Essex seize the initiative as the title race hots up

Essex v Surrey – Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford – Specsavers County Championship – Day Two

Surrey 174 (61.3
Essex 302/6 (87.0 overs)
Surrey won the toss and elected to bat
Essex lead by 128 runs with 4 first innings wickets remaining

SAM COOK and Jamie Porter took five wickets apiece, while Dan Lawrence hit an impressive century as Essex took charge against Surrey on what could prove to be a pivotal day in the Specsavers County Championship Division One title race.

Having lost a sizable chunk of the opening days play, Essex were playing catch-up, not only to get a leg up in this particular contest but also in a bid to peg back table toppers, Somerset, as the penultimate round of matches began to take shape.

And it proved to be Essex’ day. While Somerset struggled at Hampshire, Cook, with 5/53, and Porter, 5/62, saw off the Surrey order within an hour of the off.

However, the home side themselves lost early wickets – Jordan Clark, over the course of the day, the pick of the Surrey attack with 3/52.

Nevertheless, in the meantime, Essex otherwise went about their business with the bat effectively. Lawrence was in the mood, hitting a majestic 147 – a knock which included 20 boundaries, while Ryan ten Doeschate – finishing the day still at the crease on 78* – ensured the hosts head into day three in the box seat.

Undoubtedly, there are further twists and turns to come in this remarkable chase for English crickets top prize – Play resumes on Wednesday at 10:30am.

Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley, Dan Lawrence, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate (Capt), Adam Wheater (WK), Simon Harmer, Aaron Beard, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter

Surrey: Mark Stoneman, Will Jacks, Scott Borthwick, Ollie Pope, Jamie Smith, Ben Foakes (Capt) (WK), Liam Plunkett, Rikki Clarke, Jordan Clark, Morne Morkel, Amar Virdi

Umpires: Martin Saggers and Ian Gould

Brian Jeeves