County Championship: Kent left target of 426 to beat Surrey
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Beckenham (day three):|
|Surrey 439 & 280: S Curran 80, Borthwick 58; Milnes 4-74|
|Kent 294 & 46-1: Dickson 27*; Morkel 1-15|
|Kent (5 pts) need another 380 runs to beat Surrey (8 pts)|
Surrey put themselves in position to beat Kent after leaving them a target of 426 on day three at Beckenham.
The defending champions made 280 in their second innings, England all-rounder Sam Curran top-scoring with 80.
Scott Borthwick (58) also hit a half-century, while England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes chipped in with 44.
Kent opener Zak Crawley poked Morne Morkel to slip a few overs before stumps as Kent closed on 46-1, still requiring another 380 to win.
Sean Dickson, who made 128 in Kent's first innings, saw out the 17 overs left in the day and will resume on 27.
Surrey have drawn their opening two matches of the 2019 season, but will feel hopeful of bowling Kent out in a game which has seen batsmen dismissed in clusters.
The visitors lost eight wickets after tea on day two and Surrey's second innings also finished rapidly as they fell from 261-6 to 280 all out.
By that time they were looking for quick runs, with the lead having stretched beyond 400 thanks to Curran's attacking knock.
The 20-year-old, batting at number six, struck three sixes and seven fours before he was caught on the leg-side boundary off paceman Matt Milnes (4-74).
It left Curran still looking for his maiden first-class century, having passed 50 on 15 occasions, although he looks set to bat higher up the order for his county this season.
Surrey lost regular wickets throughout day three but, having resumed on 11-0 with a lead of 156, they still managed to maintain control heading into the final day and big South African paceman Morkel's late wicket of in-form Crawley only strengthened their chances of victory.
Kent's Matt Milnes:
"It's tough work bowling because it's still a very good pitch, but I felt we stuck together well as a unit. Wiaan Mulder bowled a lovely nine-over spell in the middle and we all worked around that.
"There's no mismatch in skill. It's just that Surrey have been that little bit better for longer periods.
"We're a young side, four of five of us are still learning on the job and already we've taken things on board from this performance."
Surrey's Scott Borthwick:
"It's been a good day again, which I felt we set up with the way our bowlers went about their business on Tuesday. The batters followed up and kept the board ticking.
"But Kent bowled bowled pretty well, which probably slowed our progress a little. For us to get to 280 and set them over 400, means it's been our day and we had a good hour at them.
"Personally, it's really nice to be back. When you're injured you realise how much you miss the game and how much you love it."