Surrey v Nottinghamshire, The Oval, 3rd day September 19, 2008

Notts reach the summit after Surrey rout

Nottinghamshire 532 (Patel 141, Wagh 135) beat Surrey 267 and 122 (Spriegel 42, Swann 3-51) by an innings and 143 runs
Scorecard
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Scott Newman remonstrates with Darren Pattinson after being bowled for 12 © Getty Images
 
Surrey finished a disastrous season on a fittingly flat note, but for Nottinghamshire a glorious finale could yet arrive against Hampshire at Trent Bridge next week, as they stormed to the summit of the Championship with victory by an innings and 143 runs inside three days at The Oval. After securing a first-innings advantage of 265 thanks to a quickfire 82 in the morning session from Graeme Swann, Nottinghamshire's bowlers needed 39.1 overs to bundle Surrey out for a pitiful 122, with only Matthew Spriegel's 42 offering any real resistance.

Nottinghamshire were already in total command of this contest when they resumed on their overnight 420 for 5, and though Pedro Collins bagged two quick wickets inside the first hour - the second, Chris Read, to an excellent diving catch from the fourth wicketkeeper of the innings, Gary Wilson - Surrey were put back under the cosh by Swann, whose 82 from 88 balls included 11 fours and a six and propelled them towards a towering total of 532, Nottinghamshire's third-highest of all time against these opponents.

Swann's innings was timely in more ways than one - never mind the current contest, he hopes to be selected as England's spinning allrounder for the Stanford Super Series, but had been left with ground to make up after Samit Patel's emphatic century on the second day. This innings, however, lacked nothing in terms of aggression. He laid into another half-baked four-over spell from Shoaib Akhtar, whom he flogged majestically on the up and over the covers, before uppercutting for a one-bounce four over third man. Having reached his fifty courtesy of four overthrows from Lee Hodgson, he was eventually bowled round his legs by Murtaza Hussain, who was one of three bowlers to finish with three wickets.

Stuart Meaker, on his Championship debut, was one of those three, and when he dismissed Andre Adams 12 minutes before lunch, Surrey were left with a tricky six balls to face before the break. Chris Murtagh managed that much, as Charlie Shreck tormented his outside edge, but upon the resumption, he was unable to escape his pair. Shreck probed outside off once again, and Read claimed a simple catch behind the stumps.

Surrey's goose was already cooked to perfection, but the carving got underway once the captain, Mark Ramprakash, had been prised from the crease for 5. Darren Pattinson, demonstrating the form that earned him a surprise call-up for the Headingley Test in July, found some extra lift outside off stump, and Will Jefferson, stooping low to his right, pulled off an exceptional catch at the second attempt.

Pattinson proved virtually unplayable to Surrey's dispirited batsmen. Scott Newman did cut a rare loose ball for four, but then fell to the very next delivery, a perfect yorker that crashed into middle stump. Some sharp words were exchanged after that as Pattinson raced through the crease in his followthrough, and Newman was still remonstrating as he traipsed furiously back to the pavilion. Amid all the excitement, Spriegel was given a first-ball reprieve as Swann couldn't cling on to a low edge to second slip, and Usman Afzaal might also have gone for a duck, caught at gully by Mark Ealham, had Pattinson not overstepped.

The procession showed no signs of abating, however. Afzaal had made only 10 when he drove loosely at Adams and lost his off stump (46 for 4), and Hodgson was unable to repeat his first-innings performance when he prodded stiffly at Swann for Bilal Shafayat to claim a simple chance under the helmet at short leg (57 for 5). Meaker resisted for a while before being caught on the crease and bowled by Ealham for 6 from 28 balls (70 for 6), and Jefferson then claimed his second low catch of the innings as Murtaza poked Swann to silly point (79 for 7).

By tea only Spriegel, with a cultured 38 not out, had shown any willingness to hang around, but he added just four more runs after the break before missing a sweep against Swann and being sent on his way lbw. That left Shoaib to provide an entertaining finish to Surrey's season, as he swished and walloped his way to 32 from 22 balls, with five fours and a six. It was left to Patel, with his first and only ball of the innings, to bring his fun to an end, as Ashwell Prince raced in from the boundary to claim a well-judged catch at long off.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo