Doeschate’s boundary secures Essex win

Surrey marginally missed out on a record-breaking win over Essex on the last day of action in the Specsavers County Championship. Chasing Essex’s huge first innings total, Surrey came agonisingly close, losing the game by a single wicket.

County cricket signed off for the season with a thrilling encounter between newly crowned champions Surrey and last year’s winners Essex. Surrey were set a total of 410 runs to chase, had they done so this would have been the biggest first-innings deficit in a top division match.

Essex v Surrey county cricket

Essex win epic season finale but Surrey are crowned champions.

These hopes were finally over when Dutch all-rounder Ryan Doeschate found the boundary, giving Essex the win and in doing so, inflicted the first defeat of the season on Surrey. It was a tense finale to the match. Essex needed 132 to seal the victory but a terrible start to the second innings by Essex left their chances hanging by a thread. They lost 5 wickets for just 55 runs. They only added 22 runs for the next 2 wickets. The ninth wicket fell for a score of 124 after Matt Coles was involved in a terrible mix up with Doeschate, so Essex still needed 8 to win.

The atmosphere was electric at The Oval. The game could have gone either way, but it was Essex who would emerge victorious. Surrey will have been disappointed not to have seen the season out undefeated, but the defeat was soon forgotten about as the Surrey players celebrated winning their first Championship title since 2002.

Surrey captain Rory Burns paid tribute to his players after the game. Division One’s leading run-scorer hailed the team spirit of his side and hailed their performance in the second innings.

Burns has been instrumental in Surrey’s charge to the title but he modestly played down his contribution, choosing instead to single out former South Africa seamer Morne Morkel for praise. Morkel, 33, has been deadly with the ball this season, removing 59 opponents at an average cost of just over 14 runs. Although cricket is a team game, it was the runs of Burns and the wickets of Morkel that gave Surrey their first title in 16 years.

Burns’s form has been excellent and the 28-year-old has been lethal at top order scoring over 1,300 runs this season. So effective, in fact, that he has been hotly tipped to win the PCA Players’ Player of the Year award. Burns is on the four-man shortlist alongside team mates Rikki Clarke and Matt Henry with Canterbury’s Joe Denly completing the nominations.

County Championship end of season results

1st Place – Surrey, played 14, won 10, lost 1, drawn 3, 254 points

2nd place – Somerset, played 14, won 7, lost 2, drawn 4, 208 points

3rd place – Essex played 14, won 7, lost 4, drawn 3, 187 points

Most runs

Rory Burns (Surrey) – 1359 (average 64.71)

James Hildreth (Somerset) – 1089 (average 45.37)

Ollie Pope (Surrey) – 986 (average 70.42)

Most wickets

Tom Bailey (Lancashire) – 64 (average 19.65)

Morne Morkel (Surrey) – 59 (average 14.32)

Jamie Porter (Essex) – 58 (average 24.63)

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