DURHAM will have the chance to establish a clear lead at the top of the LV County Championship today, but for the second successive game they will face a tricky run chase.

Time was their enemy in the thrilling win at Trent Bridge, but at least they had a sound surface to bat on. This time they will hope to have 60 overs to chase fewer than 200, but the Oval pitch could be a hindrance.

When rain ended play at tea-time yesterday Surrey were 164 for six in their second innings, leading by 115. Scott Borthwick had taken three for 41, although he didn't find as much turn as expected on a pitch which had brought the inspector back for a second day.

That happens only when there is cause for concern and former Northamptonshire all-rounder David Capel, who is new to the pitch panel, was present all day on Saturday.

Durham also had cause for complaint about some umpiring decisions, with Paul Collingwood and Mark Wood both unlucky to be given out.

The fact that they picked up four lbw decisions of their own yesterday was small consolation as they were all indisputable.

The afternoon session was fairly frustrating but brought a late bonus when Steve Davies, who looked capable of taking the game away from Durham, surrendered for 46. He pulled Borthwick to deep mid-wicket, where Mark Stoneman held a comfortable catch.

It would have been too much to expect debut boy Ryan Buckley to follow up his five-wicket haul with another bag and luck wasn't with him this time. He beat the left handers a few times and nearly had Zander de Bruyn when Will Smith was unable to hang on to a very sharp chance at short leg.

With Ben Stokes still not fit to bowl, Durham were another bowler down with Chris Rushworth off the field, although that had the benefit of 12th man Keaton Jennings making a couple of brilliant stops.

Durham established a first innings lead of 49 through Dale Benkenstein using his vast experience to hold things together in an unbeaten 74 out of 286.

Surrey's acting captain Gareth Batty was kind enough to grant Durham four more overs of tasty offerings from Stuart Meaker on Saturday morning before bringing himself on to bowl in tandem with Gary Keedy.

Stoneman took full advantage of Meaker's generosity as he reached 50 off 53 balls and went on to make an excellent 77 before falling to a bat-pad catch.

After an opening stand of 88 Batty made the breakthrough with his seventh ball of the second day and completed his haul of five for 80 when he took the one remaining wicket in the third over yesterday.

Buckley, sent in at No 11 after Rushworth went first ball, had shown good defensive technique the previous evening, but only seven runs were added yesterday before he became the third player to fall lbw to Batty on the back foot.

The spinners bowled 61 overs between them, but Keedy remained wicketless and Durham will be anxious to keep it that way in the second innings.

When Surrey began their second innings Callum Thorp swung one through Jason Roy's defences to rattle the timber in the third over.

Buckley was on for the tenth over and turned the ball past left-hander Rory Burns' outside edge three times in one over.

Wood bowled a lively spell and was rewarded with the wicket of Arun Harinath, making it 37 for two.

Burns began to whip anything slightly over-pitched by Buckley through the leg side, but he fell lbw for 38 in Borthwick's second over just before lunch.

The spinners made a bad start after the break with the first seven balls costing 12 runs, and when Collingwood decided to try his off-cutters his first ball kept low to defeat Vikram Solanki's attempted pull.

De Bruyn also made 20 before he was lbw to another ball which skidded on, this time from Borthwick, who will hope to run through the tail this morning.

If Durham meet resistance, as they did at Trent Bridge, it could prove another nerve-racking day.