Match Preview: Surrey v Essex


Surrey v Essex

Vitality County Championship
Kia Oval, London
Sunday 30 June – Wednesday 03 July 2024 | 11am start

A massive game beckons in South London from this weekend, as Essex and Surrey, the top two teams in Vitality County Championship Division One, go head-to-head at the Kia Oval.

The Eagles currently sit 12 points behind hosts Surrey, with the magnitude of the game, which will go a long way to deciding the destination of the 2024 title, not lost on anyone.

Anthony McGrath’s side come into the colossal clash after a draw with Durham following a strong showing of resistance between centurion Dean Elgar and captain Tom Westley on the final day.

Having conceded a first-innings deficit of 248, the Eagles were not asked to follow on, and after the visitors’ second dig, were chasing 433 for victory.

Facing down the nominal target, Elgar and Westley instead displayed hugely admirable grit and determination to put on an unbroken stand of 165 for the third wicket in 421 balls and force the draw.

Paul Walter joined Elgar in putting up three figures, having done so in Essex’s first innings, while Simon Harmer took eight wickets as McGrath’s side look to carry every ounce of fight with them to the Oval.


Head Coach McGrath has named a 13-strong squad to travel to London, with Robin Das replacing Feroze Khushi in the only change to the group that faced Durham.

The Opposition

Surrey have been seen as the juggernaut of English domestic red-ball cricket in recent years, winning three of the last five County Championship titles, including both of the last two.

They won 16 of 28 games in that time, losing just three matches over two years, and have continued their long-running fine form into this summer too, currently sitting top of the division once more.

Two draws from the Brown Caps’ opening two games was a slow start by their standards, but their season kicked into life with back-to-back innings wins over Kent and Hampshire to round out April.

Further victories, against Warwickshire and Worcestershire, followed, although just as they were building momentum, a huge innings-and-278-run loss to Hampshire brought that juddering to a halt.

However, having taken a month’s break for the Vitality Blast, they regrouped to last week record another innings win, this time over Worcestershire at New Road, to establish a 12-point lead at the top.

Dan Lawrence is their leading run-scorer this year, with 568 – 195 behind Jordan Cox, who leads the way for Essex – while Dan Worrall’s 29 wickets mark him out as the Brown Caps’ most effective bowler.

Surrey squad: TBC

Last Time We Met

Although Essex have not played at the Kia Oval in almost two years, a thrilling conclusion played out at The Cloud County Ground the last time these two sides met in first-class cricket in May 2023.

After Tom Westley won the toss and opted to bat, Essex put up 314, with Westley’s 62 the top score and important contributions also coming from Matt Critchley, who hit 60, and Alastair Cook, who made 51.

Surrey responded with 240, as Jamie Porter snared four wickets and Sam Cook and Doug Bracewell picked up two each, giving the Eagles a sizeable first-innings advantage of 74.

The Brown Caps fought back to dismiss Essex for 198 in the second dig, with Nick Browne’s typically resistant 47 leading the way from the top of the order.

That set up a potentially nail-biting conclusion, with Surrey requiring 273 to win, and when the hosts reduced them first to 39-2 at tea, and then 103-6 later in the evening, a victory charge was on.

However, despite continually crowding the bat with fielders, a blockathon from Jamie Smith, who ended unbeaten on 39 from 126 balls, was enough to see Surrey escape with a draw at 153-7.

Division One Table

How To Watch

If you are not able to make it to the Kia Oval in person, the game will be streamed live on the Surrey YouTube channel, and available to watch via the Essex Cricket Matchzone.

A report and reaction will be published on the Club website after each day’s play via the Club website, while live updates and daily highlights will be provided on the Club’s social media channels.


For anyone supporting the Eagles in person in the titanic clash in South London, tickets can be purchased directly from the Kia Oval website.

Tickets are priced at £15 for adults and £1 for juniors if bought in advance, with the adult price rising to £20 if bought on the gate.

For Day One on Sunday, Essex Members are able to purchase tickets at a 50% discount, with further details sent directly to Members.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the link below:

The Eagles Have Landed: The 2024 Vitality Blast at The Cloud County Ground

Fresh from a Finals Day appearance last summer, Essex are now back in Vitality Blast action for 2024.

With the Eagles sitting fourth in the South Group and firmly in contention for another knockout match, demand for tickets remains exceptionally high.

As Essex continue to aim towards going one better in 2024, there is no time to waste to snap up your seats.

Friday 05 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Somerset – SOLD OUT
Thursday 11 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Kent Spitfires – buy here
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm: Essex v Surrey – buy here