County Championship: Warwickshire seize initiative against Surrey

Will Rhodes' 51 featured nine boundaries, including four in successive balls off Morne Morkel
Will Rhodes' 51 featured nine boundaries, including four in successive balls off Morne Morkel
County Championship Division One, Kia Oval (day one):
Surrey 194: Stoneman 33; Lester 4-41, Miles 3-58
Warwickshire 89-1: Rhodes 51
Warwickshire (3 pts) trail Surrey (0 pts) by 105 runs

Warwickshire dominated Surrey on day one at The Oval before bad light ended play with 15 overs remaining.

The visitors bowled Surrey out for 194 inside two sessions, with Toby Lester - who joined the Bears on a one-month loan from Lancashire on Friday - taking career-best figures of 4-41.

Opener Will Rhodes then hit 51 to help the Bears close on 89-1 in reply.

Rob Yates and Dom Sibley remain at the crease for Warwickshire, who will look to build a lead on day two.

Fielding first after an uncontested toss, the visitors made early inroads, when Oliver Hannon-Dalby removed England opener Rory Burns for a duck and Lester claimed the wicket of Scott Borthwick, who scored just one run from 35 deliveries.

Mark Stoneman and Dean Elgar stabilised the hosts, but Stoneman was caught off the bowling of Craig Miles with the 50-partnership in sight.

After lunch, Lester removed Elgar and England's Sam Curran in successive balls, and his former Lancashire team-mate Jordan Clark, sparking a collapse that saw Surrey fall from 110-3 to 194 all out - 40 of which were extras.

Warwickshire began positively in reply, with Surrey's opening bowling pair of Morne Morkel and Curran struggling to utilise the favourable bowling conditions that Warwickshire had exploited.

Rhodes went 4,6,4,4 in successive balls off Morkel's fourth over as he and Sibley reached 64-0 before bad light took the players off at 16:58 BST.

Surrey all-rounder Rikki Clarke, up against his former county, had Rhodes caught behind with an angled delivery when play temporarily resumed.

But the hosts were unable to make any further inroads before bad light ended play at 18:07 BST, leaving the reigning champions - who have yet to win a County Championship match this season - very much on the back foot.

Surrey head coach Michael Di Venuto:

"It was a poor day. Apart from the last 11 overs in the field, after the first brief break for bad light and when we took a wicket and started to get some bowling partnerships going, it was one of the worst days in my time here.

"The ball is allowed to swing and seam, and we might well have batted first anyway if there had been a toss.

"We have batters getting in but then giving their wickets away, and that is so frustrating to see. There is a lot of cricket left in this match, of course, and it is important we put it behind us.

"There are some talented players in our dressing room but we just have to bat better. We have already had a chat about it, and it wasn't a brief chat."

Warwickshire opener Will Rhodes:

"I played quite a bit against Toby Lester when I was with Yorkshire, so I knew he could bowl and put it in the right areas in those conditions.

"It's great to see someone come in like that on loan and take his chance when he was perhaps least expecting it. Toby has fitted in very well already.

"Dom Sibley and myself are working hard as an opening partnership. We started to form a good understanding at the back end of last season and it's going well.

"The boundaries off Morkel just happened. The six was over the short boundary on that side and, at his pace, if you get anything on it the ball will fly."

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