Windies A collapse leaves Surrey in driver’s seat

LONDON, CMC – A disappointing batting effort from West Indies A left them with an uphill task of saving their four-day match against County side Surrey.

Replying to the hosts’ first innings of 366 all out, West Indies collapsed to 178 in reply, to concede a lead of 188 runs, on the second day of the encounter at the Oval.

Batting a second time, Surrey were 62 for one – a lead of 250 runs heading into today’s penultimate day.

Left-hander Vishaul Singh top-scored with 47, Odean Smith got 30 while wicketkeeper Devon Thomas chipped in with 28, but the Caribbean side found life difficult against the South African pace duo of Morne Morkel and Mathew Pillans.

Morkel, 33, who recently retired from international cricket after playing 86 Tests, claimed three for 12 while Pillans ended with three for 29.

John Campbell fell for five with the score on 28, losing his off-stump to a full length delivery from Morkel, and opening partner Chandrapaul Hemraj followed for 19 four balls later in the same over, caught at second slip by Scott Borthwick.

When Pillans removed Sunil Ambris for 12 to a catch by Mark Stoneman at square leg, Windies A were struggling on 53 for five.

However, Singh and Thomas then put their heads down in a 49-run, fourth wicket stand which propped up the innings.

While Singh faced 112 balls in a shade over three hours at the crease and struck five fours, Thomas notched four boundaries in a 65-ball knock.

Windies A suffered a major setback just before tea, losing Thomas and Raymon Reifer (0) in the space of three deliveries with no runs added at 102.

Thomas chased a wide one from Pillans and was caught at the wicket while Reifer drove at the second ball he faced and edged to Stuart Meaker at third slip.

With captain Shamarh Brooks unable to bat due to injury, the end came swiftly for Windies at as Borthwick chipped in with two for 35 with his leg-spin.

Earlier, Borthwick ended on 175 not out as Surrey frustrated the tourists, after resuming the morning on 309 for eight.

On 153 at the start, the left-hander batted 279 balls in just over 7-1/2 hours and struck 22 fours and a six, all told.

Left-arm seamer Reifer picked one of the wickets to fall to end with the best figures of three for 65.

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