Match Report: Surrey v Essex


Surrey v Essex

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


Team News

Essex: Dean Elgar, Nick Browne, Tom Westley*, Jordan Cox, Matt Critchley, Paul Walter, Michael Pepper+, Simon Harmer, Shane Snater, Eathan Bosch, Jamie Porter

Surrey: Rory Burns*, Dom Sibley, Sai Sudharsan, Jamie Smith, Ben Foakes+, Dan Lawrence, Ryan Patel, Jordan Clark, Tom Lawes, James Taylor, Dan Worrall

Match Details

Umpires: Peter Hartley & Graham Lloyd
Match Referee: James Whitaker
Scorers: Debbie Beesley & Paul Parkinson
Toss: Essex won the toss and elected to bowl first
Result: Surrey won by 145 runs

Scorecard:View here

Day Four Reaction: Tom Westley

Day Four Highlights

Day Four Report

Battling half-centuries from Paul Walter and Dean Elgar were not enough to rescue Essex from falling to a gutting 145-run defeat to Surrey on the final day at The Kia Oval.

Despite the considerable fight shown by the Eagles on the last day, with a requirement of 361 runs for a win or 96 overs to bat out for a draw, the visitors were bowled out for 215 shortly before 5pm.

Elgar battled to 60, while Walter made 56, but Essex, having resumed on 21-2, were ultimately unable to hold out as Tom Lawes returned figures of 4/26.

At first, there was genuine reason to believe that the Eagles might be about to battle through, with Elgar and captain Tom Westley surviving throughout a truncated morning session and beyond lunch.

Just as they had done against Durham a week previously, the duo steadfastly blocked out whatever Surrey were throwing at them, and also once got lucky as Elgar was shelled by Dom Sibley in the slips.

However, a crucial turning point came shortly before 2:00pm as Lawes struck twice in two balls to see off Westley and Matt Critchley, both via Ben Foakes catches behind the stumps.

Damaging as those blows were, that still left Elgar unbeaten at the crease, and he continued to graft on, now with Walter for company, passing fifty via a flicked three towards the long leg-side fence.

Despite passing that milestone, the former South Africa Test captain was eventually uprooted after swiping a Dan Worrall bouncer to Sai Sudharsan just in from the square leg boundary.

Walter aimed to take up the mantle, and indeed alongside Michael Pepper either side of tea, looked to take the attack back to Surrey, swiping several fours to put on 64 for the sixth wicket in just 65 balls.

It was the tea interruption that did for Pepper, though, as he fell six deliveries after the restart, and when Walter followed, the end was ultimately nigh to a swift conclusion despite the light drawing in.

Day Three Highlights

Day Three Reaction: Jamie Porter

Day Three Report

Jamie Porter hit the milestone of 500 first-class wickets on Day Three against Surrey at The Kia Oval, but Essex were left facing a fight to rescue the sides’ Vitality County Championship clash.

Porter hit the landmark shortly after tea, a full 3,584 days since he took his maiden first-class scalp in September 2014, as Jordan Clark swatted a short ball to Eathan Bosch at third.

The celebration, however, was somewhat forcibly muted by circumstance, as Surrey, having resumed their second innings on 44-3, ultimately went on to post 278 all out as Ryan Patel hit 107.

That meant Essex were set 361 to win, and enormous though the task may be, Dean Elgar at least fought back somewhat by remaining unbeaten to stumps, seeing the visitors to 21-2.

Despite the claggy conditions, play still resumed on time, though rain did still define the early part of the day as Jamie Smith and Ben Foakes battled through multiple interruptions.

At one point, one of the resumptions was for a grand total of one ball, but – following an early lunch being taken at 12:45pm – a longer-term restart was at least possible just before 2:00pm.

Smith wasted little time in passing 50 for the second time in the game, though Foakes’ innings would proceed no further than 13, as he chopped Shane Snater to Simon Harmer at second slip.

Sai Sudharsan hung around with Smith for a little longer, but he too was unable to build on his early efforts as he edged Bosch to Michael Pepper for 12, just one over after Smith himself had gone for 70.

It was Paul Walter’s first ball, via an Aaron Beard catch, that finally did for new England recruit Smith, but that only served to bring Patel to the crease.

His swashbuckling approach served Surrey well, shepherding the tail to ultimately pass three figures in 122 balls and set Essex a far more challenging target than they otherwise would have faced.

Matt Critchley finally uprooted him for 107, ending the Surrey innings, and giving the Eagles 12 overs to face at the end of the day, with The Kia Oval by now bathed in surprisingly bright sunlight.

The home attack snared the wickets of Nick Browne and nightwatcher Bosch, though Elgar battled through with typical grit to at least force the Surrey bowlers to regroup ahead of tomorrow’s final day.

Day Two Highlights

Day Two Reaction: Anthony McGrath

Day Two Report

Another Paul Walter half-century followed by a slew of late wickets kept Essex fighting strongly against Surrey in the sides’ Vitality County Championship top-of-the-table tussle at The Kia Oval.

After the hosts had been bowled out for 262, Walter passed fifty for the second innings in succession following his century at home to Durham last week to haul the Eagles to a first-innings total of 180.

On an eventful day, bad light then interrupted the Surrey second dig twice, with the second being enough to draw a premature halt to proceedings, leaving the hosts on 44-3, a lead of 126.

With events unfolding overnight that saw Jordan Cox ruled out of the remainder of the game, Day Two began with Surrey on their overnight 248-8 as Essex set about the task of cleaning them up quickly.

The Eagles did exactly that as, in just 3.2 overs of using the second new ball, Shane Snater took both, first by having an advancing Tom Lawes held at slip by Simon Harmer before he bowled James Taylor.

Cox’s predicament meant that Essex would have to play through both of their innings a man down, but batting a place higher did not trouble Walter or Matt Critchley.

Having come together with Essex 45-3, the pair calmly doubled the score to allay any fears of a collapse, with both scoring noticeably freely after getting their respective eyes in.

The 50 partnership was brought up in just 60 balls, though Critchley was dismissed shortly afterwards while two shy of his half-century.

Walter battled on, even after bravely copping one on the arm from Jordan Clark, and received some support from Harmer and Eathan Bosch, which was enough to see him reach his 50 in 74 balls.

He did so via a four off Tom Lawes that involved Dan Lawrence shelling a simple chance, though his eventual dismissal for 64 precipitated the end, with the final wicket falling for just one more run.

Facing a first-innings deficit of 82, the Eagles seamers each put on a yard of pace and Jamie Porter secured joy early on by beating Dom Sibley’s outside edge and hitting his off stump for 11.

Shane Snater then followed up three overs later by having Harmer take a simple chest-high catch to remove home captain Rory Burns for 8, prior to the first interruption for low light levels.

The temporary resumption only lasted two overs, but that was enough for Bosch, in his second Essex appearance, to claim the wicket of Lawrence, who offered no shot and was pinned lbw for 10.

However, despite Essex hoping for further wickets, the light again dipped below an acceptable level, and the umpires took the players off once more, this time for much longer.

A short, four-over resumption was possible at the very end of the day after a small improvement, though there were no further wickets becoming for the Essex bowlers as Jamie Smith and Ben Foakes nervously tiptoed to the close.

Day One Highlights

Day One Report

Jamie Smith produced the perfect dress-rehearsal for his England debut on day one of their top of the table clash with Essex at The Kia Oval.

Named this morning as the only wicketkeeper in England’s 14 for the first Test against the West Indies a week on Wednesday, Smith struck his second century of the season, making exactly 100 with two sixes and 14 fours, as the hosts reached 248-8 on a rain-shortened day in south London.

Smith’s heroics apart, Surrey’s batters struggled against some probing bowling, South African quick Eathan Bosch returning 3-52 in only his second appearance for the county.

Play began on time after morning drizzle but only two overs were possible before the rain returned, forcing the players from the field until after an early lunch.

The delay helped the hosts who had been asked to bat first under slate grey skies which had largely dissipated by the early afternoon.

Even so former England opener Dominic Sibley produced a mixture of crisp drives off his pads with plenty of playing and missing outside off stump, and was given a life on 10 when Jamie Porter shelled one at backward point, Shane Snater the unlucky bowler.

The spill wasn’t overly expensive as Sibley reached only 24 before swishing one from Bosch to Dean Elgar at first slip.

Dan Lawrence, also named in the England squad, fluffed his lines, producing one glorious cover drive before fencing at one from Bosch which bounced a bit off a length caught the edge and flew to Simon Harmer’s giant hands at second slip.

Harmer would spill a more routine chance to reprieve Rory Burns on 25, Snater again the luckless bowler, but like Sibley before him the Surrey skipper didn’t cash in, nicking one from Paul Walter in the next over to Michael Pepper behind the stumps.

His dismissal brought Ben Foakes to the crease, the wicketkeeper, not for the first time, callously cast aside by Rob Key in favour of his teammate Smith. Tellingly, Surrey named Foakes as keeper despite Smith’s promotion to the role in the national side. Smith has only kept wicket twice for Surrey this season, one of those appearances coming in Foakes’ absence.

Fate dictated the two men would bat together though not for long, Foakes, understandably deflated edging through to Pepper to give Bosch a third wicket.

Smith though stood firm, demonstrating his ability to be a 360-player, punching and caressing fours through cover and punishing anything on his legs both backward and forward of square.

A ninth four crunched square took him to 50 in 70 balls as he and Sai Sudharsan shared a stand of 70, the Indian youngster’s contribution to which was 13.

The stand would be broken in strange circumstances. Porter was forced off the field mid-over after appearing to dislocate a finger. Walter took up the cause for the visitors and two balls later found the edge of Sudharsan’s bat, Harmer providing safe hands at slip.

Nothing though was going to derail Smith from a day of destiny, the 23-year-old twice clearing the ropes on the way to a century sealed by a quickly run single.

Job done, he left the stage to the next delivery he faced, castled after missing a straight one in Matt Critchley’s first over.

Jordan Clark didn’t detain us for long and Ryan Patel’s burgeoning innings was cut short by the first ball of a new spell from Snater which pierced his defence.

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