier, riding on the hundreds made by Batty and Mark Ramprakash (155) -- the duo put up 281 runs -- Surrey declared their innings at 424 for six.
Northants reply got off to a disastrous start as they reeled at 20 for four with Azhar Mahmood and Mohammad Akram taking two wickets each for Surrey.
Lance Klusener (42not out) and Riki Wessels (45) were the only major contributors for Northants. First innings century maker Usman Afzaal was bowled for a duck.
In another Division two match at Sophia Gardens, after failing with the bat, Dinesh Mongia took two wickets but Leicestershire's game against Glamorgan looks headed to a draw.
Leicestershire had taken an overall lead of 128 after being 17 for no wicket in the second innings. Mongia took the wicket of Mark Wallace (127) and Robert Croft (17).