Surrey close on title despite Brown defiance for Hampshire
Lawes knocked out Hampshire’s middle order for his third five-for of the season, with Kemar Roach taking 3-41.
Mohammad Abbas pinned back Surrey, who ended the day on 47-2, a deficit of 172, after Hampshire built their below-par 219 around Ben Brown’s positive 78.
In any case, scoring at least 300 and picking up two batting points will be enough to prevent Essex from overtaking Surrey. After early morning rain delayed the toss by an hour, Surrey chose to bowl, with Jamie Smith and Will Jacks likely to bolster their batting line-up once they return from England duty.
Toby Albert jabbed unconvincingly at Roach to edge to second slip Jamie Overton after Surrey opened up Hampshire’s top order in the ninth over.
Following over, he had Nick Gubbins chop on from a floaty ball outside off stump.
James Vince’s back-foot swish was gobbled up by Overton in the 18th over, giving Lawes his first wicket.
There were no demons on the pitch, but Hampshire’s batters struggled to hold their own against Surrey’s accurate bowling.
A fine example of that was Fletcha Middleton who battled hard for 52 balls before losing the patience battle against Jordan Clark, who cleaned out his off stump.
Despite having to wait until senior bowlers Roach, Dan Worrall, Clark and Overton had bowled, Lawes outshone them all.
Against Northamptonshire last week, he claimed 5-105 and destroyed Hampshire’s middle order.