- Live Update
George Dobell at Surrey v Warwickshire
A devastating spell of bowling from Mark Footitt – or perhaps that should be Mark F00000itt – powered Surrey into an overwhelmingly dominant position at The Kia Oval.
Footitt claimed six for 14 as Warwickshire were bowled out for just 91, the lowest first-class total by a visiting team since 1999 and their fourth lowest total this century, to give Surrey a first innings lead of 363 runs.
At one stage Footitt, generating sharp pace on an easy-paced wicket, claimed six wickets for three runs in 32 deliveries as Warwickshire collapsed from 30 without loss to 48 for 8. It was a passage of play that saw five Warwickshire batsmen – including Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell – dismissed for ducks and gave Footitt a five-wicket haul for the fourth Championship match in succession.
No other bowler in this match – and there are several who have been in international reckoning in recent times - has come close to replicating the bounce and pace achieved by Footitt as he charged in from The Vauxhall End. In one over before tea he accounted for Trott, set-up by some back of a length deliveries and then pinned by a full one as he fell over to the off side in trying to play to leg, and Bell, edging a peach of a ball that bounced and left him, while Sam Hain, drawn into a poke outside off stump, fell in his next over.
William Porterfield was beaten by another beauty that bounced and took his outside edge, Rikki Clarke played across a straight one and Keith Barker was bowled by one that may well have kept a bit low.
While a couple of Warwickshire batsmen – not least Bell, who received one that scuttled along the pitch two balls before he was dismissed, and Barker, who was struck by a bouncer the ball before he was bowled by one that kept low - may point to some variable bounce as mitigation for their dismissals. But the fact that their tenth-wicket pair posted the equal highest stand of the innings underlined the failings of the top-order. Chris Wright, coming in at No. 10, finished as their highest scorer with an unbeaten 28.
It may well be that Footitt’s England chance has passed him by. He made it into the squad during the 2015 Ashes and then went on the tour to South Africa but, after an understandably nervous performance during the warm-up games, was overlooked for the start of the series. He came tantalisingly close to selection for the final Test in Pretoria but, in the end, the England management went for Chris Woakes instead. There is every chance that was as close as Footitt will get to a Test cap.