|County Championship Division One, The Oval|
|Close, day three: Surrey 269 & 304, Nottinghamshire 227 & 0-0|
|Surrey 5pts, Notts 4pts|
Zander de Bruyn led the way with 78 as relegation battlers Surrey batted for most of the day to manoeuvre themselves into a winning position going into the final day against Nottinghamshire.
Resuming on day three with a first-innings lead of 42, Surrey were all out just before the close for 304.
After slumping to 92-4, the middle order responded through de Bruyn, Gary Wilson (57) and Jason Roy (41).
Harry Gurney saw off the final over at The Oval as Notts closed on 0-0.
The visitors, whose slender County Championship hopes disappeared earlier in the day at New Road when Warwickshire beat Worcestershire to claim the title, now have a day to make 347 to win.
But victory for seventh-placed Surrey, especially if Lancashire fail to beat London neighbours Middlesex, would be a massive step towards securing their safety.
It would then leave Surrey needing only a handful of bonus points in next week's decider against eighth-placed Lancashire at Old Trafford.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio London 94.9's Mark Church:
"Surrey have given themselves an excellent chance of pushing for a crucial victory.
"The Surrey batsmen all contributed but it was the half centuries of Zander de Bruyn (78) and Gary Wilson (57) that were critical.
"Both De Bruyn and Wilson made vital contributions for the second time in the game to give Surrey's bowlers the opportunity tomorrow to take the 10n wickets needed to ease their relegation worries."
BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:
"In a bizarre twist to the third day, Notts sent out number 11 Harry Gurney as nightwatchman to open the innings and negotiate the final over of the day from Murali Kartik.
"One wag commented 'They're that confident they've reversed the batting order'!
"It will be a tough chase on a slow pitch that's bound to assist Kartik and co but it should make for an enthralling day's cricket."