Warwickshire v Surrey: Ian Bell misses out on century but helps Bears to draw

Keith Barker
Warwickshire all-rounder Keith Barker again showed his considerable batting prowess, following his 23 not out in the first innings with an unbeaten 70
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day four):
Warwickshire 332: Westwood 153 & 435-8 dec: Bell 99, Ambrose 85, Barker 70*, Westwood 52; T Curran 4-112
Surrey 437: Stoneman 123, Sangakkara 105; Patel 3-74
Warwickshire (9 pts) drew with Surrey (13 pts)
Match scorecard

Warwickshire averted the threat of a third successive loss, batting throughout the final day to salvage a draw with Surrey at Edgbaston.

Resuming with an overnight lead of 57 on 162-4, they lost Ian Bell when, having added 31 to his score to reach 99, the captain pushed forward to Gareth Batty and was caught behind.

But the bottom side still bad plenty of batting left to reach safety on 435-8.

Tim Ambrose (85) hit a half-century before Keith Barker's unbeaten 70.

Barker completed his third half-century in six County Championship innings this season in adding an unbroken 91 for the ninth wicket with fellow paceman Chris Wright, who was still there on 36 when hands were shaken.

Surrey's seamers, led by Tom Curran, who finished with 4-112 in the second innings and eight wickets in the match, persevered but they were blunted by a pitch which declined to deteriorate and a Warwickshire batting unit which, unlike in the first two games this season, declined to fold.

Having resumed with the floodlights on and thick cloud around, bad light in Birmingham brought an early lunch and 10 overs were lost to rain.

Following innings defeats by Surrey at The Oval and Yorkshire at Edgbaston, the Bears have at least stopped the rot and have also climbed off the foot of the table, where they have been replaced by Somerset.

Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton told BBC WM:

"It was a much-improved performance. We have come off the back of two quite damaging defeats and times like that are a true test of individuals and collectively as a team.

"We spoke very honestly on the third evening against Yorkshire when we knew the game was gone and we needed to sit down and address a few things.

"We have had a much better four days and are still not perfect by any means but, after a 100-run deficit in the first innings, we showed a lot of skill and character in the third innings.

"It was a good to see the guys bat well. Sometimes, the more you try the harder it can become. Sometimes you just need to relax that little bit. The way Ian Bell and Tim Ambrose batted was a good example of that."

Surrey coach Michael Di Venuto told BBC Radio London:

"Warwickshire played really well. There's no doubt about that. We tried our hardest and threw everything at them and it wasn't enough.

"Over the whole game there was some outstanding stuff from us and some very average stuff. We were slow to start the game and took two sessions to get it together.

"We then took seven wickets for 69 to finish it off which was a brilliant comeback. With the bat, we got ourselves into a great position but it was disappointing the way we finished off there.

"It was a really mixed performance. The good stuff was excellent but there was some average stuff with both bat and ball."