Surrey v Essex, Specsavers Championship Div One, Guildford, 4th day June 12, 2017

Westley century powers Essex to the summit

ECB Reporters Network
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Essex 435 (ten Doeschate 168*, Bopara 64) and 253 for 2 (Westley 108*, Browne 77) beat Surrey 399 and 288 (Foakes 65*, Burns 57, Harmer 4-83) by eight wickets
Scorecard

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County Championship round-up: Last-gasp Lyth denies Somerset

Tom Westley's 108 not out, and an equally fine innings of 77 from Nick Browne, took Essex to an emphatic eight-wicket victory against Surrey at Guildford which takes them to the top of the Specsavers County Championship Division One table.

Needing 253, from a minimum of 83 overs, after they had bowled Surrey out a second time for 288 earlier in the day, Essex reached 253 for 2 little more than half-an-hour after tea and always looked totally in control despite a wearing last-day pitch.

Westley was joined in an unbroken third-wicket partnership of 105 in 27 overs by Dan Lawrence, who finished unbeaten on 32. Essex took 24 points from their third win of the season, with Surrey having to settle for seven.

Since gaining promotion last year, Essex have surprised the rest of the first division with their early-season success - but this was a comprehensive win against a team who themselves led Division One until the last round of matches and was achieved despite seamer Matt Quinn suffering a back spasm on day one which has prevented him from bowling since.

Essex began their chase well, with a half-century stand posted by Browne and Alastair Cook. But Cook was out on the stroke of lunch for 31 when, having just driven Ravi Rampaul to the cover boundary, he was drawn into another off drive and edged to Scott Borthwick at second slip.

Browne was eventually caught at slip from one which turned and bounced, playing back to Gareth Batty's offspin, but not before he and Westley had added a further 95 for the second wicket. The tall left-hander had faced just 96 balls, hitting 13 fours, and in the latter half of his innings he produced some quality strokes - including an effortless straight drive for four to greet Stuart Meaker's introduction into the attack and then a dismissive short-armed pull to the boundary off Ravi Rampaul.

Batty's offspin did not trouble the Essex batsmen in the same way that former South Africa Test offspinner Simon Harmer had made Surrey battle for runs in his second-innings return of 4 for 83 from 39 overs.

Westley moved to 97 with three successive fours off Scott Borthwick's legspin, and then completed three figures with a pull for four off Meaker. His hundred came from 162 balls and, overall, he faced 168 balls, hitting 17 fours.

In the morning Ben Foakes finished unbeaten on 65, from 149 balls, as Surrey added just 35 runs to their overnight 253 for 7 before the innings ended in a rush of poor shots and crazy running.

Meaker drove a half-volley from left arm paceman Neil Wagner to extra cover to go for 14, and two balls later Rampaul clipped the same bowler to backward square leg.

Foakes was then left stranded when he drove Wagner down the ground, looking for two, but Lawrence moved quickly to his right at long off to field and return to the bowler and there was never any chance of a second run. Footitt, however, turning blind, set off for the second even though Foakes had clearly decided against it, and Wagner lobbed the ball down the pitch for keeper James Foster to whip off the bails with Footitt helpless in mid-pitch.

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  • Cricinfouser on June 13, 2017, 19:10 GMT

    TENTENTEN I think credit needs to go to Silverwood. I was not expecting us to do very well in Div 1 without Masters or Napier, but Porter's been a revelation. And to say Quinn was out for both innings makes the win more remarkable​.

  • lummox on June 13, 2017, 16:20 GMT

    Essex were great ! Surrey were poor. Sorry i did'nt give Essex due credit but Surrey's attitude stinks. Tendo scored a great century BUT don't give him Captaincy credit. I watched both Surreys innings and there was only one Cook running the show for Essex !

  • thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on June 13, 2017, 8:46 GMT

    @TENTENTEN i'll second that. Porter has also been key - he shown he can thrive in Div1. Harmer has been a fantastic signing, not ideal being a kolpak but a pragmatic approach. With Quinn out, maybe Beard will get some more game-time - Essex have a fine track record of nurturing local talent. Proud of my Essex boys, keep it up!

  • tententen on June 13, 2017, 8:14 GMT

    I am surprised to see that there is barely any praise for essex in these forums, last 2 yrs have been like golden run for essex, which has been under the captaincy of tendo, and boy after a stellar run last season, tendo has mostly been unselfishly batting at 6 or 7 this season and his batting wasn't good enough but for maybe the first time this season, the top order hasn't made runs and boy he stepped up in grand fashion. Not only did he propel his teams score by adding 300+ runs in partnership with the lower order, he also picked up 2 vital wkts in 1st innings. Tendo has been phenomenal for essex all through these years never even contemplating playing for another club and the 1st yr of his captaincy we get promoted and are bossing the Div 1 this time, also during his captaincy essex had reached QF in all LO cups. Just feel that Intl. cricket has missed a truly brilliant player. This yr essex prospects were boosted by Intls wagner, harmer & cook covering for absence of ryder & napier

  • MaidstoneEast on June 13, 2017, 7:02 GMT

    It's just as well that Porter, Lawrence and Westley are all contracted to Essex until at least the end of next season. No prizes for guessing which other club would sign any or all of them given half a chance. An absolutely fantastic result for Essex with effectively a three man bowling side for practically all of the game. For Surrey, I have a strong feeling that Virdi, rather than Batty, will be playing next year at Guildford if the festival ground is retained. Don't blame the venue - the fault rests with the players who ought to have salvaged a draw as a bare minimum.

  • Bearded_Lefty on June 12, 2017, 21:30 GMT

    oi, get your hands off our batsmen! I was at the first day of this, Essex's worst day so I'm glad I didn't go again. One thing is that Jamie Porter is a class above with the ball. I still think our bowling isn't quite up to the job of winning the thing but, even though the averages aren't the best, our lads are getting the job done.

  • lummox on June 12, 2017, 21:06 GMT

    Its Sanga , Stoneman or bust I'm afraid ! with a little bit of Foakes or Sam Curran. Surrey cannot win the Championship with this side. What is Stewart doing. Surrey's game management at both ends of their innings was abysmal !! Another 5 or 10 overs in each or either innings would have put much more pressure on Essex. This has been the case for alot of the season. Surrey seem like Arsenal , Players can play without being accountable !!

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 12, 2017, 20:23 GMT

    Every year Surrey trot along to play the Guildford fixture like they were some living epitome of Kipling's dictum about success and failure being imposters and tasking part being the important and every year it is borne out. Is there another county with such masochistic instincts? We handicap ourselves with this fixture which is our worst out of any we play. We are likely to do better at Headingley or anywhere else. Surely it is time to give them a 50 over fixture and a t2o and take back this CC fixture to the Oval,where we are not just giving a game away.

  • J.Felix-Languar on June 12, 2017, 18:33 GMT

    I am all for giving the Ducketts and the Livingstones their opportunity in Test cricket but I think Westley's game is much more likely to yield success in the long format. He's performed for the Lions and in Division Two. A few more performances like this in Division One and his case for inclusion will be compelling. Aside from that, Dan Lawrence also looks the part.

  • Nutcutlet on June 12, 2017, 17:56 GMT

    The Guildford jinx strikes again! Surrey were obviously outplayed and the fact that, for once, Sangakkarra didn't make a major contribution shows that some of the other Surrey batsmen (Stoneman apart) need to step up.The shortage of runs on a batting-friendly pitch points underscores this point. Surrey was a hundred light in their first innings - and that left the match open for Essex to take control. There are several 'support acts' of 50s - Rory Burns and Dom Sibley get thereabouts on a fairly regular basis, but those efforts are not good nough - evidently! Top order batsmen must be able to convert good starts, or they are not genuine top order quality.

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