Bears finish off Surrey
Ambrose and Clarke see visitors to target of 222
Last Updated: 26/05/12 1:00pm
Warwickshire went back to the top of Division One after taking 33 minutes of the final day to complete a five-wicket victory against Surrey at the Oval.
Tim Ambrose took his overnight 74 to 89 not out and Rikki Clarke hit Stuart Meaker for three fours in an over as he went quickly to 40 not out after resuming on 18.
In all, Ambrose and Clarke added an unbroken 74 for the sixth wicket, after Warwickshire resumed just 41 runs short of their target of 222 at 181-5, and any outside chance of Surrey pulling off a shock victory soon disappeared.
Ambrose faced 154 balls and hit eight fours in his superb innings, while Clarke's unbeaten 40 came from 69 balls, with six fours.
Warwickshire take 20 points from the win, and Surrey, for whom spinner Gareth Batty finished with 4-69 and 10 wickets in the match, take four points.
It was Warwickshire's fourth win in six matches and puts them back above Somerset, who temporarily went top of the table when they beat Durham earlier in the week.
Table-toppers Warwickshire require a further 41 runs to complete victory over Surrey in their division one match at Edgbaston.
The situation is thanks largely to a fifth-wicket stand of 111 in 32 overs between Tim Ambrose (74 not out) and Will Porterfield (66), which saw them end the day on 181-5.
Prior to that it was Surrey who appeared set for victory inside three days after reducing the hosts to 37-4 having been 222 to win.
Warwickshire lost Varun Chopra to the fifth ball of the chase before Gareth Batty ripped through the top order, Ian Westwood falling to a brilliant catch by Tom Maynard, diving to his left at slip.
Two overs later, Jim Troughton, looking to sweep, exited leg before, and with Darren Maddy drilling the ball straight back to Batty, Warwickshire were on the ropes.
Batty (4-56) remained a constant threat, but Warwickshire's fifth-wicket pair prospered by simply adopting a strategy of controlled accumulation at the other end.
Batty's persistence was rewarded when Porterfield, playing back to one that skidded on, was trapped leg before for 66.
But Ambrose (74 not out) and Ricki Clarke (18 not out) safely negotiated the 12 overs that remained in the day.
Earlier, resuming 120 runs ahead, the hosts lost three quick wickets to the off-spin of Jeetan Patel (6-95) before they were all out for 245.
Gareth Batty took 6-72 and Jason Roy hit 71 as Surrey forced their way back into the LV= County Championship contest at the Oval against Division One leaders Warwickshire.
Surrey ended day two 120 runs ahead with six second-innings wickets remaining - a position they can only have dreamed of at lunch when Warwickshire were 182-4.
But the visitors slumped to 247 all out, a lead of just 24, before they made 144-4 in the final session.
The complexion of the game altered dramatically in the afternoon session as the visitors slipped from 186-4 to 213-9.
Stuart Meaker trapped Darren Maddy leg before to bring the curtain down on a watchful stand of 42 in 17 overs with Tim Ambrose (33), who was bowled by Rory Hamilton-Brown.
Batty then ripped through the tail to claim his best figures for Surrey, before Roy raced to a 60-ball half-century as Warwickshire's slender advantage was soon chalked off.
Surrey Zander de Bruyn, Roy and Hamilton-Brown all fell before Tom Maynard (21no) and Jacques Rudolph (17no) added 36 by stumps.
Championship leaders Warwickshire dominated proceedings on the opening day of their match against Surrey at the Oval, dismissing the hosts for just 223.
In reply, Warwickshire had already advanced to 106-1 at stumps thanks to an unbeaten stand of 89 between Varun Chopra (59 not out) and Will Porterfield (32 not out).
Earlier in the day, Surrey won the toss and by lunch were a respectable 134-3, before quickly slipping to 164-7.
Rory Hamilton-Brown made a useful 34 before he was involved in a mix-up with Tom Maynard, which culminated in the former being beaten by Jim Troughton's throw to the batsman's end from mid-on.
Maynard responded by top-scoring with 39 before a defiant 37 from Jon Lewis got Surrey over the 200 mark, with Keith Barker and Chris Woakes taking four wickets apiece.
In reply, Warwickshire lost Ian Westwood in the ninth over, caught at first slip off Jade Dernbach, but Chopra and Porterfield simply played every ball on its merits.
Chopra brought up the fifty partnership with a cover-driven four off Jordan and just before the close, the former Essex opener moved to a 96-ball half-century.