Mark Footitt sets sights on England call after six wickets for Surrey against Warwickshire

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph
Mark Footitt finished with figures of six wickets for 14 runs - Getty Images Europe
Mark Footitt finished with figures of six wickets for 14 runs - Getty Images Europe

Mark Footitt put the skids under Warwickshire to give Surrey total control of their County Championship Division One season opener and then sit his sights on an England call.

The pace bowler took six wickets for 14 runs in a nine-over spell of relentless hostility either side of tea to shatter the visitors' first innings - they were bowled out for 91 in reply to the hosts' 454.

Footitt has been in England squads before but now wants to break into Joe Root's new-look team.

"You always try to push for that. If you keep taking wickets and bowling well then why not? Gareth Batty got a call-up last winter and he was 38!" the 31-year-old said.

"Would I like to go to Australia this winter for the Ashes? I've never even been there, so it would be nice! But let's see what happens - I'm just trying to do well for Surrey."

Forced to follow on at the Kia Oval, Warwickshire reached 29 without loss in their second innings by stumps, a deficit of 334.

Footitt's fiery initial burst of three for nought in nine balls, just before the interval, sent Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell and Sam Hain on their way for ducks.

Another good-sized crowd, basking in the south London sun, lapped it up as Footitt roared in from the Vauxhall End to leave Warwickshire reeling at 39 for four at tea and, shortly afterwards, 42 for seven.

Warwickshire had been 30 without loss, but then Sam Curran saw Alex Mellor caught at third slip for 18 and Footitt - brought on as first change after a five-over new ball spell from Tom Curran - took over.

In his second over, a dramatic 15th of the innings, the former Derbyshire left-armer had Trott leg before wicket shuffling across his stumps.

Three balls later he angled a delivery across Bell to square him up on the back foot and have Warwickshire's other high-profile former England batsman caught at second slip.

Hain, pushing weakly at another rapid delivery, was also held by Scott Borthwick at second slip and, resuming after the break for tea, Footitt saw opener Will Porterfield edge behind for 18, before Rikki Clarke and Keith Barker fell for ducks - the fourth and fifth Warwickshire batsmen to succumb to him without scoring.

Clarke was lbw soon after to Footitt and Barker castled a delivery that seemed to shoot through a little low - one ball after fending off a vicious lifter.

Jade Dernbach, brought on for the 26th over, removed Tim Ambrose for six with his third ball -courtesy of another smart catch low down at second slip by Borthwick.

When Sam Curran relieved Footitt the younger left-arm paceman almost immediately struck again to have Jeetan Patel taken at second slip for eight - a fourth catch for Borthwick.

A last wicket partnership of 30 between Chris Wright and Oliver Hannon-Dalby spared Warwickshire the embarrassment of being dismissed for their lowest championship total for almost four decades - but it was all over when Hannon-Dalby mishit Tom Curran to square leg to go for two.

That dismissal left Wright, only the third Warwickshire batsman to reach double figures, unbeaten on 28 from 30 balls.

Wicket-to-wicket, Footitt's wrecking-ball burst was six for three in 32 balls. It is the fourth championship match in succession, going back to late last August, that the 31-year-old has taken five or more wickets in an innings.

Close to England Test selection at times in the past two years, especially when he was included in the squad for the 2015-16 tour to South Africa, Footitt may spearhead a Surrey title tilt this summer - if he stays fit.

Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara's carefully-constructed 71 pushed Surrey on from their overnight 327 for three to 378 for four - before they lost their last seven wickets for 76 runs in 27 overs.

Fellow seamer Wright was the chief beneficiary as he finished with figures of five for 113, while off-spinner Patel also picked up two wickets. Ben Foakes briefly flourished with the bat with 34.

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