Match Report: Essex v Surrey



Essex v Surrey

Bob Willis Trophy (South Group)
The Cloudfm County Ground, Saturday 08 – Tuesday 11 August


Team News:

Essex: Alastair Cook, Nick Browne, Tom Westley (c), Varun Chopra, Feroze Khushi, Paul Walter, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Aaron Beard, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter.

Surrey: Mark Stoneman (c), Ryan Patel, Scott Borthwick, Will Jacks, Jamie Smith (wk), Laurie Evans, Rikki Clarke, Guy Atkinson, Adam Finch, James Taylor, Amar Virdi.

Match Details:

Umpires: Chris Watts & Ben Debenham
Match Referee: Peter Such
Toss Won By: Essex, who elected to bat
Result: Essex win by 169 runs

Thanks to Levett Consultancy who are our matchball sponsors for this match and all fixtures in the 2020 season.

Day Four Match Highlights:

Simon Harmer reflects on another home victory:

Day Four End of Match Report:

Simon Harmer turned in another outstanding performance as Essex crushed Surrey in the Bob Willis Trophy match at The Cloudfm County Ground.

Harmer followed up his 6 for 67 in the first innings with 8 for 64 in the second as the visitors were bowled out for 167, taking his tally to 29 wickets in his last three matches against Surrey.

The off-spinner’s match return of 14 for 131 was the fifth time in 46 matches that he had bagged 10 or more wickets in a game for the county and he has now collected hauls of five or more wickets in an innings on 19 occasions in an Essex sweater.

Harmer bowled throughout the final day and was on course for all ten wickets after dispatching the first six batsmen back to the pavilion, but he was to deny himself that opportunity by taking a magnificent catch low down at second slip to get rid of Jamie Smith to present Aaron Beard with the first of his two wickets that came at a cost of 33 runs in 10 overs.

It was Smith who provided the backbone of Surrey’s innings as he struck 8 fours, with many flowing drives, in a contribution of 45 that spanned 89 balls in a 131-minute stay at the crease.

However, the rest of his colleagues were incapable of keeping spin magician Harmer at bay as a number of them fell to the array of spinner’s tricks. None more so than Laurie Evans who gave Harmer the charge when facing only his second delivery to present Adam Wheater with the easiest stumping he is likely to ever claim.

Having resumed on 27 for 1, Surrey adopted a watchful approach and the first hour of the final day brought them just 17 runs for the loss of one further wicket, that of Scott Borthwick.

When lunch arrived, the visitors were on 86 for 3, as Ryan Patel had also been removed, ending a 97-ball innings for 19 when he skied an intended pull to mid-wicket.

The only partnership of note featured Smith and Will Jacks who put on 51 for the fourth wicket. Jacks contributed 21 but once he became an lbw victim against Harmer, Surrey’s resistance was swept aside.

Rikki Clarke was snapped up at forward short-leg and Gus Atkinson was bowled as Harmer continued his teasing ways. Aaron Beard had James Taylor caught at cover leaving Harmer, fittingly, to wrap up the innings and the match when having Amar Virdi caught at mid-off.

The South African, who provided the inspiration for Essex’s double triumph of the County Championship and Vitality Blast Cup last season, has so far taken 20 wickets in the opening two matches of this inaugural Bob Willis Trophy competition.

The thrashing of Surrey, from which Essex earned 21 points, takes them to the top of the South Group and leaves them in confident mood for their next test, a visit to Hove to face Sussex on Saturday.

Simon Harmer reflects on another home victory:

Day Three Match Highlights:

Paul Walter’s Day Three reaction:

Day Three Close of Play Report:

Essex go into the final day of the Bob Willis Trophy clash against Surrey at The Cloudfm County Ground as favourites to claim their second win in the competition.

A score of 261 in their second innings, left their opponents facing a victory target of 337 and by the close, they had moved to 27 for the loss of Mark Stoneman.

On a pitch which is likely to offer increasing assistance to Simon Harmer, that will represent a tall order for the visitors as the off-spinner confirmed when he trapped Stoneman leg before in the final over of the day.

Stoneman’s only consolation was that he displayed more enterprise than he did in his first knock when he laboured through 65 balls to collect five singles. This time around his 16 runs all came in boundaries.

His opening partner Ryan Patel will resume on 10 as Surrey know that it will need something exceptional to deny Essex victory.

The Essex innings was based on a cautious rather than cavalier approach. The most fluent of batsmen was Alastair Cook who included three glorious drives among his six boundaries to make 42 from 69 balls.

Many of those came in a partnership with Tom Westley, the skipper arriving at the crease after Nick Browne became an early victim of Adam Finch when he was caught behind for four.

Cook had looked so at ease that it came as something of a surprise when he fell lbw to Gus Atkinson to end a 47-run stand with Westley which lasted 12 overs.

Westley, having managed 23 runs in three previous trips to the middle, was in need of a sizeable contribution and one looked on the cards as he prospered into the 30’s, but on 34, he departed in disappointing fashion against off-spinner Amar Virdi, when turning the ball off his hips to Scott Borthwick at backward short-leg.

Westley’s contribution from 61 deliveries contained three boundaries, one fewer than Varun Chopra who was also in need of runs. He struck a patient 39 from 96 deliveries and was another looking increasingly comfortable in the middle until he played Finch straight into the hands of Ryan Patel at cover point.

Paul Walter again put together another useful contribution, following his 33 on the opening day, with 46 second time around. He needed 96 balls to collect those runs but in between periods of restraint, he helped himself to seven boundaries. He was eventually undone by the spin of Virdi who breached his defences and knocked out off-stump to leave Essex 209 for 6.

Adam Wheater unleashed a few emphatic blows as Essex carried their lead beyond 300 before Harmer was trapped leg before by Virdi for 14 and they then lost their remaining three wickets in the space of seven deliveries.

Finch had Wheater caught at backward point for 33 by Borthwick and then despatched Sam Cook to a first ball lbw.

Virdi was to bring the innings to a close on 261 when he had Aaron Beard caught behind to end with figures of 4 for 85 while Finch returned 4 for 38.


Day Two Match Highlights:

Simon Harmer’s Day Two reaction:

Day Two Close of Play Report:

Simon Harmer claimed 6 for 67 as Essex carved out a first-innings lead of 75 runs in their Bob Willis Trophy clash with Surrey at The Cloudfm County Ground.

And after bowling their opponents out for 187, they progressed to 13 without loss with Nick Browne on 4 and Alastair Cook 8 not out.

That advantage could have been greater but Essex were made to pay for their profligacy in the field as Will Jacks, who top-scored with 70, was dropped three times before he reached his half-century.

Either side of Aaron Beard putting him down on the backward square leg boundary when he had made 31 to deny Porter another scalp, Varun Chopra twice failed to hold on to chances at forward short leg when Jacks pushed at deliveries from Harmer.

The batsman’s luck finally ran out when he popped up a simple catch to Beard at mid-wicket to give Harmer deserved reward and end a stand of 80 in 21 overs with Laurie Evans for the fifth wicket.

Jacks and Evans decided on a positive and entertaining approach after coming together with their side in trouble at 54 for 4.

The pugnacious effort from Jacks spanning 127 balls contained a dozen boundaries while Evans was bowled for 41 by Jamie Porter with the first delivery after tea to end his 70 ball sojourn.

It was Porter that had plunged the visitors into trouble early on by having Ryan Patel snapped up at second slip by Harmer with his sixth ball of the innings and then seeing off Scott Borthwick with his next ball with the aid of Feroze Khushi at short mid-wicket.

Harmer embarked upon his destructive course by ending opener Mark Stoneman’s attritional innings that saw him gather just five singles in his 65-ball stay.

His vigilant occupation of the crease came to an end when he was caught low down by Alastair Cook at first slip.
After getting rid of Jacks. Harmer went on to demolish the tail whilst Porter’s reward was 4 for 53.

Earlier in the day, Essex lost their last three wickets, those of Harmer, Beard and Sam Cook, for the addition of nine runs after they had resumed on 253 for seven.

Two of the wickets were picked up by Rikki Clarke whose nagging accuracy was to earn him figures of 3 for 26 from 21 overs.

Essex were left with 4 overs to face at the end of the day, a task their openers negotiated without alarm.

Day Two Tea Report:

Will Jacks aggressive approach steered Surrey guided to 136 for 5 at tea after they had recoiled to 54 for 4 at one stage in the afternoon. The 21-year-old right-hander posted an 81-ball half-century although he did enjoy a generous helping of good fortune being dropped three times, on 25, 31, and then 46 before reaching the milestone with the ninth boundary of his innings.

Two of his “lives” came facing Simon Harmer when Varun Chopra was unable to complete difficult chances at short leg and the other let-off came when Aaron Beard could not hold the chance off the bowling of Jamie Porter.

Jacks capitalised on his good fortune striking the ball firmly on both sides of the wicket and he found valuable support from loanee Laurie Evans. The Sussex player, who is spending a week with Surrey, was soon into his stride as the pair built up a valuable partnership following the loss of Jamie Smith. He had become Porter’s third wicket of the innings when he was bowled for 8 to give the paceman figures of 3 for 30 at that point.

Together, Jacks and Evans addressed a difficult position for their side with a positive approach. Jacks half-century arrived with a powerful cover drive off Beard and soon after, Evans drove straight to clear the ropes when facing Harmer.

Their 50 partnership arrived in just 67 balls with Jacks contributing 21 and Evans 28 and the pair continued to gather the runs at an agreeable rate until the return of Harmer paid dividends for the home side.

Jacks and Evans had put on 80 in 21 overs when the off-spinner had Jacks caught at short mid-wicket by Beard for 70 shortly before tea.

At the break, Evans had reached 41 from 69 balls that included 4 fours and a six while Rikki Clarke had still to get off the mark.

Day Two Lunch Report:

Jamie Porter grabbed two early wickets in as many deliveries when Surrey began their reply to the Essex first innings score of 262 all out in the Bob Willis Trophy clash at The Cloudfm County Ground and at lunch, the visitors had been reduced to 36 for 3.

The paceman struck with the last ball of the first over when he produced a superb delivery that found lift and the edge of Ryan Patel’s bat and Simon Harmer took the catch at second slip.

Then with the first ball of his next over, Porter removed Scott Borthwick who played the ball to mid-wicket and Feroze Khushi dived forward to complete the catch. Neither batsmen had got off the mark.

Will Jacks prevented the hat-trick when he dug out a good length ball before combining with Mark Stoneman to carry Surrey to 35 until Essex claimed their third wicket.

It was Harmer who was the successful bowler. Introduced into the attack after 7 overs, the off-spinner was in his seventh over when he turned a ball away from left-hander Stoneman and Alastair Cook took a catch low down at slip. The batsman had proved an obdurate customer spending 65 balls to record five singles before his dismissal.

Porter (5-1-19-2) eventually gave way to Sam Cook who switched ends and also produced a lively burst before the interval although both pacemen conceded boundaries to Jacks who wasted no opportunities to seek out boundaries helping himself to three off Porter and a couple from Cook.

At lunch, he had scored 28 from 49 balls with Jamie Smith still to get off the mark.

Essex had survived 16 balls before losing their remaining three overnight wickets in 18 balls at the start of the day whilst adding 9 runs. Rikki Clarke had Aaron Beard caught behind for 1 with a delivery that lifted off a good length and then had Sam Cook trapped in the crease for 3 before Gus Atkinson ended the innings when Harmer was caught in the covers for 19.

Evergreen 39-year-old Clarke was the pick of the Surrey attack with figures of 3 for 26 from 21 overs.

Day One Match Highlights:

Adam Wheater’s Day One reaction:

Day One Close of Play Report:

Feroze Khushi played a prominent role as Essex posted a total of 253 for 7 on the opening day of their Bob Willis Trophy duel with Surrey at The Cloudfm County Ground.

He scored a vital 45 while featuring in a match-winning stand of 86 against Kent earlier in the week and followed it up with a well-constructed 66 in only his second first-class appearance to frustrate the Surrey attack.

Khushi arrived to do battle after James Taylor had removed skipper Tom Westley and Varun Chopra with successive deliveries to reduce Essex to a shaky 49 for 3 after the home side had won the toss.

But the 21-year-old right-hander displayed an unruffled temperament to put the innings back on an even keel with Alastair Cook.

Khushi pulled and drove with confidence to gather his runs from 108 deliveries, eight of which he dispatched to the boundary, but was eventually to perish somewhat tamely by chipping off-spinner Amar Virdi to Ryan Patel at mid-wicket.

It was Virdi who ended the innings of Cook. The former England captain looked in total control as he progressed to 42 out of 98 on the board, but he became a victim of the spinner’s third delivery of the innings when he edged a drive to Rikki Clarke at slip. Cook’s effort spanned 93 balls and contained five fours.

Earlier Nick Browne fell to debutant, Gus Atkinson for 10 before Taylor struck a double blow for a Surrey side well-below full-strength because of Test calls and injuries.

Westley was caught behind having just reached double-figures while Chopra was caught low down at second slip by Scott Borthwick to pave the way for Khushi to underline his promise.

Before his departure, the youngster shared in a stand of 67 with Paul Walter who was playing his first red-ball match since April 2018. He was in no mood to give his wicket away, only occasionally straying from an ultra-cautious approach to show aggressive interest.

Walter also shared in another half-century stand, one of 57 with Adam Wheater before he succumbed to Scott Borthwick in the leg-spinner’s first over of the match.

His contribution of 33 from 115 deliveries ended when he was bowled but in the context of the overall innings, it was a praiseworthy effort.

With the score 222 for 6, Wheater moved to his half-century on a day when he was also awarded his county cap along with Sam Cook.

He reached the milestone with the fifth boundary of his innings but he was dismissed soon afterwards for 52, having faced 101 balls when he cut a short ball from Clarke to Laurie Evans at gully.

That left Simon Harmer and Aaron Beard to take the county to their second batting point and the pair will resume the second day with Harmer unbeaten on 16 and Beard 1 not out.


Live Stream:

Day Four begins at 11am on Tuesday and our Live Stream of the game is available via the Essex Cricket Matchzone – here.