Surrey’s five-man pace attack handed Northamptonshire a first defeat of the season in the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Dan Worrall picked up 3 for 37, Gus Atkinson 3 for 26 and Jordan Clark 2 for 43 as Surrey, who earlier in the day had finished off the Northamptonshire first innings for 194 with Colin de Grandhomme taking 4 for 39, strengthened their position at the top of Division One with a third win from five games.
Worrall impressed on his home debut, and the 30-year-old Australian – now classed as a home player due to his British passport – claimed the vital scalp of Will Young soon after Northamptonshire had been asked to follow on.
Worrall produced an absolute beauty to have New Zealand Test opener caught behind for 3 in his fourth over with the new ball, leaving the visitors on 8 for 2 after Ricardo Vasconcelos had also edged to keeper Ben Foakes off Clark in the previous over.
Emilio Gay, to his enormous credit, then shrugged off a series of nasty blows to both his right and left elbows from balls that acted wildly off a length to hit a number of lovely strokes in a brave 51 and hold up Surrey’s seam battery for an hour and a half.
Gay twice needed on-field treatment to his right elbow in one Clark over just before lunch and soon after his arrival at the crease. Then, on 33, he was struck on his left elbow by a De Grandhomme delivery that spat up at him.
But the most painful blow came just after he had reached a 56-ball fifty with a pull off De Grandhomme, his ninth four. The next ball from the New Zealand all-rounder again lifted sharply and Gay initially looked as if he could not carry on after a stoppage for yet more treatment to the tall left-hander’s right elbow.
Deciding to bat on, Gay was then beaten from De Grandhomme’s next ball and also nicked Overton just short of Foakes before Atkinson found his edge again and this time it carried to the Surrey and England keeper.
Atkinson’s first spell of 5-17-2 had earlier also accounted for Luke Procter, well caught just inside the deep square leg boundary by Curran for 9 when the left-hander slightly mis-hit a pull at the young all-rounder’s second ball.
Northamptonshire’s slide continued apace following Gay’s dismissal, with Saif Zaib leg-before for 8 to a searing Overton yorker, Rob Keogh bowled off stump for 15 by another superb Worrall outswinger and Lewis McManus giving Foakes a fourth catch of the innings off Clark.
Tom Taylor sparred De Grandhomme to second slip on 18, soon after tea, but Matt Kelly and Simon Kerrigan both enjoyed themselves in a ninth wicket stand of 50 before Worrall returned to have Kerrigan caught at cover for 25 and Atkinson saw Kelly swing high to deep midwicket on 33.
Northamptonshire’s first innings, meanwhile, had earlier lasted just another 10.4 overs after they began day three on 154 for 8, with Procter – who had resumed on 61 – remaining 83 not out from 196 balls and fully deserving of the crowd’s warm applause following a determined lone hand. One of Procter’s last defiant blows was a memorably-struck six off Overton that flew out of the ground and into the Harleyford Road.
De Grandhomme picked up the remaining two Northamptonshire first innings wickets, pinning Kerrigan leg-before for 12 with a full-pitched swinging delivery and then forcing Ben Sanderson sky to mid on when the No11 miscued a flick into the legside.