Half-centuries from Gary Wilson and Zafar Ansari edged Surrey towards a hard-earned first innings lead on the third morning of their LV= County Championship Division Two match against Derbyshire at the Kia Oval.
Wilson, resuming on 36 in Surrey’s overnight 227 for five, reached 72 with some fine shots before falling in Mark Footitt’s seven-over spell with the second new ball.
At lunch the more defensive-minded Ansari had crawled to 53 not out from 140 balls as Surrey moved to 306 for six in reply to Derbyshire’s 313.
Surrey’s sixth wicket pair had added 109 in 31.1 overs when Wilson, push-driving at a widish half-volley from left-arm paceman Footitt, edged his 110th ball to the keeper.
Footitt had new batsman James Burke in all kinds of trouble early in his innings, beating his outside edge several times and being unfortunate not to see a couple of nicks end up in the hands of the slip cordon.
Burke, however, survived to go to 10 by the interval and, with Ansari – who scored just 32 runs in the two-hour pre-lunch session – bringing up his fifty with an extra cover driven four off Tom Milnes, Surrey are just seven runs behind Derbyshire.