JACK Shantry’s superb afternoon spell has put Worcestershire on course – weather permitting – to register an innings victory over Surrey in the LV= County Championship Division Two clash at the Oval.
Surrey were going along serenely at 162-2 in reply to Worcestershire’s 476 after play got underway on the third day after lunch following early morning rain.
But then former Worcestershire batsman Vikram Solanki was run out and opened the door for Shantry to reap havoc during a spell of four wickets in 11 balls.
He finished the innings with figures of 6-58 as Surrey lost their last eight wickets for 44 runs in 27.4 overs and were bowled out for 206.
Only Zafar Ansari, with an unbeaten 77 off 230 balls with seven fours, showed the necessary application.
Unsurprisingly, Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell, with a first-innings lead of 270, enforced the follow on and his bowlers again made early inroads as Surrey closed on 111-3, still 159 runs in arrears.
There had been little indication of the Surrey collapse that was to follow after they had resumed on 134-2.
But Solanki, playing his first game of the season, was run out on 14 via a direct hit from Tom Fell after the batsman was sent back by Ansari.
Then Shantry took centre stage with another ex-Worcestershire player in Steve Davies (7) undone by a ball of extra bounce that saw him caught behind by Ben Cox.
Jason Roy fell to the same combination and then Shantry struck with successive balls to account for skipper and keeper Gary Wilson and Gareth Batty – the third former Worcestershire player on view – for one and a duck respectively.
Ansari continued to defy the visitors and reached 50 off 159 balls but Charlie Morris got involved in the action with two wickets in two balls.
He had Chris Tremlett caught behind by Cox for three and dismissed Matt Dunn, bowled via the inside edge after playing back, without scoring to leave himself on a hat-trick.
Shantry then returned to polish off the innings as Cox picked up another catch to dispose of Jade Dernbach (0).
Surrey began their second innings after tea and Shantry collected his 26th championship wicket of the season as Rory Burns (8) was deceived by a slower ball and top-edged a return catch.
Ansari survived a chance to Fell off Shantry on 11 but Arun Harinath (15) was run out attempting a risky second run by Ross Whiteley’s powerful throw.
Solanki fell for the second time in the day, trapped lbw for nine by Joe Leach with the total on 63-3.
By the close of play, Ansari had reached his half century, while Davies was unbeaten on 23.