County Championship: Surrey thump Nottinghamshire as Amar Virdi takes 14 wickets

Amar Virdi
Amar Virdi was making his first appearance of the season for Surrey
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (day three):
Surrey 240 & 224-9 dec: Smith 57, Clark 54; Ashwin 6-75
Nottinghamshire 116: Virdi 8-61 & 181: Virdi 6-78
Surrey (20 pts) beat Nottinghamshire (3 pts) by 167 runs

Surrey spinner Amar Virdi finished with remarkable match figures of 14-139 in a crushing 167-run victory over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Virdi, 20, took 6-78 to go with his 8-61 in the first innings, in a game which saw 37 wickets fall to spinners.

Notts were set a target of 349 on day three after Surrey declared on 224-9.

But their batsmen failed for the second time in the match as they were all out for 181 to leave them facing almost certain relegation to Division Two.

Steven Mullaney's side are 35 points adrift at the bottom of the table and seventh-placed Warwickshire will pull further clear once their fixture against Essex is completed.

Nottinghamshire's chances of chasing almost 350 already looked bleak having only passed 300 once since the opening round of County Championship fixtures.

And on a pitch which was still offering huge amounts of turn, Virdi and fellow off-spinner Gareth Batty (3-62) wasted little time in running through the batting card.

Big South African paceman Morne Morkel did in fact get the first wicket, snaffling Ben Slater down the leg side, but spin dominated from then on.

The pick of the wickets for Virdi saw Joe Clarke beaten all ends up by a ball which turned into him and knocked the off stump out of the ground.

Ravichandran Ashwin's 66 not out spared Notts from total humiliation as he lifted them from 92-8, although his attacking knock simply delayed the inevitable.

It completed a fine game for Ashwin, who has taken 23 wickets in three matches and yet still lost them all.

He had earlier claimed his second six-wicket haul to finish with 12-144 in his last appearance before heading off to play for India in the West Indies before coming back for the last three matches in September.

But Ashwin's efforts were overshadowed by Virdi, who claimed the best match figures for Surrey since seamer Martin Bicknell's 16-119 against Leicestershire in 2000.

Notts and India spinner R Ashwin told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"It's not happened a lot in my career, like that, before. Personally, there's a lot of good come from this for me. I hit some peak form with the bat and it's coming out with the ball nicely.

"All credit to the support staff at Notts. They've kept me really calm and in a really good frame of mind. I've managed to find some form and momentum going forward.

"It's always disappointing to lose because you take professional pride and someone likes me always wants to be on the winning side.

"There's a good vibe about this club. There's some lovely lads and I've really enjoyed playing alongside Stuart Broad because we've often been on the other side."

Surrey spinner Amar Virdi:

"It was a good pitch for the spinners, so I can't say anything other than I enjoyed bowling on it. If you hang in there the rewards will come.

"I don't know if there's such a thing as the perfect wicket but this was good for the spinners.

"Obviously my career has been pretty short so far, so I've not seen one like that before but hopefully we'll get some more.

"There are four games to go and it's nice to win this one going into the T20s. Hopefully we will continue this form for the rest of the season."

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