LV= County Championship: Somerset hold off Surrey to secure draw at Oval
Last Updated: 20/04/13 6:29pm
Alviro Petersen and Jos Buttler both narrowly missed out on centuries as Somerset held off Surrey to secure a draw on the final day of the LV= County Championship Division One clash at the Kia Oval.
South Africa batsman Petersen added a fine 91 to his first-innings 167 before Buttler, who made an attractive 94, further thwarted Surrey's bid to force an unlikely victory.
Somerset eventually batted out the day at 251-9 declared, but Surrey's Stuart Meaker, who finished with 5-60, still staked his claim to be involved in this summer's Ashes series against Australia with an admirable display of fast bowling on an unresponsive pitch.
Somerset's top-order wobble, after starting the final day 24 runs ahead on six without loss in their second innings, gave the first hint of at an unexpected twist in the tale.
Following a fifth-wicket stand of 111 in 30 overs between Petersen and Buttler, Somerset faltered again, losing four wickets in five overs to slump to 208-8 before the latter found a staunch ally in George Dockrell whose defiant two not out from 65 balls helped put the outcome beyond doubt.
Trescothick out early
The fifth over of the day saw Marcus Trescothick fall to a superb catch by Gary Wilson at second slip off Meaker, who struck again when he uprooted Nick Compton's off stump to make it 35-2.
James Hildreth survived a difficult chance at slip in Gareth Batty's first over and Petersen, on 13, was close to being caught down the leg-side when Zander de Bruyn was introduced at the other end.
Hildreth, shaping to cut, was pinned lbw on the crease by Batty for 21 and Craig Kieswetter, pushing forward, went leg before to De Bruyn to make it 82 for four. But Petersen proved to be a tougher nut to crack.
The South African moved to a 66-ball half-century just before lunch and continued to make serene progress, with the game only coming to life again when Batty had the South African snapped up at short leg, with Peter Trego following shortly afterwards to become Meaker's 150th victim in first-class cricket.
Alfonso Thomas was bowled for duck and Meaker recorded his first five-wicket haul of the summer when Jamie Overton was undone by an inswinging delivery, but Buttler and Dockrell's alliance ensured the spoils were shared with Somerset taking nine points and Surrey eight.