Surrey takes a stranglehold as Essex’s title hopes hang by a thread

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

Surrey 262 and 278

Essex 180 and 21 for two (12.0 overs)

Essex won the toss and elected to bowl

Essex requires 340 runs to win with eight second-innings wickets standing

Essex has it all to do when they head into the final day of their Vitality County Championship Division One top-of-the-table clash with leaders Surrey at the Kia Oval.

Essex finished another dramatic, but weather-affected day, needing 340 runs to win after the home side established a sizable advantage.

Ryan Patel proved to be Essex’s chief tormentor. His 107, coupled with 70 from Jamie Smith – following his first innings century – ensured that the visitors must bat out the day to salvage the contest.

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 Bosch caught Clark at third man.

Surrey struck before the close, with Clark claiming the scalps of Nick Browne and Bosch, leaving Essex with a mountain to climb. Speaking to Mark Baldwin from the ECB Reporters Network, Essex seamer Porter said: “It was a nice moment to get my 500th first-class wicket.

“When I started my career I was just grateful to get the opportunity to take one first-class wicket so I am extremely proud to get to 500. Hopefully, there are a few more still to come!

“Tomorrow we need a good partnership or two and see what happens. We have a lot of experience in the dressing room and some great players who are capable of playing a great knock.”

Play resumes on Wednesday at 11am.

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