County Championship: Somerset beat Surrey by 102 runs to go top of table

Tim Groenewald
Tim Groenewald bowled Scott Borthwick with his first delivery of the morning
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Guildford (day four)
Somerset 344 & 153: Hildreth 64; Dunn 5-43
Surrey 231 & 164: Burns 48; Brooks 5-33
Somerset (22 pts) beat Surrey (4 pts) by 102 runs

Somerset returned to the top of the County Championship as their seamers ripped through Surrey on the final morning at Guildford.

Jack Brooks starred with 5-33 and Tim Groenewald took 3-29 to bowl out the hosts for 164 in a 102-run victory.

Surrey had begun the day on 99-2, chasing 267, but collapsed to 131-7 including Groenewald uprooting Scott Borthwick's off stump for 45.

Ryan Patel (27) resisted before Somerset wrapped it up before lunch.

Somerset have now won four of their opening five matches and move above Hampshire as they seek the first County Championship title in their 144-year history.

For defending champions Surrey, defeat continued their woeful summer as they still search for a first victory. Rory Burns' side are already 53 points behind the leaders and the chance of back-to-back crowns looks remote.

The game at Woodbridge Road was a terrific advert for county cricket with momentum swinging back and forth several times.

Somerset's batsmen still have not quite fired this season, but their pacemen are putting in match-winning performances.

After Craig Overton took five wickets in the first innings, this time it was 35-year-old pair Brooks and Groenewald who did the damage.

Brooks accounted for nightwatchman Gareth Batty and South Africa batsman Dean Elgar in the same over before snaffling Ben Foakes at slip in his next.

Groenewald replaced Brooks in the attack and bowled Borthwick with his first delivery - a wonderful inswinging yorker.

Once Groenewald had accounted for Will Jacks lbw and Rikki Clarke, caught behind, Craig Overton returned to dismiss Patel and Morne Morkel and finish the game.

It completed a remarkable 90 minutes in which Somerset had taken eight wickets and they now go 15 points clear of Hampshire.

Surrey captain Rory Burns told BBC Radio London:

"Obviously it's very disappointing that we could not bat better and get to that target, having bowled so well to get back into the match.

"There are lots of little things holding us back at the moment. Dropping George Bartlett on 0 in the first innings clearly did not help us. That was a crucial moment in the context of this game,

"As a batting group, we are seeming to find ways of getting out. We did show at times that this was not an unplayable pitch. But you have to seize that moment and build partnerships.

"We are certainly not giving up on defending the title. We have played five matches, so there are nine games to go and we will be aiming to win all of them - that's the attitude we will take into the rest of the season, starting next week here at Guildford against Yorkshire."

Somerset captain Tom Abell:

"I just could not be prouder of the boys. This was a massive win for us. Surrey had eight Test players in their team and after the third day I would probably have preferred to be in their position.

"But we said if we bowled better, then we could put them under pressure and that's exactly what we did. The bowling unit were outstanding. As captain you know they will give you everything.

"Also, George Bartlett's first innings hundred, after coming in when he did and playing so well in a tough situation. His innings, and the partnership he had with Tom Banton, changed the game for us after being 35-3.

"James Hildreth's 64 was an important innings too. He's a class act and he's done it time and again for us. His runs were worth a lot more in the situation of the match at that time."