Essex’s title hopes take a hit at the Oval

Surrey v Essex – Vitality County Championship Division One – The Kia Oval – Report

Surrey 262 and 278

Essex 180 and 215

Essex won the toss and elected to bowl

Surrey won by 145 runs

Essex’s Vitality County Championship Division One title hopes took a sizable blow as league leaders and reigning champions Surrey won a weather-affected encounter by 145 runs at the Kia Oval.

Yellow Sports Brian Jeeves at the Kia Oval

Set a sizable target of 362, Essex were bowled out on the final day with Tom Lawes claiming four wickets and Jordan Clark three. Indeed, having lost Nick Browne and Eathan Bosch the previous evening, the writing was already on the wall for Essex, who had lost the services of Jordan Cox early in the contest. He was subsequently taken to hospital for surgery on his appendix.

Earlier, Ryan Patel had proved to be Essex’s chief tormentor. His 107, coupled with 70 from Jamie Smith, following his first innings century, ensured that the visitors were left with a mountain to climb

Smith’s earlier heroics helped Surrey post a modest first-innings total of 262. Shane Snater returned bowling figures of 21.2-5-56-3, while Eathan Bosch had 13-2-52-3.

However, the bowler continued to dominate, highlighted as Essex’s first innings stumbled. Jordan Clark had 15.3-5-3-3, and Dan Worrall 14-4-40-3. Surrey had taken control. Only Paul Walter, 64 off 104 balls, and Matt Critchley, 48 off 59, provided scores of note for the visitors, who were all out for 180. Surrey’s first-innings lead, 82.

Patel and Smith held their nerve against the inclement weather and the Essex attack, helping Surrey forge a 361-run lead. Bosch took his match figures to six for 109. Meanwhile, Jamie Porter claimed his five-hundredth first-class wicket when Clark was caught by Bosch at third man.

Jamie Porter claimed his 500th first-class wicket (Courtesy of Essex Cricket)

Walter carried the fight on the final day by passing fifty for the second time in the match. Meanwhile, Dean Elgar contributed 60 off 95 balls. Their collective efforts were all in vain for Essex who slipped to third as a result.

Back-to-back half-centuries for Paul Walter (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Speaking to Mark Baldwin from the ECB Reporters Network, Essex Head Coach Anthony McGrath said: “The Jordan Cox situation in this match is a difficult one because you know the rules before you play. It’s just unfortunate.

“I’ve never seen something like this happen in all my time as a player and as a coach, so perhaps it should be looked at for the future.

“It’s a pretty unusual situation and you would miss any player that had to pull out of a match with illness but especially someone like Jordan who was in such great form with the bat this season.

“It’s certainly not an excuse but it’s just a real shame it has happened in such an important match. You simply cannot legislate for something happening to a player like that on the first day.

“The most important thing is that Jordan had the tests and found out what it was. He’s only just come out of hospital now following the appendix operation and it’s hard for us to put any timescale on how long he is going to be out.

“We will speak to the surgeons and see what they say but he is young and otherwise very healthy so hopefully it won’t be too long before he is able to play again.”

Essex now turn their attention to the Vitality Blast, when they take on Somerset at the Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford on Friday, July 5 (7pm).

Surrey: RJ Burns (Capt), DP Sibley, BS Sudharsan, JL Smith, BT Foakes (WK), DW Lawrence, RS Patel, J Clark, TE Lawes, JPA Taylor, DJ Worrall

Essex: D Elgar, NLJ Browne, T Westley (Capt), JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, PI Walter, MS Pepper (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, E Bosch, JA Porter

Umpires: PJ Hartley and GD Lloyd

Scorers: Debbie Beesley and P Parkinson

Match Referee: J Whitaker


Brian Jeeves