Match Report | Essex v Surrey


Essex team | Nick Browne (10), Alastair Cook (26), Tom Westley (21), Dan Lawrence (28), Ravi Bopara (25), Ryan ten Doeschate* (27), James Foster+ (7), Simon Harmer (11), Neil Wagner (13), Matt Quinn (94), Jamie Porter (44).

Surrey team | Mark Stoneman (23), Rory Burns (17)*, Scott Borthwick (6), Kumar Sangakarra (11), Dom Sibley (45), Ben Foakes (7), Sam Curran (58), Tom Curran (59), Amar Virdi, Stuart Meaker (18), Ravi Rampaul.

Umpires | J.W. Lloyds & N.A. Mallender

Toss | Surrey won the toss and elected to bat

Day Four | Jamie Porter speaks after taking career best match figures of 9-160

Day Four | Close of Play Report

Kumar Sangakkara fell 16 runs short of a record sixth consecutive Championship century when he patted the ball anticlimactically back to Essex’s part-time spinner Tom Westley.
The scene had been set for the Sri Lankan to equal not only the Championship best, but clock up his onehundredth hundred across all forms of the game.
The crowd at Chelmsford were stunned into silence as the master batsman started the long trudge back to the pavilion before bursting into a heartfelt and sympathetic round of applause.
He now has 853 runs in red-ball cricket this season at an average of just over 106.
There had been a doubt at one stage whether Sangakkara would even get the chance to the challenge the record. He was stranded on 79 not out when the umpires took the players off for bad light. They did not return for 75 minutes with light meters having been checked regularly.
When the captains shook hands at 4.51pm, Surrey were 246 runs ahead in their second innings with one wicket still to fall.
The draw maintained Essex’s one-point advantage over Surrey at the top of the Specsavers County Championship. The two teams meet again at Guildford at the end of next week in what could be one of the season’s pivotal matches.
It looked at one point as if Jamie Porter was going to set up Essex’s third win of the season when he claimed five wickets in 27 balls to post his first nine-wicket match haul. He finished with five for 71 in the second innings.
Porter is in a rich vein of form: he posted best List A figures (four for 40) two weeks ago, career-best first-class figures (five for 24) against Hampshire last week and now best match figures (nine for 160).
But while Porter was particularly destructive, Harmer had been the epitome of tight bowling, at least before Sangakkara’s entrance. He had just dismissed Rory Burns for 50, caught and bowled low down to his right, and had figures of one for 11 from 10 overs before Sangakkara took a liking to his off-spin.
Harmer’s second ball to the Sri Lankan was swept for four, and was followed by two sumptuous cuts for four and three more in the next two overs.
Sangakkara, when 25, a survived a serious lbw appeal by Harmer to the final ball he faced before lunch. Umpire Jeremy Lloyds’s finger stayed resolutely by his side.
Burns and Scott Borthwick pieced together a second-wicket partnership of 63 in 26 overs with the stand-in Surrey captain reaching his half-century from 107 balls with a quick single into the on-side.
But Borthwick’s departure in the stroke of lunch precipitated the clatter of wickets, all to Porter. A tickle down leg-side accounted for Borthwick, and first ball after the break Dom Sibley prodded forward and provided Foster with a tumbling catch to his right. So, 151 for two had suddenly become 151 for four.
It was 159 for five in Porter’s next over when Ben Foakes failed to check his drive and chipped a tame catch to Ravi Bopara at midwicket. Two runs later and Sam Curran was on his way, lbw to Porter’s slower ball. At that stage Porter had four wickets at a personal cost of three runs.
His fifth wicket wasn’t long in coming, either, as Tom Curran was taken one-handed, diving low to his right by Foster.
But, as he did in the first innings with 49 at No10, Stuart Meaker came in and built a key partnership with Sangakkara that stopped Essex’s momentum in its tracks.
When Porter was replaced at the Hayes Close End by Neil Wagner, he had taken five for 71 from 18 overs. Wagner replaced Porter at the Hayes Close End, but was nowhere near as accurate and went for three successive boundaries to Sangakarra, who reached a 72-ball half-century in the process.
Sangakkara resumed his onslaught against Harmer deep into the afternoon, hitting the spinner for two scorching drives through the off-side to move effortlessly into the seventies.
But when Meaker ducked into a short-pitch delivery from Wagner that thudded into his jaw, the umpires decided the light was too bad to continue. When they returned, Wagner completed the over judiciously off a 10-yard run-up. However, even then he bowled one ball into the bowlers’ footmarks and it ballooned over Foster’s head to the boundary.
Meaker went to the ninth ball after the resumption, bowled around his legs by Harmer for 24. Two wickets were left, Sangakkara was on 80 and Essex had Westley on at the other end. But it was Westley who ended the fairytale.

Day Four | Tea Report

Jamie Porter ripped through the Surrey batting post-lunch at Chelmsford to claim his first nine-wicket haul in first-class cricket.
When the players went off for bad light, and an early tea, the Essex seamer had figures of nine for 160 after taking five wickets for 71 in the second innings. At one stage he had claimed four wickets in 14 balls.
All of which threatened to overshadow Kumar Sangakkara’s quest to reach a record six consecutive Championship centuries. The Sri Lankan was 79 not out from 93 balls at the interval with Surrey 229 runs ahead with three wickets in hand and 42 overs remaining in the match.
Porter started the mid-innings collapse with wickets in successive deliveries either side of lunch. Scott Borthwick went to a leg-side catch behind and Dom Sibley first ball, prodding forward for James Foster to take a tumbling catch to his right.
Porter took a third wicket in his next over when Ben Foakes failed to check his drive and chipped a tame catch to Ravi Bopara at midwicket. Two runs later and Sam Curran was on his way, lbw to Porter’s slower ball. At that stage Porter had taken four quick wickets at a personal cost of three runs.
His fifth wicket wasn’t long in coming, either, as Tom Curran was pouched one-handed by Foster, diving low to his right.
When Porter was replaced at the Hayes Close End by Neil Wagner, he had taken five for 71 from 18 overs. Wagner was not accurate and went for three successive boundaries from Sangakarra, who reached a 72-ball half-century in the process.
Sangakkara had been particularly severe on Simon Harmer before lunch, and he hit the spinner for two scorching drives through the off-side to move into the seventies.

Day Four | Lunch Report

Kumar Sangakkara, chasing a record sixth successive Championship century, demonstrated the full range of his shots as he reached 25 from 31 balls before lunch at Chelmsford.
The top of the Specsavers County Championship match may be heading inexorably towards a draw, but the Sri Lankan veteran showed respect for the good balls while despatching the bad ones to the boundary.
At the interval Surrey had increased their 41-run overnight lead to 137 with seven wickets still standing. Rory Burns was the first wicket to fall in the morning, out for exactly 50, before Scott Borthwick was caught behind off Jamie Porter for 36 from the last ball of the session.
Surrey took 23 balls before adding to their overnight 55 for one, Burns guiding Porter backward of square for two. The scoreboard in motion, the stand-in Surrey captain took two fours in one Porter over, both off his legs, one fine, the other square.
Scott Borthwick pulled Porter through midwicket and then controlled a thick edge wide of the slips off Neil Wagner. Simon Harmer switched to the River End and had Borthwick in a bit of trouble before the Surrey batsman went back to a shorter delivery and caned it through the covers for another four. It was a noteworthy stroke as the South African’s first nine overs had gone for just nine runs.
Burns reached fifty from the 107th ball he faced with a push to midwicket and a quick scamper off Matt Quinn. But without addition he drove Harmer low to the bowler’s right and departed caught and bowled.
Sangakkara was off the mark second ball, sweeping to the boundary and harming Harmer’s figures, which then had increased to 10-6-15-1. More was to come. He rocked on to the back-foot twice and cut fours in successive Harmer overs before looking for a big heave over midwicket. Fortunately his back foot was anchored in the crease as James Foster whipped off the bails.
Harmer’s analysis took a serious knock as Sangakkara took three further boundaries from his next two overs. But Harmer thought he had the prized wicket with his last ball before lunch when Sangakkara was pinned on his back-foot, but umpire Jeremy Lloyds’s finger stayed by his side.

Day Three | Reaction – Lawrence talks of a superb first innings century.

Day Three | Close of Play Report

After Dan Lawrence had scored  his second Championship century of the season for Essex , bad light and rain had the final word on the third day of in the Specsavers County Championship Division One clash versus Surrey at The Cloudfm County Ground.

Lawrence scored 107  before half-centuries  from Ryan ten Doeschate and Neil Wagner helped to take the home side to an all out 383 and a slender lead of just 14 runs.

Before the weather intervened to knock 26 overs off the day’s scheduled allocation, Surrey  reached 55  for 1 in their second innings with Rory Burns unbeaten on 21 and Scott Borthwick 1 not out.

Essex had resumed on 215 for  three but quickly lost Ravi Bopara when he was bowled shouldering  arms against Tom Curran to a delivery that nipped back sharply. It brought an end to a partnership of 106, Bopara having accounted for 39, and Lawrence followed soon after.

Lawrence became an lbw victim of Stuart Meaker following a superb innings that brought him 15 boundaries in an effort that spanned 208 balls. James Foster struck a brisk 21 before spinner Amar Virdi bowled him on the stroke of lunch.

In the same over after the break, he had Simon Harmer neatly stumped by Ben Foakes for a duck leaving ten Doeschate  and Wagner to pull the innings back in on an even keel.

Ten Doeschate completed  his half-century with the assistance of six fours, three in an over against Meaker, before falling lbw to Virdi for 53. His departure persuaded Wagner to step up a couple of gears and some forceful driving and pulls carried him to his first 50 for the county which contained 8 boundaries.

But without addition, the batsman was removed by Ravi Rampaul and the innings was brought to an end in the next over when Meaker bowled Matt Quinn.

Essex might have been celebrating a wicket before the arrears were cleared but Lawrence was unable to hold onto a difficult chance at gully offered by Mark Stoneman. Burns also survived a difficult chance to ten Doeschate at mid-on shortly afterwards, and on both occasions Jamie Porter was the unlucky bowler.

In the end, it was Wagner who broke the opening stand with the total on 50 to account for Stoneman for 28 as Alastair Cook pulled off a magnificent catch low down to his left at first slip.

But then the weather intervened. Bad light sent the players into the pavilion at 5.45 p.m. and a few minutes later, torrential rain put paid to any hopes of resuming play with play called off for the day at 6.00 p.m.

It means the visitors will start the final day 41 runs ahead.

Day Three | Tea Report

Amar Verdi was to strike again when he resumed his over after lunch with the home side 305 for 6. With the forth ball after the resumption, he beat Simon Harmer to present Ben Foakes with an opportunity to pull off a neat stumping.

Ryan ten Doeschate however continued to assert his authority to reach a fine half-century containing six fours and arriving from 75 balls before he became the 18 year-old spinner’s third victim after making 53 to leave Essex 344 for 8.

Verdi trapped him leg before wicket and his departure persuaded Neil Wagner to open his shoulders.

Twice he drove Verdi back over the bowler’s head and also dealt out punishment to Stuart Meaker and Ravi Rampaul on his way to posting his first half-century for the county.

He got there with his eighth boundary but without addition, Rampaul gained his wicket having him caught by Kumar Sangakkara to end his innings spanning 104 minutes and 91 balls.

In the next over, Meaker brought the innings to a close by bowling Matt Quinn by which time the home side had moved to 383 to establish a narrow lead of 14 runs.

Tea was taken immediately.

Day Three | Lunch Report

Essex were left relying a great deal on skipper Ryan ten Doeschate to carve out a first innings lead in their top-of-the-table Division One clash with Surrey at The Cloudfm County Ground.

They reached the interval on 305 for 6, still 64 adrift after losing two early wickets.

Resuming on 215 for 3 in response to a total of 369, the home side lost overnight pair Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara for the addition of 41 runs.

Burt Lawrence did have the satisfaction of completing his second Championship century of the summer with the help of 15 boundaries before falling leg before to Stuart Meaker for 107.

Bopara was the first casualty when , on 39,  he lost his off stump shouldering arms to Tom Curran when the paceman brought a delivery back into his opponent. His departure brought an end to a stand of 106 with just 17 added to the overnight score.

James Foster opened his account with a couple of off-side fours in an over from Meaker before the wicket-keeper/batsman moved into the 20’s by pulling Sam Curran  to the mid-wicket boundary to bring up the 300 and earn Essex their third batting point.

However, on the stroke of lunch, Foster was bowled by Amar Virdi for 21 following a stand of 49 to give the bowler his maiden first-class wicket.

The interval arrived with ten Doeschate, the last of the recognised batsman, on 31 not out that included five fours from his innings that has thus far spanned 39 balls.

Day Two | Match Highlights

Day Two Reaction | Nick Browne in the runs on the second day of play

Day Two | Close of Play Report

An unbroken partnership of 89 between Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara took Essex to 215 for 3 at the close of the second day’s play in their top-of-the-table Division One Specsavers County Championship clash with Surrey at The Cloudfm County Ground.

That leaves the home side 154 runs adrift of their opponents after Surrey were bowled out for 369.

Just a day after being awarded his county cap, Lawrence underlined just why he is being tipped for the highest honours in the game.

He was totally at ease against pace and spin whilst seemingly possession plenty of time to keep the scoreboard ticking over with his ability to coax the ball into the gaps.

Lawrence reached his 50 containing 8 fours and added another three boundaries to leave the match evenly poised at the halfway stage.

He has so far batted for almost three hours and faced 154 deliveries and will resume on 78 while Bopara, with the help of some exquisite drives, will take guard again in the morning 33 not out and set to face the second new ball which is due immediately.

The pair had come together in the 47th over with the total on 126 having joined forces after Nick Browne had clipped Stuart Meaker to mid-wicket immediately after posting his first half-century of the season.

It contained nine fours but although never at his fluent best, he showed characteristic application. He needed 150 deliveries to reach his 50 but was destined to depart two balls later.

Browne and Alastair Cook had launched the Essex reply with a sound start putting on 61 before being parted when Cook was trapped lbw by Tom Curran for 36.

Then Tom Westley, having scored 16, snicked Sam Curran to former Essex wicket-keeper Ben Foakes to leave the home side 87 for 2.

In the morning, Surrey added another 35 runs after resuming on 334 for 7, Jamie Porter picking up two wickets to finish with 4 for 89 from 27 overs.

He firstly broke a stand of 110 by having Stuart Meaker caught behind for 49 and then bowled Amar Virdi for five.

But it was off-spinner Simon Harmer who was to bring the visitors innings to an end when Kumar Sangakkara drove into the hands of Neil Wagner at long-off immediately after completing his double-century.

His magnificent effort spanned seven and a quarter hours, 321 balls and included 27 fours.

Day Two | Tea Report

Essex added 69 runs in the post-lunch session whilst losing three wickets as they reached the tea interval on 127 for 3 from 48 overs in the Specsavers County Championship clash at The Cloudfm County Ground.

Alastair Cook had added only 2 more runs to his lunch score of 34 when he was removed lbw by Tom Curran with the total on 61.

That brought Tom Westley to the crease but he and Nick Browne were so subdued that they needed 15 overs to advance the total to 87 before Surrey were able to celebrate their second success.

Westley was the man to depart. He had batted or an hour and contributed 16 when he edged Sam Curran to wicket-keeper Ben Foakes.

Meanwhile, opener Browne continued his watchful approach. Although he lacked fluency, his determination could not be faulted as he moved steadily towards his first half-century of the season.

A lofted off-drive by Dan Lawrence brought up the 100 in the 36th over and he followed it up with another boundary, this time turning Stuart Meaker to the fine leg fence.

Browne eventually reached his 50 from 150 deliveries when he pulled Meaker to the ropes to register his ninth four.

However, two deliveries later, and still facing Meaker, his vigil came to an end when he found the hands of Tom Curran at mid-wicket.

That left Ravi Bopara keeping Lawrence company until tea, the latter reaching the break on 23 with Bopara still to get off the mark as the home side wnet into tea still 242 runs behind.

Day Two | Lunch Report

Alastair Cook and Nick Browne made a confident start when Essex responded to Surrey’s 369 all out in the top-of-the-table Division One clash of the Specsavars County Championship clash at The Cloudfm County Ground.

By lunch, they had carried the total to 58 without loss and without looking in any trouble.

Cook produced a classic straight drive that raced the boundary off Tom Curran plus a couple of well-timed strokes off his legs as he reached the interval on 34 with the help of 6 fours. By the break, Browne too had played pleasingly to gather 24 runs having found the boundary on 4 occasions.

Earlier, Surrey added a further 35 runs to their overnight score before their innings was brought to an end by Sangakkara’s dismissal. He had just completed his double-century when he drove spinner Simon Harmer into the hands of Neil Wagner at long-off. It brought to a close an individual effort that saw the batsman spend 7 and a quarter hours at the crease during which he faced 321 deliveries, 27 of which he sent to the boundary

Before his removal, Jamie Porter struck twice, first bringing an eight wicket stand of 110 to an end by having Stuart Meaker caught behind just one run short of his half-century.

Amar Virdi had scored 5 when he had his off stump uprooted by Porter on his way to figures of 4 for 89 from 27 overs.

The only extras were two no balls, a statistic that underlined Foster’s fine performance behind the stumps although cynics will point out that very few deliveries got past the imperious Sangakkara’s bat.

Day One Reaction | Matt Quinn takes 3 wickets on a mixed day for Essex


Day One | Match Highlights


Day One | Close of Play Report

At the close of an absorbing opening day’s play between Essex and Surrey in the Specsavers County Championship Division One clash at The Cloudfm County Ground, Surrey had reached 334 for 7 with Kumar Sangakkara unbeaten on 177 and Stuart Meaker 43 not out.

After Matt Quinn and Jamie Porter had ripped out half of the Surrey side for 31, they and the rest of the Essex bowlers were put to the sword by the imperious Sangakkara.

The Sri Lankan maestro, who turns 40 in five months time, lit up the stage with a brilliant batting display to record his fifth successive Championship century to set a new county record.

Thanks largely to him and Sam Curran, who contributed 90 in a sixth wicket partnership worth 191, Surrey, who won the toss, were able to regain the initiative.

Essex started the match with a one point lead over their rivals and after 50 minutes play, Quinn and Porter had their opponents in disarray.

Quinn, with the help of Simon Harmer at second slip and Dan Lawrence in the gully, shot out Mark Stoneman and Rory Burns before the total had moved into double figures.

And the paceman was to strike again by having Scott Borthwick caught behind by James Foster, recalled to the side because Adam Wheater was nursing an ankle injury.

That success gave Quinn figures of 3 for 13 from his opening three overs and paved the way for Porter to plunge the visitors into deeper trouble.

He did so by bowling Dominic Sibley and Ben Foakes for 1 and 8 respectively, the former beaten for pace and the latter missing an attempted pull. But then came the recovery orchestrated by Sangakkara with Curran, his willing accomplice.

After conditions became easier – the ball had nipped about quite a bit in the first hour or so – they were to seize the initiative in superb style.

Sangakkara did receive one slice of luck in completing his 84-ball half-century with eight fours. That arrived after Alastair Cook had been unable to hold onto a difficult chance at first slip off the bowling of Neil Wagner. Soon afterwards, he was within a whisker of being bowled by off-spinner Harmer when pushing forward but otherwise, he gave a masterful exhibition.

Sangakkara’s driving, particular in the cover area, was exceptional as he went on to compile his century from 174 balls with 13 boundaries.

Curran, following a subdued start, was also to make the Essex bowlers toil and had hit two sixes and a dozen fours before he advanced down the pitch to Harmer when needing just ten runs for his century and was neatly stumped by Foster.

Their stand of 191 represented a Surrey record for the sixth wicket against Essex and Curran’s departure was quickly followed by that of his brother Tom, a victim of Ravi Bopara with the total on 229, when he was well caught by Nick Browne in the covers.

But the classy and commanding Sangakkara remained and reached the close with 23 boundaries to his credit having faced 276 deliveries in an innings spanning 6 hours and 12 minutes.

He also found another useful partner in the last session of the day’s play in Stuart Meaker. Together they added an unbroken 95 in a stand that saw the visitors achieve their third batting point.

Essex will have been disappointed that they could not make more of their brilliant start but it will be a day to remember for 19 year-old Lawrence who was awarded his county cap during the lunch interval.

Day One | Tea Report

Surrey were to gain the initiative in superb style after lunch as Kumar Sangakkara and Sam Curran made progress by adopting an aggressive approach to restore the innings to a score of 210 for 5 at Tea.

Sangakkara is unbeaten on 108 whilst Curran arrived at the break with 82 to his name.

Sangakkara did need a slice of luck in completing his 84-ball half-century, the stroke taking him there finishing up at the third man boundary when Alastair Cook was unable to complete a difficult chance to first slip.

The batsman was to celebrate with a pulled four against Neil Wagner in the same over, while Curran stepped up a gear with some forceful driving.

The visitors had floundered in the morning reaching Lunch on 67 for 5. Despite regularly rotating his attack, Essex skipper Ryan ten Doeschate  was unable to conjure up a breakthrough as Sangakkara and Curran left the bowlers toiling in the sweltering heat.

The 100 stand arrived in 32 overs and an acceleration came when Ravi Bopara was brought into the attack.

Curran greeted him with a pulled six as 33 came from his four overs before he was withdrawn from the attack.

Sangakkara was now looking in complete control, his off-driving being a very productive stroke against both pace and spin.

But it was Curran who was now the dominant force in terms of run getting and after completing his 50 from 103 balls with the assistance of 7 fours and one six, he smashed Simon Harmer for six when the spinner switched ends.

A straight driven four against Wagner carried Sangakkara to his fifth successive Championship century, it containing 13 fours and spanning 174 deliveries.

He was still defying all attempts to remove him as Tea arrived with the visitors sixth wicket pair having so far posted 179 runs.

Day One | Lunch Report

Matt Quinn took three wickets in 13 balls to blast a huge hole in Surrey’s top order in the top of the Specsavers County Championship match at Chelmsford.
The New Zealand-born seamer took wickets in each of his first three overs to reduce Surrey to 16 for three after they won the toss and opted to bat. Jamie Porter weighed in with two quick wickets and Surrey had lost half the side for 31.
By lunch, Kumar Sangakkara and Sam Curran had restored some order with a dogged sixth-wicket stand to take Surrey to 67 for five.
  Quinn struck with his third ball of the day, Mark Stoneman getting the thickest of thick edges to give Simon Harmer the catch at second slip. This after the first ball of the overs had been despatched to the boundary.
Rory Burns, deputising as captain in the absence of Gareth Batty, who has a toe injury, had gone for a contested toss. He was Quinn’s second wicket, Dan Lawrence taking a flying catch above his head in the gulley. It was Quinn’s 100th first-class wicket.
Number 101 duly arrived in the next over as Scott Borthwick gave a routine edge to wicketkeeper James Foster, playing his first Championship match of the season. At that point Quinn had three for 12.
Jamie Porter was soon in on the act, his sheer pace arrowing through Dom Sibley’s defences. Porter’s second was not long in arriving, Ben Foakes dragging the ball on to his stumps.
Sangakkara welcomed back Porter for his second spell by swivelling in the crease and turning the ball through midwicket for only his fourth boundary in 80 minutes’ batting.