Somerset 337 and 196 for 9 (Abell 53, Banton 52) lead Surrey 308 (Curran 80, Foakes 63, Siddle 6-51) by 225 runs
“He’s under observation with the physios,” Azhar Mahmood, Surrey’s assistant coach, said. “Concussion tests are going on and hopefully he’ll be fine tomorrow. It was shoulder to neck. I think there was a cut. There was some blood coming out of his ear but I’m not sure if it was internal or outside.”
This was the second time in a year that Foakes has suffered a freak injury at The Oval, after he tore a hamstring while slipping in his socks on the dressing-room floor following a Championship game against Middlesex last May.
With Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler rested after their involvement in the IPL, Foakes had been in line to make a home Test debut against New Zealand. Instead, he was ruled out for four months, only returning to Surrey’s first XI for their final Championship match of the season, a high-scoring draw against Glamorgan.
The timing of his latest injury will be a concern to England, with the first Test of their summer – again against New Zealand – just under six weeks away. Foakes has started the season with 240 runs for twice out across three appearances and is the incumbent wicketkeeper after taking the gloves in the Caribbean.
Foakes’ injury appeared to disrupt Surrey’s rhythm as they looked to restrict Somerset in their second innings. Topley had taken three wickets in seven balls – including that of Banton, their last recognised batter – before the stoppage in play but Surrey went 11.5 overs without one under the floodlights.
But Jack Leach chopped on off Overton before Jordan Clark struck with the final ball of the day, leaving the game in the balance heading into Sunday. Surrey were two bowlers down with Curran limited to 15 overs in the match by the ECB as he returns to fitness and James Taylor suffering from back spasms, but Overton and Topley sparked a collapse of six wickets for 64 runs late in the day.
For Banton, this was a significant innings, only his second of the summer after missing the first two rounds of games due to a fractured finger. He started last year opening the batting, then became a specialist No. 7 and finished the season out of the side after averaging 18.84, but vowed in pre-season that he would “come back as a new player this year” following technical tweaks over the winter.
He was occasionally troubled by Overton, edging his first ball wide of the slip cordon for four, but dug in for just over two hours and played confidently through the covers and off his pads. It was notable that he came in at No. 4, ahead of James Hildreth, having enjoyed most of his red-ball success in the middle order in his breakthrough season in 2019.
In his first appearance for seven months after a stress fracture of the lower back, Curran had threatened to make the first hundred of his professional career, scoring fluently and lofting Leach for a straight six, but ultimately fell 20 runs short.
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98