sport

Foxes fight back at Grace Road

Leicestershire staged a spirited fight-back in a bid to avoid the follow-on against Surrey on the second day in the County Championship.

Having posted a formidable total of 480 at Grace Road, Surrey had the hosts struggling at 146 for four but an unbeaten 62 by stand-in captain Niall O'Brien and half-centuries from Dan Redfern and Rob Taylor helped Leicestershire to 303 for seven by the close and needing another 28 runs to make Surrey bat again.

Veteran off-spinner Gareth Batty ensured the day ended on a high note for Surrey however, claiming two late wickets in two overs for four runs to check Leicestershire's recovery.

Taylor, having made 54 and shared a stand of 99 with O'Brien was bowled by a quicker delivery and in Batty's next over Jigar Naik fell in similar fashion as the home side slipped from 292 for five to 298 for seven.

Earlier in the day Steven Davies had hit his best score for Surrey with 174 off 210 balls.

It was always going to be a tall order for bottom-of the-table Leicestershire to get themselves back into the game after being battered by the Surrey batsmen. But some wayward bowling from the Surrey pacemen gave the home side the chance to add to the huge boundary count in the game.

Even though some early wickets fell the scoreboard ticked along at a good rate with Ned Eckersley making a breezy 40 with eight fours in a stand of 64 with Matt Boyce. But when Boyce was out caught behind off a lifting delivery from Chris Tremlett, Surrey looked in command again.

Then Redfern, O'Brien and Taylor gave the home side some hope. Redfern hit 52 with 10 fours before edging Batty to wicket-keeper Gary Wilson and Taylor's half century contained a six and four other boundaries. With O'Brien still there, Leicestershire will hope they can reach the follow-on target of 331.

Resuming at 403 for eight Surrey added another 77 runs off 22 overs. The main focus was whether Davies could improve his career best score of 192 for Worcestershire against Gloucestershire he posted eight years ago.

He certainly looked in the mood to do so, moving quickly from his overnight 147 and past his previous Surrey best of 156.

The boundaries continued to flow as well from both Davies and Stuart Meaker in a stand of 108. It was finally broken by Rob Taylor who pinned Davies lbw for 174 off 210 balls. His innings contained 25 fours.

Meaker was last man out for 58 off 142 balls when he edged Taylor behind giving the left arm seamer figures of four for 91 in 20.3 overs. The Surrey total of 480 contained a six and 70 other boundaries.