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 6-0 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 before the latter found a staunch ally in George Dockrell and put the outcome beyond doubt.
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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, shaping to cut, was pinned lbw on the crease by Batty for 21 and Craig Kieswetter, pushing forward, went leg before to Zander De Bruyn.