Rains halts Pears' chase
Rain, perhaps fittingly, had the last word at The Oval as the LV= County Championship match between Surrey and Worcestershire ended in a draw.
Play was interrupted at 3.30pm, with Worcestershire on 94 for one chasing 246 for victory after Surrey had been bowled out in their second innings just before lunch for 224.
The players never returned, and the match was called off just before 5pm.
It was a sad and frustrating end to a game that began with a first-day wash-out and a second day which featured only 35 overs. But, when seven wickets fell on that day and then 19 more on the third, a result looked probable when Surrey resumed today 152 ahead at 131 for six.
Rory Hamilton-Brown, the Surrey captain, took his overnight 55 not out to 76 before being eighth out at 164, dragging an attempted lofted drive tamely to long-on. He had batted with a sensible mixture of defence and aggression for 96 balls, hitting eight fours.
He had earlier lost Gareth Batty, for 19, after they had added 39 for the seventh wicket, when the off-spinning all-rounder had been caught at point off a nasty lifter from left-armer David Lucas which hit the shoulder of the bat.
The pitch, however, never misbehaved again and, indeed, seemed to flatten out as it dried further in the sunshine which preceded the late afternoon rain.
Stuart Meaker, Jon Lewis and last man Jade Dernbach all hit out attractively to take Surrey's overall lead well past 200 and Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell and Michael Klinger had to negotiate a tricky three-over mini-session just before the lunch interval.
As the afternoon went on, though, it seemed as if Worcestershire would be the ones to win this fascinating contest, with Klinger playing brilliantly to take the attack back to the Surrey bowlers.
Klinger, a 31-year-old Australian who is acting as Worcestershire's overseas player until his fellow countryman Phil Hughes becomes available to take up his summer contract with the county in late May, was particularly strong through the offside and Dernbach, in particular, felt the force of his driving and cutting.
Klinger reached his fifty with a six down the ground against Batty and was 69 not out when he lost his partner Mitchell, bowled off stump by a beauty from Chris Jordan for 20, just before the rain came.